Monday, September 24, 2007

Cluster Amaryllis

You are not going to meet anyone who knows less about flowers than I do but anyway, I'm devoting my post today to flowers. At least a species of flower that can be seen growing wild in this season..

Today is the Autumn Equinox and this flower is called a Cluster Amaryllis. I checked in the dictionary. In Japanese it is called an Equinox Flower and it grows during the Autumn Equinox. (See Quilting Journey's entry for what the Equinox is). Without fail this flower starts to shoot up a couple of days after the middle of September and blooms on September 21-24. Nowadays on my walks, I find hundreds of these flowers all around the banks of the rice fields and they surround the fields in glorious red! I suppose years and years ago some farmer must have planted the bulbs and I think I read somewhere that the bulbs are slightly poisonous so they keep the mice away from the fields.

You can also find Cluster Amaryllis in the cemeteries and around old gravestones and since this is the season for visiting family graves and paying respect to the ancestors it makes cemeteries quite cheerful. The flower is very striking, with its spikes and feathery petals and maybe made more so because it has no leaves. Just one day there is a little knob pushing out of the ground and a day or two later there is this beautiful firework of color.

My good friend Nonchi has made a cute little wall-hanging of the Cluster Amaryllis that she has posted on her blog. It makes me smile!

(By the way, Anne asked why the rice fields are dry now that they've been harvested. I asked and was told that while in spring the fields are flooded, they don't need to be drained, the water just seeps into the ground or evaporates before the combines go through them.)


CONNIE W said...

In the photo they look like ribbons intertwined and the color is so pretty. How interesting they are.

nonchi said...




anne bebbington said...

Tanya - those flowers are really beautiful and how amazing that they come up at exactly the same time - magical!

Faith said...

the flowers look gorgeous and its so nice to see in other countries that there are other type of flowers growing wildly, not just poppies like we do in the summers of England here. Today the weather is throwing it down with rain, someone is holding a hosepipe up in the heavens above.


meggie said...

Wonderful flowers! They are very pretty & such an interesting cluster.
I, too, had wondered about the wet rice fields.

Susie Monday said...

You might be interested to know that in Central Texas these flowers (not native, but do naturalize and spread) bloom maybe a tad earlier. Their common name is Naked Lady!

Jan said...

I'm in Mie this week and have been admiring these beautiful flowers all week...during neighborhood walks and along the rice fields, from the train. Thanks for the information, Tanya! My daughter and I had been wondering about them.