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Genus Amaryllis Family Amaryllidaceae

Description: Perennial herbs with bulb; roots fibrous.

Leaves annual, basal, linear, distichous.

Inflorescence umbellate, scapose; spathe 2-valved. Flowers usually slightly zygomorphic, pedicellate. Tepals 6, fused at base. Stamens 6; filaments filiform; anthers linear, curved, versatile, dehiscing by longitudinal slits, introrse. Ovary inferior, 3-locular; ovules many per loculus; placentation axile; style filiform; stigma 3-lobed.

Fruit a loculicidal capsule, rupturing irregularly at maturity; seeds few, globose, green or pink.


Habit
Photo S. Goodwin

Flower
Photo Iain Hood

Distribution and occurrence: World: 1 species, southern Africa. Australia: 1 species (naturalized).

There was confusion in the past about the application of the scientific name Amaryllis. Other species that used to be called this are now placed in genera Hippeastrum (from the Americas) and Brunsvigia (from Africa) - these are sometimes called 'amaryllis' as a common name.

Text by G. J. Harden & N. Frischknecht (1993); edited KL Wilson (Aug 2013)
Taxon concept:

One species in NSW: Amaryllis belladonna

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