Description: Bulbous perennials.
Leaves annual, basal, strap-shaped.
Inflorescence umbellate, 2–10-flowered; scape stout; flowers slightly zygomorphic; perianth with long or short tube, spreading lobes; corona represented by fimbriate scales beside the filament bases. Stamens adnate to perianth tube; anthers linear, versatile, introrse.
Fruit a globose or 3-lobed capsule; seeds black, flattened.
Distribution and occurrence: About 90 species native to subtropical Central and South America; 1 species cultivated and occasionally naturalised in Australia.
Species and cultivars are commonly grown as ornamentals. Several species have been hybridised in horticulture (of which Hippeastrum puniceum is probably the principal) to produce the widely grown, so-called 'amaryllis' (which is a source of confusion because this is not the same as the African genus with the scientific name Amaryllis).
Text by KL Wilson (Aug 2013)
Taxon concept: PS Green (1994) Flora of Australia vol. 49
|One species in NSW: Hippeastrum puniceum|