Amarilla (1729)
John Simson

The original watercolour of Simson's Amarilla belongs to the Earl of Derby's collection at Knowsley in the North of England.

Available from

www.art.com

and

www.unicornart.com

In the Hortus Cliffortianus Linnaeus mentioned that the plant he later named Amaryllis Belladonna was known to gardeners as Amarellas or Amaryllis. We need not quibble over vowels. Linnaeus's Atamasco was called Atamosco and Atamusco by various English writers.

Spanish amarillo and Portuguese amarelo can mean yellow or gold. Patrick Browne described the flowers of the Jamaican Amaryllis as "croceo" (saffron-colored), which is near enough to gold. It is interesting to note that the Portuguese word amarela refers to a gold coin, which suggests a plausible nickname for this flower—Gold Coin Lily—alluding to the yellow circle in the middle. But only if amarela was used in this sense in the 17th or 18th century.