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13. Amaryllidaceae Jaume Saint Hilaire

石蒜科 shi suan ke

Authors: Zhanhe Ji & Alan W. Meerow

Acanthochlamys bracteata

Credit: Harvard University Herbaria

Herbs perennial, rarely shrubby or treelike, often with bulbs, corms, rhizomes, or tubers. Leaves basal or cauline, often narrow, margin entire or spiny. Inflorescence a terminal spike, umbel, raceme, panicle, or flowers solitary. Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic or zygomorphic, usually subtended by 1 to several spathaceous involucres. Perianth segments 6, in 2 whorls, free or connate to form a short tube, with or without a corona. Stamens 6, inserted at perianth throat or at base of segments; filaments sometimes basally connate; anther dorsifixed or basifixed, mostly introrse. Ovary inferior, 3-loculed; ovules few to many per locule; placentation axile. Style slender; stigma capitate or 3-lobed. Fruit a capsule, usually loculicidal, sometimes dehiscing irregularly, rarely a berry. Seeds with endosperm.

More than 100 genera and 1200 species: tropical, subtropical, and temperate regions worldwide; ten genera and 34 species (14 endemic, four introduced) in China.

Qian Xiao-hu, Chen Sing-chi, Hsu Yin, Hu Zhi-bi, Huang Xiu-lan & Fan Quan-jin. 1985. Amaryllidaceae. In: Pei Chien & Ting Chih-tsun, eds., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 16(1): 1--42.

1 Leaves grooved   10 Acanthochlamys
+ Leaves not grooved.   (2)
2 (1) Leaves fleshy and thick, with a spinelike apex and often with sharp, marginal teeth; perianth tube present; ovary beakless   7 Agave
+ Leaves neither fleshy nor thick, never spiny; perianth tube absent or very short; ovary sometimes narrowly beaked.   (3)
3 (2) Plants with corms, rhizomes, tubers, or fleshy, fibrous roots; flowering stem leafy or bracteate.   (4)
+ Plants with bulbs or a bulblike base formed by persistent leaf bases; flowering stem scapose, leafless except for involucre enclosing strictly terminal umbel, sometimes 1-flowered.   (6)
4 (3) Rootstock a bulblike corm covered with a tunic; perianth white or pale blue   6 Ixiolirion
+ Rootstock a tuberous rhizome or corm covered with fibers; perianth yellow (color not recorded for Curculigo sinensis).   (5)
5 (4) Fruit a berry; inflorescences usually many flowered   8 Curculigo
+ Fruit a capsule; inflorescences 1- or 2-flowered   9 Hypoxis
6 (3) Corona present   5 Narcissus
+ Corona absent.   (7)
7 (6) Filaments basally connate into a cup or with free scales among them.   (8)
+ Filaments free, without scales among them.   (9)
8 (7) Filaments basally connate into a cup   3 Pancratium
+ Filaments with free scales among them   4 Lycoris
9 (7) Fibers not visible in broken bulbs and leaves; flowers solitary   1 Zephyranthes
+ Fibers visible in broken bulbs and leaves; flowers several to many   2 Crinum

Lower Taxa


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  • Hymenocallis littoralis (Xiangying Wen)
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  • Narcissus sp. (Xiangying Wen)
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