An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions/Amaryllidaceae

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Family 27.   Amaryllidàceae   Lindl.   Nat. Syst. Ed. 2: 328.   1836.
Amaryllis Family.

Perennial herbs (some tropical species woody or even arboreous), with bulbs or rootstocks, scapose or sometimes leafy stems and usually narrow and entire leaves.  Flowers perfect, regular or nearly so.  Perianth 6-parted or 6-lobed, the segments or lobes distinct, or united below into a tube which is adnate to the surface of the ovary (adnate only to the lower part of the ovary in Lophiola).  Stamens 6 in our genera, inserted on the bases of the perianth-segments or in the throat of the perianth opposite the lobes.  Anthers versatile or basifixed, 2-celled, the sacs usually longitudinally dehiscent.  Ovary wholly or partly inferior, usually 3-celled. Style filiform, entire, lobed, or divided into 3 stigmas at the summit.  Ovules usually numerous, rarely only 1 or 2 in each cavity of the ovary, anatropous.  Fruit capsular, rarely fleshy.  Seeds mostly black, the embryo small, enclosed in fleshy endosperm.

About 70 genera and 800 species, principally natives of tropical and warm regions, some in the temperate zones.


Bulbous herbs with flowers on scapes.
Flower solitary (in our species); perianth with a crown. 1. Narcissus.
Flower solitary; perianth without a crown.
Anthers versatile; tube of the perianth not greatly elongated. 2. Atamosco.
Anthers erect; tube of the perianth several times the length of its lobes. 3. Cooperia.
Flowers clustered; perianth with a membranous crown connecting the lower parts of the filaments. 4. Hymenocallis.
Bulbless herbs, with rootstocks or corms.
Perianth adnate to the whole surface of the ovary; leaves mostly basal.
Tall, fleshy-leaved; anthers versatile. 5. Manfreda.
Low, linear-leaved; anthers not versatile. 6. Hypoxis.
Perianth adnate only to the lower part of the ovary; stem leafy; flowers woolly. 7. Lophiola.


1.   NarcíssusL.   Sp. Pl. 289.   1753.

Bulbous herbs, the flowers solitary or several on leafless scapes, the leaves linear, basal.  Flowers subtended by a deciduous spathe; perianth 6-parted, bearing a cup-like funnelform or cylindric crown in the throat.  Stamens inserted on the tube of the perianth; ovary 3-celled; ovules numerous in each cavity; capsule thin-walled.

About 20 species, natives of the Old World.  Type species: Narcissus poeticus L.

BB-1320 Narcissus pseudo-narcissus.png 1.  Narcissus Pseùdo-Narcissus  L
Daffodil   Fig. 1320.

Narcissus Pseudo-Narcissus L. Sp. Pl. 289.  1753.

Scape about 1° high, 2-edged.  Leaves narrowly linear, about as long as the scape; flower bright yellow, 2′-3′ broad; crown crenate, rather longer than the perianth.

Escaped from cultivation, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Native of Europe.  April-May.  Called also Daffy, Daffodilly, Daffodowndilly.  Flowers often double.

Narcissus poéticus L., Poets' Narcissus, with white flowers, the crown shorter than the perianth; has also, locally, escaped from cultivation; it is a native of Europe.


2.   AtamóscoAdans.   Fam. Pl. 2: 57, 524.   1763.
Zephyránthes  Herb.  App. Bot. Reg. 36.  1821.]

Glabrous herbs with coated bulbs, narrow leaves, and erect 1-flowered scapes, the flower large, erect, pink, white or purple.  Perianth funnelform, naked in the throat, with 6 membranous equal erect-spreading lobes united below into a tube, subtended by an entire or 2-cleft bract.  Stamens inserted on the throat of the perianth, equal or nearly so; anthers versatile.  Ovary 3-celled; style long, filiform, 3-cleft at the summit; ovules numerous, in 2 rows in each cavity of the ovary.  Capsule thin-walled, subglobose or depressed, 3-lobed loculicidally 3-valved.  Seeds mostly flattened, black or nearly so.  [Greek, signifying wind-flower.]

About 30 species, natives of America. Besides the following, 5 others occur in the southern United States. Type species: Amaryllis Atamosco L.

1.  Atamosco Atamásco  (L.) Greene.
Atamasco Lily   Stagger-grass.   Fig. 1321.
BB-1321 Atamosco atamasco.png

Amaryllis Atamasco L. Sp. Pl. 292.  1753.

Zephyranthes Atamasco Herb. App. Bot. Reg. 36.  1821.

Atamosco Atamasco Greene, Pittonia 3: 187.  1897.

Bulb ovoid, about 1′ long. Leaves fleshy, somewhat concave, shining, 6′–15′ long, about 11″–3″ wide, blunt, usually shorter than the scape; scape terete, erect, 2″–3″ in diameter; bract membranous, 2-cleft into acuminate lobes, longer than the ovary; flowers 2′–3½′ high, white with a purplish tinge or sometimes light purple; perianth-segments oblong-lanceolate, acute, shorter than the tube; stamens shorter than the perianth; style longer than the stamens; capsule depressed, about high.

In moist places, southern Pennsylvania to eastern Virginia, Florida and Alabama.  March June.  Swamp-, Fairy- or Easter-lily.  Perianth rarely 8-lobed.


3.   CoopèriaHerb.   Bot. Reg. pl. 1835.   1836.

Low herbs with coated bulbs, very narrow grass-like leaves and slender 1-flowered scapes, the flower large, long, erect, subtended by a membranous spathe-like bract.  Perianth salverform with 6 oval or ovate spreading lobes united into a tube several times their length, the tube cylindric or slightly dilated at the summit.  Stamens inserted on the throat of the perianth; filaments short; anthers linear, erect. Ovary 3-celled; style filiform; stigma slightly 3-lobed; ovules numerous, in 2 rows in each cavity of the ovary.  Capsule depressed, globose or obovoid, 3-lobed, loculicidally 3-valved. Seeds numerous, horizontal, black.  [In honor of Daniel Cooper, 1817?-1842, Curator, Botanical Society of London.]

Two known species, natives of the southwestern United States and Mexico, the following being the type.


4.   HymenocállisSalisb.   Trans. Hort. Soc. 1: 338.   1812.

Mostly tall bulbous herbs with usually lanceolate or linear-oblong leaves, and large white sessile or short-pedicelled umbelled flowers on erect solid scapes, each flower subtended by 2 long membranous bracts.  Perianth of 6 spreading or recurved narrow equal elongated lobes, united below into a long cylindric tube  Stamens inserted in the top of the perianthtube, the lower parts of the long filaments connected by a membranous cup-like crown; anthers linear, versatile  Ovary 3-celled; ovules only 1 or 2 in each cavity; style filiform, longexserted; stigma small, entire or nearly so  Capsule ovoid or globose, rather fleshy  Seeds usually only 1 or 2, large, green, fleshy.  [Greek, beautiful membrane, referring to the crown.]

About 30 species, all American. Besides the following, 10 others occur in the southern States.  Type species: Hymenocallis littoralis Salisb.


5.   Mánfreda   Salisb.   Gen. Pl. Fragm. 78.   1866.

Fleshy herbs with bulbiferous rootstocks and bracted scapes, the leaves basal, and large bracted flowers in terminal spikes or racemes.  Perianth tubular or funnelform, withering-persistent, of 6 erect or spreading equal or nearly equal lobes, united below into a tube.  Stamens inserted on the perianth, exserted; filaments flattened or filiform; anthers versatile.  Ovary 3-celled, style slender, exserted, 3-lobed; ovules numerous, in 2 rows in each cavity of the ovary.  Capsule ovoid, subglobose or oblong, 3-lobed, 3-celled, thick-walled, many-seeded.  Seeds compressed.  [Named for Manfred, an ancient Italian writer.]

About 25 species, all American.  Besides the following, some 3 others occur in the southern states.  Type species : Agave virginica L.


6.   Hypóxis   L.   Syst. Ed. 10, 2: 986.   1759.

Low, mostly villous herbs with a corm or short rootstock, grass-like leaves and slender few-flowered scapes, the flowers rather small. Perianth 6-parted, its segments equal or nearly so, separate to the summit of the ovary, spreading, withering-persistent, the 3 outer ones greenish on the lower side in our species.  Stamens inserted on the bases of the perianth-segments; filaments short; anthers erect, sagittate or entire. Ovary 3-celled; style short; stigmas 3, erect; ovules numerous, in 2 rows in each cavity.  Capsule subglobose or oblong, thin-walled, not dehiscent by valves.  Seeds globular, black, laterally short-beaked by their stalks.  [Greek, originally given to some plant with sour leaves.]

About 50 species, widely distributed.  Besides the following, 3 others occur in the southern states.  Type species: Hypoxis erectum L.


7.   Lophìola   Ker,   Bot. Mag. pl. 1596.   1814.

An erect perennial herb with slender rootstocks, fibrous roots, erect sparingly leafy stems, the leaves narrowly linear and mostly basal, and numerous small yellowish flowers in a terminal woolly cymose panicle.  Perianth campanulate, persistent, of 6 nearly equal woolly erect-spreading segments, slightly united at the base, and adnate to the lower part of the ovary.  Stamens inserted on the bases of the perianth-segments; filaments filiform, short; anthers basifixed.  Ovary 3-celled ; style subulate, at length 3-cleft; ovules numerous, in 2 rows in each cavity.  Capsule ovoid, tipped with the style, finally loculicidally 3-valved at the summit.  Seeds oblong, ribbed.  [Greek, referring to the tufts of wool on the perianth.]

A monotypic genus of southeastern North America, by some authors placed in the Haemodoraceae.