In the poem “Amorphous Fungus,” by Argentinean writer Marcial Macieli, _Amoramias_is called a “sculptured flower,” and in the poem itself, Macieli describes the flowers as “something like marble.” The name amoramias comes from the Greek word for meaning “dream”; it combines the Greek words amore meaning love and sigma, meaning “stone.” I use the term “stones” in the context of these beautiful flower arrangements, but am aware that they also have uses outside the garden. In the book “The Book of Gems,” by Dr. Susan Lordi, there is an entire chapter devoted to the varieties of amoramias, with beautiful pictures and detailed descriptions. Even the common pennyworth has its gemstone.
The book describes these varieties and their characteristics, explaining why some are more expensive than others, and how they should be treasured. Some of the most common colors are yellow-orange, dark orange, pinkish purple, blue-green, and citrine-blue. Of all the colors described, purple was the most expensive and usually available only in flower shops or on the Internet.
These flowers seem to have a life of their own, living and withering at will. The oldest known specimen belongs to an Egyptian Pharaoh, who probably did not know that his dream flower had been discovered until he was buried with it behind his sarcophagus. The flower lived on after his death, withering in the sun, and then emerging again as a bright orange or purple. The oldest specimens of _amoramias_ are over four hundred years old.
All members of the Cymbidium family, which includes all the species in the Chrysanthemum genus, belong to the class called Floribacterium. The flowers are produced by a single flower head, which can include several types of flowers, and can be asymmetrical, spiraling, or polygonal. The floriferous stems, which are erect, tapering, and curved, support the large numbers of leaflets which grow in clusters. Each has five to nine stalks, which reach a height of one to three inches, and are used to support the large numbers of petals.
When collecting this plant for tea, it is best taken in the morning when the sap is still high. It is not unusual for the leaves to turn a purplish color while in storage, but they quickly recover their green color when picked. The flowers are easy to grow, and produce a nice, even, green carpet of flowers when planted. The plant flourishes in full sunlight, and can be grown in a variety of soils, including peat moss and chalk. It is quite tolerant of less than ideal soil and does well under low moisture conditions.
The average age of the flowers is three to four years. They are quite hardy and survive for many years in conditions less demanding than those encountered by their parents. They are considered an ornamental plant, and flower in masses, with several specimens being produced on the same plant. The flower heads are usually rounded at the tip, instead of pointed, as in the case of most other species of amoramias. The amoramias that have pointed flower heads will flower later, and at a later stage in their life cycle.
The flower heads do not bear fruit, but the small flowers are quite handsome. Each flower has four ray-like petals, and the center is marked by a whitish colored bract. The amoramias are cultivated in flower gardens, and they love their companionship. In addition to the lovely flowers, the plant has many other attributes that make it an ideal ornamental plant. It is strong, hardy, and adaptable; it is a member of the lily family and is found in many gardens.
The only caution that should be taken is that the blooming periods are generally from April through August, and the plants do not flower again until September. The _amoramias_ plant is a beautiful and easy plant to grow, and the enjoyment of seeing them in your garden is almost endless. You will enjoy their soft hues, and their exotic appearance.