Nerine, noun

Forms:
Also Narina, Nerina, and with small initial.
Plurals:
unchanged, or Nerines.
Origin:
Khoikhoi, LatinShow more Etymology dubious; either from Khoikhoi narina ‘flower’ (see Narina noun2), or from Latin Nerine the name of a Greek water-nymph (see quotation 1986).
Any of several bulbous flowering plants of the genus Nerine of the Amaryllidaceae, especially Nerine sarniensis, with umbels of bell-shaped pink, red, or white flowers; sore-eye flower sense c. Also attributive.
Note:
Called ‘Guernsey lily’ in British English since 1664; see quotations 1966 and 1972.
1820 Curtis’s Bot. Mag. 1787–1844 XLVII. 2124Rose-coloured Nerine...Nerine is probably confined to South Africa.
1837 W. Herbert Amaryllidaceae 285I have no hesitation in stating that it is a Nerine.
1886 G. Nicholson Illust. Dict. of Gardening 1885–8 II. 446When in flower, Nerines are amongst the most beautiful of greenhouse bulbous plants.
1910 R. Juta Cape Peninsula 83Narina is the Hottentot word for flower, and the flower is a gorgeous species of lily in every shade of red, pink, and maroon, covered with shining gold dust.
1913 H. Tucker Our Beautiful Peninsula 94The exquisite nerine, whose lily-like cluster of long-stamened flowers ranges in hue from salmon-pink to deep magenta, while each wavy, outcurving petal glistens with a delicate sheen as of gold-dust.
1917 R. Marloth Dict. of Common Names of Plants 61Nerina, Nerine sarniensis. There are numerous other species.
1925 F.C. Slater Centenary Bk of S. Afr. Verse 235Nerine, A genus of lilaceous plants. The finest species is found on Table Mountain, and is known as the ‘Guernsey Lily’ in England.
1929 Amateur Gardening 3 Aug. 293Nerines, or Guernsey lilies, are attractive flowering bulbs.
c1933 J. Juta in A.C. Partridge Lives, Lett. & Diaries (1971) 159Flowers from the cool gorges of Table Mountain — blue disas, and golden-spangled nerines.
1946 K.C. Stanford in Farmer’s Weekly 30 Oct. 48First I would put Nerine sarniensis, the big red Nerine of the Cape mountain slopes...There are many other Nerines, mostly good cut flowers.
1948 Jrnl of Botanical Soc. of S. Afr. XXXIV. 7I remember..when Nerinas were plentiful about Hout Bay.
1953 M.L. Wicht in Jrnl of Botanical Soc. of S. Afr. XXXIX. 13The mountaineer, passing a bowl of nerine blooms in the florists’ window,..in his mind’s eye..will see them making a brilliant display on the mountain slopes where Nerine sarniensis is at home.
1966 C.A. Smith Common Names 239Guernsey lily, Nerine sarniensis...One of the earliest South African plants to be figured, the tradition attached to the species being that a vessel bound for Holland from the East Indies via the Cape had a quantity of bulbs on board and was wrecked on the Guernsey (formerly Sarnia) coast in the early part of the 17th century...By 1659, the species was in cultivation in England...It was then regarded as a native of Japan, since the vessel which was wrecked returned from that part of the Orient and there was as yet no permanent settlement at the Cape at the time of the catastrophe. Nearly a century later specimens were found on the slopes of Table Mountain and its true home thus settled.
1967 J.A. Broster Red Blanket Valley 94Glades of giant mountain nerina, their roots deep in leaf mould, flourish as in a hot-house. The exquisite blooms of these lilies are four inches in diameter.
1972 M.R. Levyns in Std Encycl. of Sn Afr. VI. 641Lily, Guernsey. Nerina,..Linnaeus, who gave it the name sarniensis, thought that it was a native of Guernsey...Thunberg added further to the confusion by stating erroneously that it had come from Japan. Nowadays no one disputes its South African origin.
1986 A. Batten Flowers of Sn Afr. 286The genus Nerine is endemic in southern Africa...Its present name was applied only when the English botanist W. Herbert recognized that the plant differed sufficiently from other members of the genus Amaryllis to justify the founding of a new genus which he called Nerine, the name of a Greek water nymph.
1989 Your Gardening Questions Answered (Reader’s Digest Assoc.) 345Nerine,..Indigenous, deciduous and semi-deciduous bulbs with narrow, strap-like leaves and heads of bell-shaped, pink, red or white flowers with narrow, recurved petals in summer and autumn. Also called Guernsey lily.
1990 M. Hayter in Flying Springbok 118Pink nerinas and their tumbleweed-like seeds.
1992 S. Johnson in Afr. Wildlife Vol.46 No.4, 178Few flowers can compete with the beauty of..nerina (Nerine sarniensis).
Any of several bulbous flowering plants of the genus Nerine of the Amaryllidaceae, especially Nerine sarniensis, with umbels of bell-shaped pink, red, or white flowers; sore-eye flowerc. Also attributive.
Entry Navigation

Visualise Quotations

Quotation summary

Senses

18201992