|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Amaryllidaceae (from the genus Amaryllis named for a nymph celebrated by Virgil). Amaryllis Family. Fig. 11. Caulescent or acaulescent herbs, bulbous- or fibrous-rooted: leaves alternate, elongated, entire: flowers bisexual, regular or irregular, epigynous, usually borne singly or in clusters from a spathe-like bract; perianth of 6 similar parts in 2 series, usually connate below into a tube and sometimes with a tubular or cup-shaped crown in the throat; stamens 6, some occasionally staminodial; anthers introrse; ovary inferior, 3-celled; ovules numerous, anatropous; style 1; stigmas 1-3: fruit a capsule, rarely a berry; seeds albuminous.
There are 71 genera and about 800 species, widely distributed but most abundant in the steppe regions of the tropics and subtropics. Five species are found in the northeastern United States. The largest genera are Crinum with 60 species, and Hypoxis; and Hippeastrum with 50 species each. The family is most closely related to the Liliaceae; less closely to the Iridaceae. The 6-parted perianth. 6 stamens with introrse anthers, and inferior 3-celled ovary, are together distinctive.
The bulbs or rootstocks of some species have been used in medicine. Those of Narcissus Pseudo-Narcissus and Leucoium vernum are vigorous emetics. Those of Crinum zeylanicum of the Moluccas, Amaryllis Belladonna, of the Cape of Good Hope, and Buphane toxicaría, of South Africa are violent poisons. The latter is used by the Kafirs to poison their arrows. In South America the farinaceous tubers of the Alstroemeriae are eaten. The most important plants are the Yuccas. From the terminal bud of these, a sugary liquid is obtained which by the Mexicans is made into a fermented drink, called pulque; when distilled this drink is called mescal. The juice of the leaves has been used for syphilis, scrofula, and cancers. The leaf-fibers yield vegetable silk or sisal hemp, and are also made into paper. Razor-strops and cork are made from the pith. The flowers are sometimes boiled and eaten.
Forty or more genera are in cultivation in America, as ornamental plants in greenhouse and garden. Among these are: Agave (Century Plant, Sisal Hemp, Pulque Plant); Alstroemeria; Amaryllis (Belladonna Lily); Beschorneria; Bomarea; Bravoa (Mexican Twin Flower); Cooperia (Evening Star, Giant Fairy Lily); Crinum (St. John's Lily, Florida Swamp Lily) ; Eucharis (Amazon Lily, Star of Bethlehem); Eurycles (Brisbane Lily); Fureraea; Galanthus (Snowdrop); Griffinia (Blue Amaryllis); Haemanthus (Blood Lily); Hippeastrum (Amaryllis, Lily-of-the-Palace, Barbadoes Lily) ; Hymenocallis (Spider Lily, Sea Daffodil); Hypoxis (Star Grass), native; Leucoium (Snowflake): Lycoris (Golden Spider Lily); Narcissus (Narcissus, Jonquil, Daffodil, Pheasant's Eye); Nerine (Guernsey Lily); Pancratium (Spider Lily, Spirit Lily); Polianthes (Tuberose); Sprekelia (Jacobœan Lily) ; Tecophilaea (Chilean Crocus) ; Vallota (Scarborough Lily) ; Zephyranthes (Zephyr Flower, Fairy Lily, Atamasco Lily).CH
- Amaryllis, the Belladonna Lily or Naked Lady
- Caliphruria, Amazon lily
- Clivia, the Kaffir lily
- Crinum, Swamp Lily
- Eucharis, Amazon Lily
- Galanthus, Snowdrop
- Habranthus, Rain lily
- Hippeastrum, commonly sold as Amaryllis or Christmas Amaryllis.
- Hymenocallis, Peruvian Daffodil, Spider Lily
- Leucojum, Snowflake
- Lycoris, Spider Lily or Hurricane Flower
- Narcissus, Daffodil, Jonquil, and Narcissus
- Pancratium, Sea Daffodil
- Sprekelia, Jacobean lily
- Sternbergia lutea, Winter daffodil
- Zephyranthes, Rain lily, Zephyr lily
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963