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Classification System: APG IV

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

Familia: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamilia: Amaryllidoideae
Tribus: Haemantheae
Genus: Gethyllis
Overview of species

G. afra – G. barbarae – G. barkerae – G. britteniana – G. campanulata – G. cavidens – G. ciliaris – G. fimbriatula – G. grandiflora – G. gregoriana – G. hallii – G. heinzeana – G. kaapensis – G. lanuginosa – G. lata – G. latifolia – G. linearis – G. longistyla – G. marginata – G. namaquensis – G. oligophylla – G. oliverorum – G. pectinata – G. roggeveldensis – G. setosa – G. spiralis – G. transkarooica – G. uteana – G. verrucosa – G. verticillata – G. villosa

Gethyllis L., Sp. Pl. 1: 442. 1753.

Type species: Gethyllis afra L.


Abapus Adans., Fam. Pl. 2: 57 (1763)
Papiria Thunb., Physiogr. Sälsk. Handl. 1: 110 (1776)
Klingia Schönland, Rec. Albany Mus. 3: 178 (1919)

Native distribution areas:

Southern Africa
Botswana, Cape Provinces, Namibia, Free State, Northern Provinces.

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

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus I: 442. Reference page.

Additional references

Plumier, C. 1737. Genera Plantarum Eorumque Characteres Naturales Secundum Numerum, Figuram, Situm, & Proportionem Omnium Fructificationis Partium. Lugduni Batavorum, 181.


Amaryllidaceae Gethyllis.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Gethyllis in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 August 18. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Gethyllis in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 August 18. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2019. Gethyllis. Published online. Accessed: 18 August 2019.
The Plant List 2013. Gethyllis in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 August 18. 2019. Gethyllis. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 August 18.

Vernacular names

English: Kukumakranka

Gethyllis (probably from Greek "gethyon", bulb), commonly called Kukumakranka, Koekemakranka, or Kroekemakrank, is a genus of bulbous plant in the Amaryllid family with some 33 accepted species.. It is native to the Cape Provinces, the Northern Provinces and the Free State of South Africa, as well as Botswana and Namibia.[2]


The fragrant, solitary, white flower appears late December. Flowering is well-synchronised to increase the odds of cross-pollination, the genus being incapable of self-fertilisation. Triggering of mass flowering is thought to result from a sudden change in barometric pressure. Some three months later the edible, scented creamy-white to orange-yellow to rich burgundy-red, club-shaped fruit starts pushing above the soil surface. The inferior ovary is located well below ground-level where the developing fruit or berry is hidden until its growth forces it into view. Emergence of the fruit is followed almost immediately by the first leaves. The ripe fruit falls over and sheds its short-lived seeds, ready to take advantage of the winter rains. The genus is easily identified by its spirally twisted grey-green, strap-like leaves which develop during the winter months (May - August).

The ripe fruit is sometimes used to impart its special aroma to bottles of brandy.

This winter-growing genus is closely related to Apodolirion , which has 6 species found in both summer and winter regions, ranging from the Southern Cape to the summer-rainfall area of the Transvaal. The two genera together constitute the subtribe Gethyllidinae.


Gethyllis afra L. - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis barkerae D.Müller-Doblies - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis britteniana Baker - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis campanulata L.Bolus - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis cavidens D.Müll.-Doblies - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis ciliaris L. - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis fimbriatula D.Müller-Doblies - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis grandiflora L.Bolus - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis gregoriana D.Müller-Doblies - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis hallii D.Müller-Doblies - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis heinzeana D.Müll.-Doblies - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis kaapensis D.Müller-Doblies - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis lanuginosa Marloth - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis lata L.Bolus - Cape Provinces
†Gethyllis latifolia Masson ex Baker - †Cape Provinces but extinct
Gethyllis linearis L.Bolus - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis longistyla Bolus - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis marginata D.Müll.-Doblies - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis namaquensis (Schönland) Oberm. - Namibia, Cape Provinces
Gethyllis oligophylla D.Müll.-Doblies - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis oliverorum D.Müll.-Doblies - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis pectinata D.Müller-Doblies - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis roggeveldensis D.Müller-Doblies - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis setosa Marloth - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis spiralis L. - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis transkarooica D.Müller-Doblies - Botswana, Cape Provinces, Free State, Northern Provinces
Gethyllis uteana D.Müller-Doblies - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis verrucosa Marloth - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis verticillata R.Br. ex Herb. - Cape Provinces
Gethyllis villosa (Thunb.) Thunb. - Cape Provinces

Formerly included[2]

A few names have been coined using the name Gethyllis, but referring to species now considered better suited to other genera (Apodolirion Curculigo Empodium). We here provide links to help you locate appropriate information

Gethyllis acaulis - Curculigo orchioides
Gethyllis lanceolata - Apodolirion lanceolatum
Gethyllis pilosa - Curculigo pilosa
Gethyllis plicata - Empodium plicatum

Distribution and habitat

Gethyllis has an extensive distribution covering the winter-rainfall area of the southern portion of Namibia and throughout the Cape Provinces, with the Vanrhynsdorp-Nieuwoudtville region showing the greatest species diversity.

Painting by Dutch artist Robert Jacob Gordon. Patrick Cullinan. "Robert Jacob Gordon 1743-1795 The Man and his Travels at the Cape". Winchester Struik, Cape Town, 1992


Linnaeus 1753, Class XI: Dodecandria. Monogynia. Gethyllis p. 442
Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
"Biodiversity Explorer". Archived from the original on 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
Aluka[permanent dead link]

Sanbi Red List of South African Plants, genus Gethyllis


Linnaeus, Carl (1753). Species Plantarum. Stockholm: Laurentii Salvii. Retrieved 18 April 2015.

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