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Ammocharis longifolia 2013 03 19 2393

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Asparagales

Familia: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamilia: Amaryllidoideae
Tribus: Amaryllideae
Subtribus: Crininae
Genus: Ammocharis
Species: Ammocharis longifolia

Ammocharis longifolia (L.) Herb., Appendix: 17. 1821.


Amaryllis longifolia L., Sp. Pl.: 293. 1753.


Crinum longifolium (L.) Thunb., Prodr. Pl. Cap.: 59. 1794.
Cybistetes longifolia (L.) Milne-Redh. & Schweick., J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 52: 192. 1939.


Amaryllis falcata (Jacq.) L'Hér., Sert. Angl.: 13. 1789.
Ammocharis falcata (Jacq.) Herb., Appendix: 17. 1821.
Ammocharis herrei F.M.Leight., S. African Gard. 22: 110. 1932.
Brunsvigia falcata (Jacq.) Ker Gawl., Bot. Mag. 35: t. 1443. 1812.
Crinum falcatum Jacq., Hort. Bot. Vindob. 3: 34. 1777.
Crinum longifolium var. farinianum Baker, Gard. Chron. 1887. (1): 833. 1887.
Cybistetes herrei (F.M.Leight.) D.Müll.-Doblies & U.Müll.-Doblies, Feddes Repert. 105: 359. 1994.
Haemanthus falcatus (Jacq.) Thunb., Prodr. Pl. Cap.: 58. 1794.
Palinetes falcata (Jacq.) Salisb., Gen. Pl.: 116. 1866, nom. inval.

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Africa
Regional: Southern Africa
Cape Provinces; Namibia

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Ammocharis longifolia


Herbert, W., Appendix 17 1821.
Thunberg, P. 1794. Prodromus Plantarum Capensium, quas in Promontorio Bonae Spei Africes, annis 1772-1775, collegit Carol. Peter. Thunberg. Upsaliae 59.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2018. Ammocharis longifolia in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Jul. 27. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2018. Ammocharis longifolia. Published online. Accessed: Jul. 27 2018.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Ammocharis longifolia in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Ammocharis longifolia is a species of bulbous plant in the family Amaryllidaceae. It has been placed as the only species, Cybistetes longifolia, in the monotypic genus Cybistetes.


Ammocharis longifolia is a perennial geophyte with large (100–150 mm) bulbs, 9–14 prostrate leaves, a 13–90 flowered inflorescence, flowers funnel-shaped, ivory or pale to dark pink, tepals connate forming a floral tube.

It is distinguished from other species of Ammocharis by the presence of zygomorphic flowers, as opposed to actinomorphic, and by its seed dispersal mechanism, with a wind blown indehiscent infructescence (fruiting head) that gave it its name.[1] The fruiting head dries rapidly and is shed as a single unit, which the rolls away (tumbles), born by the wind.[2] Another distinguishing feature in the infructescence is the pedicels, which elongate, spread apart, stiffen and ultimately radiate equally in all directions.[3][4][5]

The taxon was originally described by Linnaeus in 1753 as Amaryllis longifolia, one of eight species in that genus,[6] but was well known and cultivated in Europe long before that, Linnaeus basing his description on Paul Hermann's Paradisus Batavus (1698) as Lilium Africanum Polyanthos.[7] Since then it has had a complicated history as detailed by Milne-Redhead and Schweickerdt, being variously placed in Crinum and Brunsvigia.[8]

Cybistetes was one of three genera in subtribe Crininae and Cybistetes longifolia has been considered a synonym for Ammocharis longifolia in the closely related genus Ammocharis since 2007,[1][5] and is treated as such by the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.[9] Prior to that it was treated as a separate genus by taxonomists[10][11][12] in a Sister) relationship to Ammocharis. In that configuration the third genus of subtribe Crininae, Crinum was then in a sister relationship to the Cybistetes+Ammocharis clade.[12]

Cybistetes was described by Milne-Redhead and Schweickerdt in 1939,[10] and fairly consistently treated as a separate genus, being distinct from Ammocharis in both distribution and seed dispersal, and was grouped within Crininae by recircumscription of this subtribe in 2001, based on molecular phylogenetics.[12] Milne-Redhead and Schweickerdt had segregated Cybistetes from Ammocharis largely on the basis of infructescence structure. For Cybistetes the entire infructescence of indehiscent fruits is the dispersal unit (anemogeochory ). By contrast Ammocharis fruits are dehiscent and infrutescence is lax.[5][13][14] However Snijman and Linder (1996) had suggested, on morphological grounds alone that Cybistetes and Ammocharis be embedded in Crinum, there being insufficient synapomorphy to separate them, nevertheless they retained the distinction in their delineation of the subtribe (which incidentally contained Boophone).[13] Although Germishuizen and Meyer embedded Cybistetes in Ammocharis in their original (2003) Plants of Southern Africa,[3] the 2007 online version lists it separately.[4]

Eventually a much more detailed study in 2007 with a greater sampling of Ammocharis showed that Cybistetes is indeed embedded in Ammocharis as A. longifolia, where it is sister to A. angolensis.[1] Snijman and Kolberg (2011) provide a key to the entire genus of Ammocharis, including A. longifolia. There, it is distinguished from A. deserticola by its short perigone tube of only 8–15 mm long, relative to the latter (50–90 mm)[2]

Southern Namibia and western Cape Province,[12] which constitute the extreme western region of winter rainfall in southern Africa.[2]
Left to right: Flowering inflorescence, fruiting inflorescence, tumbling infruitescence

Kwembeya et al 2007.
Snijman & Kolberg 2011.
Germishuizen & Meyer 2003.
Germishuizen & Meyer 2003, Cybistetes.
Snijman & Williamson 1994.
Linnaeus 1753, Amaryllis pp. 292–293.
Hermann 1705, p. 195.
Milne-Redhead & Schweickerdt 1939.
WCLSPF 2015, Cybistetes.
Milne-Redhead & Schweickerdt 1939, 52: 189.
Müller-Doblies & Müller-Doblies 1996.
Meerow & Snijman 2001.
Snijman & Linder 1996.

Meerow et al 2003.


Hermann, Paul (1705) [1698]. Paradisus Batavus, Continens Plus centum Plantas affabre aere incisas & Descriptionibus illustratas; Cui Accessit Catalogus Plantarum, quas pro Tomis nondum editis, delineandas curaverat (2nd ed.). Leiden: Elzevier.
Linnaeus, C. (1753). Species Plantarum. Stockholm: Laurentii Salvii. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
Meerow, Alan W.; Lehmiller, David J.; Clayton, Jason R. (March 2003). "Phylogeny and biogeography of Crinum L. (Amaryllidaceae) inferred from nuclear and limited plastid non-coding DNA sequences". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 141 (3): 349–363. doi:10.1046/j.1095-8339.2003.00142.x.
Kwembeya, Ezekeil G.; Bjorå, Charlotte S.; Stedje, Brita; Nordal, Inger (1 August 2007). "Phylogenetic Relationships in the Genus Crinum (Amaryllidaceae) with Emphasis on Tropical African Species: Evidence from trnL-F and Nuclear ITS DNA Sequence Data". Taxon. 56 (3): 801. doi:10.2307/25065863. JSTOR 25065863.
Germishuizen, G.; Meyer, N.L., eds. (2003). "Plants of Southern Africa: an annotated checklist" (PDF). Strelitzia. 14 (i–vi): 1–1231. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-27. (online version)
Milne-Redhead, E.; Schweickerdt, H. G. (October 1939). "A new conception of the genus Ammocharis Herb". Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Botany. 52 (342): 159–197. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.1939.tb01601.x.
Müller-Doblies, U.; Müller-Doblies, D. (1996). "Tribes and subtribes and some species combinations in Amaryllidaceae J St Hil R Dahlgren & al. 1985". Feddes Repertorium. 107 (5–6): S.c.1–S.c.9.
Meerow, Alan W.; Snijman, Deirdre A. (December 2001). "Phylogeny of Amaryllidaceae Tribe Amaryllideae Based on nrDNA ITS Sequences and Morphology". American Journal of Botany. 88 (12): 2321–2330. doi:10.2307/3558392. JSTOR 3558392. PMID 21669663.
Snijman, D. A.; Williamson, G. (15 December 1994). "A taxonomic re-assessment of Ammocharis herrei and Cybistetes longifolia (Amaryllideae: Amaryllidaceae)". Bothalia. 24 (2): 127–132. doi:10.4102/abc.v24i2.762.
Snijman, D. A.; Linder, H. P. (1996). "Phylogenetic Relationships, Seed Characters, and Dispersal System Evolution in Amaryllideae (Amaryllidaceae)". Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden. 83 (3): 362–386. doi:10.2307/2399866. JSTOR 2399866.
Snijman, D. A.; Kolberg, H. (2011). "Ammocharis deserticola (Amaryllideae), a new species from Namibia and a key to species of the genus" (PDF). Bothalia. 41 (2): 308–311. doi:10.4102/abc.v41i2.69.
"World Checklist of Selected Plant Families". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
"Ammocharis longifolia (L.) M. Roem". Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques. SANBI. 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2016.

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