Belladonna Lily - In the Garden - October

Plant Magic: A Year of Green Wisdom for Pagans & Wiccans - Sandra Kynes 2017

Belladonna Lily
In the Garden

(Amaryllis belladonna syn. Callicore rosea)

*Also known as autumn amaryllis, magic lily, naked lady, and rain lily

The belladonna lily produces flat, strap-like leaves in late autumn that die back in the spring. Beginning in late summer, naked stems emerge from which two to twelve trumpet-shaped flowers grow. The sweetly scented flowers are white, pink, or slightly purple. Although the belladonna lily blooms in late summer, there is great variation in how late into the autumn the flowers last. Those of us in more northern areas can grow the belladonna lily as a potted plant that is taken indoors for the winter.

While this plant is poisonous and should not be ingested, the word belladonna in its name does not mean that it is related to the deadly nightshade belladonna (Atropa belladonna). The word belladonna is Italian, meaning “beautiful lady,” which is a reference to the flushed pink color of the belladonna lily’s flowers.

This plant is easily confused with its strikingly similar cousin, the resurrection lily (Lycoris squamigera), which shares many of its common names. The belladonna lily is actually the only species in the Amaryllis genus. The plant commonly called amaryllis, with which many of us are familiar, is the indoor bulb (Hippeastrum spp.) popular around the winter holidays. Although it is not a true amaryllis, it looks similar to the belladonna lily. Refer to that plant’s entry in “January.”

Place three belladonna lily flowers on your altar during full or new moon rituals to call on the beauty of Luna. Dry several flowers and use them in sachets for love charms. Dried flowers can also be used to break a love spell.

Holding a flower, circle your ritual space three times to consecrate and purify the area. Like most lilies, this one is a flower of renewal, especially since it arises from the ground on its own—unaccompanied by leaves. Place a vase of these flowers on your altar to aid in transitions or to initiate a new phase of your life.

The belladonna lily is associated with the element water, and its astrological influence comes from the moon.