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Classification System: APG IV

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

Familia: Hypoxidaceae
Genus: Hypoxis
Species: H. abyssinica – H. acuminata – H. angustifolia – H. argentea – H. arillacea – H. atlantica – H. aurea – H. bampsiana – H. baurii – H. camerooniana – H. canaliculata – H. catamarcensis – H. cavernicola – H. colchicifolia – H. colliculata – H. costata – H. cuanzensis – H. curtissii – H. decumbens – H. demissa – H. dinteri – H. domingensis – H. exaltata – H. exilis – H. filiformis – H. fischeri – H. flanaganii – H. floccosa – H. galpinii – H. gerrardii – H. goetzei – H. gregoriana – H. hemerocallidea – H. hirsuta – H. humilis – H. hygrometrica – H. interjecta – H. juncea – H. kilimanjarica – H. kraussiana – H. lata – H. lejolyana – H. leucotricha – H. limicola – H. longifolia – H. lucens – H. ludwigii – H. lusalensis – H. malaissei – H. marginata – H. membranacea – H. mexicana – H. milloidea – H. monanthos – H. muhilensis – H. multiceps – H. neliana – H. nervosa – H. nivea – H. nyasica – H. oblonga – H. obtusa – H. oligophylla – H. parvifolia – H. parvula – H. polystachya – H. potosina – H. pratensis – H. protrusa – H. pulchella – H. rigida – H. rigidula – H. robusta – H. rubella – H. sagittata – H. schimperi – H. sessilis – H. setosa – H. sobolifera – H. stellipilis – H. suffruticosa – H. symoensiana – H. tepicensis – H. tetramera – H. uniflorata – H. upembensis – H. urceolata – H. vaginata – H. villosa – H. wrightii – H. zeyheri
Source(s) of checklist:

Govaerts, R. et al. 2022. Hypoxis in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2022 Jan 23. Reference page.


Hypoxis L., Syst. Nat. ed. 10, 2: 986 (1759)

Type species: Hypoxis hirsuta (L.) Coville, Mem. Torrey Bot. Club 5: 118 (1894) Designated as synonym Hypoxis erecta L., Syst. Nat. ed. 10, 2: 986 (1759)


Upoda Adans., Fam. Pl. 2: 20 (1763).
Schinnongia Schrank, Denkschr. Königl.-Baier. Bot. Ges. Regensburg 2: 223 (1822).
Niobea Willd. ex Schult. & Schult.f. in J.J.Roemer & J.A.Schultes, Syst. Veg. 7: 762 (1830).
Rhodohypoxis Nel, Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 51: 257 (1914).
× Rhodoxis B.Mathew, Quart. Bull. Alpine Gard. Soc. Gr. Brit. 66: 441 (1998).

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Cosmopolita
Alabama, Angola, Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Arizona, Arkansas, Assam, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Provinces, Central African Repu, Chad, China South-Central, China Southeast, Colombia, Colorado, Congo, Connecticut, Costa Rica, Cuba, Delaware, District of Columbia, Dominican Republic, East Himalaya, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Florida, Free State, French Guiana, Gabon, Galápagos, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Illinois, India, Indiana, Iowa, Jamaica, Japan, Jawa, Kansas, Kentucky, Kenya, Korea, KwaZulu-Natal, Laos, Leeward Is., Lesotho, Lesser Sunda Is., Liberia, Louisiana, Madagascar, Maine, Malawi, Malaya, Manitoba, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mauritius, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nansei-shoto, Nebraska, Nepal, New Guinea, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New South Wales, New York, Nicaragua, Nigeria, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Provinces, Northern Territory, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ontario, Pakistan, Panamá, Paraguay, Pennsylvania, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Queensland, Rhode I., Rwanda, Réunion, Saskatchewan, Sierra Leone, Socotra, Somalia, South Australia, South Carolina, South Dakota, Sudan, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tasmania, Tennessee, Texas, Thailand, Trinidad-Tobago, Uganda, Venezuela, Vermont, Victoria, Vietnam, Virginia, West Himalaya, West Virginia, Western Australia, Windward Is., Wisconsin, Yemen, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

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

Linnaeus, C. 1759. Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus II. Editio decima, reformata. Pp. [I–VI], 825–1384. Impensis direct. Laurentii Salvii, Holmiae [Stockholm]. BHL Reference page. : 2: 972, 986, 1366. BHL


Govaerts, R. et al. 2022. Hypoxis in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2022 Jan. 6. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2015. Hypoxis. Published online. Accessed: Jan.6 2015. 2015. Hypoxis. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 6 Jan. 2015.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Hypoxis in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 08-Apr-12.

Vernacular names
English: Star-grass, Star lily, Yellow star-grass
中文: 小金梅草属

Hypoxis is a genus of flowering plants of the family Hypoxidaceae. The genus has an "almost cosmopolitan" distribution, occurring in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Australia.[2] Europe lacks native species.[3] Most species are in the Southern Hemisphere, especially in southern Africa.[4] Common names for the genus include star-grass,[4] star lily, yellow stars, African potato,[2] and stars.[5] The genus is the largest of the Hypoxidaceae[6][7] and has its centre of variation in South Africa,[6][8][9] where it occurs in open undisturbed grasslands.[8] The name Hypoxis was taken over by Linnaeus in 1759 from a name coined by Paul Reneaulme in 1611 for a superficially similar species of Gagea and meaning "a little sour", referring to the taste of that plant's leaves.[10][11]


These plants are perennial herbs with corms or rhizomes. Some have tubers. The aboveground herbage is a layered cluster of lance-shaped, linear, or hairlike leaves, sometimes sheathed together at the bases. The blades are usually at least slightly hairy. The flowers are borne on a short, stemlike scape in a raceme or umbel arrangement, or sometimes singly. The flower has six yellow tepals which may be hairy, especially on the undersides. The undersides may also be whitish or tinged green or red. Occasional flowers have 4 or 8 tepals. The fruit is a capsule with a few to many small, oily seeds.[2][4][5]

The seeds are needed to identify many species. Most have seeds less than 2 millimeters long, so microscopic examination is required.[12]

Hypoxis plants have long played a role in traditional African medicine; H. hemerocallidea and H. colchicifolia are the best known species used to make medicine and teas. The genus is not only used in traditional medicine, it has become important also in pharmaceutical preparations.[13]

Archaeological evidence found in ashes in Border Cave, South Africa has revealed that early humans roasted the rhizomes of some of the more palatable species of Hypoxis as long as 170,000 years ago.[14]

Sources have estimated 90[2][12] or 100[4] to 150[15] species in the genus. As of August 2013, the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families recognized 90 species:[16]

Hypoxis abyssinica Hochst.
Hypoxis acuminata Baker
Hypoxis angustifolia Lam.
Hypoxis argentea Harv. ex Baker
Hypoxis arillacea R.J.F.Hend.
Hypoxis aurea Lour.
Hypoxis bampsiana Wiland
Hypoxis camerooniana Baker
Hypoxis canaliculata Baker
Hypoxis catamarcensis Brackett
Hypoxis colchicifolia Baker
Hypoxis colliculata Sánchez-Ken[17]
Hypoxis costata Baker
Hypoxis cuanzensis Welw. ex Baker
Hypoxis curtissii Rose in J.K.Small – Curtiss' star-grass
Hypoxis decumbens L.
Hypoxis demissa Nel
Hypoxis dinteri Nel
Hypoxis domingensis Urb.
Hypoxis exaltata Nel
Hypoxis exilis R.J.F.Hend. – swamp star
Hypoxis filiformis Baker
Hypoxis fischeri Pax
Hypoxis flanaganii Baker
Hypoxis floccosa Baker
Hypoxis galpinii Baker
Hypoxis gardneri R.J.F.Hend.
Hypoxis gerrardii Baker
Hypoxis glabella R.Br. – star grass, tiny star
Hypoxis goetzei Harms
Hypoxis gregoriana Rendle
Hypoxis hemerocallidea Fisch. – African potato
Hypoxis hirsuta (L.) Coville – common goldstar
Hypoxis humilis Kunth
Hypoxis hygrometrica Labill. – golden weather-glass
Hypoxis interjecta Nel
Hypoxis juncea Sm. – fringed yellow star-grass
Hypoxis kilimanjarica Baker
Hypoxis kraussiana Buchinger ex C.Krauss
Hypoxis lata Nel
Hypoxis lejolyana Wiland
Hypoxis leucotricha Fritsch
Hypoxis limicola B.L.Burtt
Hypoxis longifolia Baker
Hypoxis lucens McVaugh
Hypoxis ludwigii Baker
Hypoxis lusalensis Wiland
Hypoxis malaissei Wiland
Hypoxis marginata R.Br.
Hypoxis membranacea Baker
Hypoxis mexicana Schult. & Schult.f. – Mexican yellow star-grass
Hypoxis monanthos Baker
Hypoxis muhilensis Wiland
Hypoxis multiceps Buchinger ex Baker
Hypoxis neliana Schinz
Hypoxis nervosa R.J.F.Hend.
Hypoxis nivea Y.Singh
Hypoxis nyasica Baker
Hypoxis oblonga Nel
Hypoxis obtusa Burch. ex Ker Gawl.
Hypoxis occidentalis Benth.
Hypoxis oligophylla Baker
Hypoxis parvifolia Baker
Hypoxis parvula Baker
Hypoxis polystachya Welw. ex Baker
Hypoxis potosina Brackett
Hypoxis pratensis R.Br.
Hypoxis protrusa Nel
Hypoxis pulchella G.L.Nesom
Hypoxis rigida Chapm.
Hypoxis rigidula Baker
Hypoxis robusta Nel
Hypoxis sagittata Nel
Hypoxis salina M.Lyons & Keighery
Hypoxis schimperi Baker
Hypoxis sessilis L.
Hypoxis setosa Baker
Hypoxis sobolifera Jacq.
Hypoxis stellipilis Ker Gawl.
Hypoxis suffruticosa Nel
Hypoxis symoensiana Wiland
Hypoxis tepicensis Brackett
Hypoxis tetramera Hilliard & B.L.Burtt
Hypoxis uniflorata Markötter
Hypoxis upembensis Wiland
Hypoxis urceolata Nel
Hypoxis vaginata Schltdl. – yellow star
Hypoxis villosa L.f.
Hypoxis wrightii (Baker) Brackett
Hypoxis zeyheri Baker

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hypoxis.

Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
Singh, Y. (Natal Herbarium, Durban). Hypoxis. South African National Biodiversity Institute. 2004.
Hypoxis. Flora of China.
Hypoxis. Flora of North America.
Hypoxis. FloraBase. Western Australian Herbarium.
Singh, Y. (2007-07-01). "Hypoxis (Hypoxidaceae) in southern Africa: Taxonomic notes". South African Journal of Botany. 73 (3): 360–365. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2007.02.001.
Kocyan, Alexander; Snijman, Deirdre A.; Forest, Félix; Devey, Dion S.; Freudenstein, John V.; Wiland-Szymańska, Justyna; Chase, Mark W.; Rudall, Paula J. (2011-07-01). "Molecular phylogenetics of Hypoxidaceae – Evidence from plastid DNA data and inferences on morphology and biogeography". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 60 (1): 122–136. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.02.021. PMID 21459153.
Nordal, Inger; Laane, Morten M.; Holt, Ellen; Staubo, Inger (1985-02-01). "Taxonomic studies of the genus Hypoxis in East Africa". Nordic Journal of Botany. 5 (1): 15–30. doi:10.1111/j.1756-1051.1985.tb02067.x. ISSN 1756-1051.
Wiland-Szymańska, Justyna (2009). "The genus Hypoxis L. (Hypoxidaceae) in the East Tropical". Biodiversity: Research and Conservation. 14 (–1): 1–129. doi:10.2478/v10119-009-0011-5.
Paul Reneaulme. Specimen Historiae Plantarum. 1611. page 92
Drewes and Khan (2004). "The African Potato (Hypoxis hemerocallidea): a chemical historical perspective". South African Journal of Science.
Zona, S.; et al. (2009). "A seed atlas of Hypoxis from eastern North America" (PDF). J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 136 (1): 26–32. doi:10.3159/08-ra-086r.1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-19. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
Betto, P.; Gabriele, R.; Galeffi, C. (1992-03-06). "Determination of the norlignan glucosides of Hypoxidaceae by high-performance liquid chromatography". Journal of Chromatography A. 594 (1): 131–135. doi:10.1016/0021-9673(92)80321-K.
Wadley, L.; Backwell, L.; d'Errico, F. (2020-01-03). "Cooked starchy rhizomes in Africa 170 thousand years ago". Science. 367 (6473): 87–91. doi:10.1126/science.aaz5926. PMID 31896717.
Genus Hypoxis. New South Wales Flora Online. National Herbarium. Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney.
Search for "Hypoxis", "World Checklist of Selected Plant Families". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
Sánchez-Ken, J. G. (2010). "Hypoxis colliculata (Hypoxidaceae), a new species from Mexico and a key to the American species with black seeds" (PDF). Acta Botanica Mexicana. 92 (92): 1–9. doi:10.21829/abm92.2010.280.

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