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Classification System: APG IV

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

Familia: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamilia: Amaryllidoideae
Tribus: Pancratieae
Genus: Pancratium
Species: P. arabicum – P. bhramarambae – P. biflorum – P. canariense – P. centrale – P. donaldii – P. foetidumP. illyricum – P. landesii – P. longiflorum – P. maritimum – P. maximum – P. nairii – P. parvicoronatum – P. parvum – P. sickenbergeri – P. sanctae-mariae – P. telanganense – P. tenuifolium – P. tortuosum – P. trianthum – P. triflorum – P. verecundum –
P. zeylanicum

Source(s) of checklist:

Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Pancratium in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Sep 22. Reference page.


Pancratium Dill. ex L., Sp. Pl. 1: 290. 1753; Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 141. 1754.

Lectotypus (designated by Britton, Fl. Bermuda 77. 1918): Pancratium maritimum L. (“the following typical”, phrase used by Britton 1918 to designate type species in genera with one numbered species; accepted by Jarvis et al., Regnum Veg. 127: 73. 1993, Tropicos etc.)
Lectotypus (designated by Hitchcock, Prop. Brit. Bot. 145. Aug 1929): Pancratium zeylanicum L. (accepted by Farr & Zijlstra, Index Nominum Genericorum etc.)


Almyra Salisb., Trans. Hort. Soc. London 1: 336. 1812.
Type species: non design.
Bollaea Parl., Bull. Soc. Bot. France 5: 509. 1858.
Type species: B. canariensis (Ker-Gawl.) Parl.
Chapmanolirion Dinter, Deut. Südw. Afrik.: 49. 1909.
Type species: C. juttae Dinter
Halmyra Herb., Amaryllidaceae: 202. 1837.
Type species: H. stellaris Salisb. ex Parl., nom. illeg.
Mizonia A.Chev., Bull. Soc. Bot. France 61(8): 302. 1914 publ. 1917.
Type species: M. centralis A.Chev.
Tiaranthus Herb., Amaryllidaceae: 202. 1837.
Type species: non design.
Zouchia Raf., Fl. Tellur. 4: 22. 1838.
Type species: Z. illyrica (L.) Raf.

Native distribution areas:

Southwestern Europe
Baleares, Corse, France, Portugal, Sardegna, Spain,
Southeastern Europe
Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Kriti, Sicilia, Turkey-in-Europe, Yugoslavia.
Northern Africa
Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Western Sahara.
Canary Islands.
West Tropical Africa
Benin, Burkina, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Sierre Leone, Togo.
West-Central Tropical Africa
Central African Republic, Cameroon, Zaïre.
Northeast Tropical Africa
Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan.
East Tropical Africa
Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda.
South Tropical Africa
Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Southern Africa
Botswana, Cape Provinces, Namibia, Northern Provinces.
North Caucasus, Transcaucasus.
Western Asia
Cyprus, East Aegean Islands, Lebanon-Syria, Palestine, Sinai, Turkey.
Arabian Peninsula
Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen.
China Southeast.
Indian Subcontinent
Bangladesh, East Himalaya, India, Laccadive Islands, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Himalaya.
Borneo, Jawa, Maluku, Philippines, Sulawesi.
Northern America
North-Central U.S.A.
Southeastern U.S.A.

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

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus I: 290. Reference page.
Linnaeus, C. 1754. Genera Plantarum, ed. 5: 141. Reference page.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2018. Pancratium in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Aug. 06. Reference page. 2018. Pancratium. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Nov. 18.
Farr, E.R. & Zijlstra, G. (eds.) 1996 onwards. Pancratium in Index Nominum Genericorum (Plantarum). Accessed: 2018 Nov. 18.
International Plant Names Index. 2018. Pancratium. Published online. Accessed: Aug. 06 2018.
Global Biodiversity Information Facility. 2019. GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset. Taxon: Pancratium. .

Vernacular names
suomi: Merinarsissit

Pancratium is a genus of African and Eurasian perennial, herbaceous and bulbous plants in the Amaryllis family, subfamily Amaryllidoideae[2][3][4]

The flowers are large, white and fragrant. The perianth tube and the corona are present. It differs from the similar Hymenocallis in its numerous seeds with a thin black skin.[5] Plants belonging to the genus Pancratium have been found in prehistoric Cretan frescoes.[6]

The name "Pancratium" is derived from the Greek and means "all-strength", probably referring to the strength of a plant that can tolerate extreme climates. Pancratium species often inhabit extremely dry and sandy areas.[7]

Many species have been published using the name Pancratium, but most have been transferred to other genera (Clinanthus Hymenocallis Ismene Proiphys Stenomesson).[1] Only a few species are cultivated. P. maritimum and P. illyricum being the hardiest for outdoor cultivation, but shy flowering in cool areas. P. zeylanicum is sometimes grown as a hothouse container plant.

As of February 2013, the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families accepted 21 species in the genus:[1]

Pancratium arabicum Sickenb. - Egypt incl Sinai
Pancratium biflorum Roxb. - India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong
Pancratium canariense Ker Gawl. - Canary Islands
Pancratium centrale (A.Chev.) Traub - Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Central African Rep
Pancratium donaldii Blatt. - India
Pancratium foetidum Pomel - Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya
Pancratium illyricum L. - Corsica, Sardinia, Capri
Pancratium landesii Traub - Oman
Pancratium longiflorum Roxb. ex Ker Gawl. - India
Pancratium maritimum L. - Canary Islands, Mediterranean, Caucasus
Pancratium maximum Forssk. - Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman
Pancratium parvicoronatum Geerinck - Zaïre to Malawi
Pancratium parvum Dalzell - India
Pancratium sickenbergeri Asch. & Schweinf. - Egypt incl Sinai, Israel, Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia
Pancratium st-mariae Blatt. & Hallb. - India
Pancratium tenuifolium Hochst. ex A.Rich. - tropical + southern Africa[8]
Pancratium tortuosum Herb. - Egypt, Eritrea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia
Pancratium trianthum Herb. - Sahara, Sahel
Pancratium triflorum Roxb. - India, Bangladesh
Pancratium verecundum Aiton - Himalayas
Pancratium zeylanicum L. - India (incl Lakshadweep), Maldives, Sri Lanka, Borneo, Java, Sulawesi, Philippines, Maluku


Search for "Pancratium", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2013-02-13
Stevens, P. F., Angiosperm Phylogeny Website: Asparagales: Amaryllidoideae
Altervista Flora Italiana, genere Pancratium
El-Hadidy, Azza; Abd El-Ghani, Monier; Amer, Wafaa; Hassan, Rania (26 April 2011). "Systematic Revision of the Genus Pancratium L. (Amaryllidaceae) in Egypt with a New Addition". Nolulae Scientia Biologicae. 3 (2): 24–38. doi:10.15835/NSB325612.
Synge, P. M. (1961). Collins Guide to Bulbs. ISBN 0-00-214016-0.
Kandeler, R.; Ullrich, W. R. (6 January 2009). "Symbolism of plants: examples from European-Mediterranean culture presented with biology and history of art: FEBRUARY: Sea-daffodil and narcissus". Journal of Experimental Botany. 60 (2): 353–355. doi:10.1093/jxb/erp012. PMID 19264756.
Walters, S. M. (1986). The European Garden Flora, Vol. 1. Pteridophyta; Gymnospermae; Angiospermae — Alismataceae to Iridaceae. ISBN 0-521-24859-0.
Snijman, D.A. & Victor, J.E. 2004. Pancratium tenuifolium Hochst. ex A.Rich. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2014.1. Accessed on 2015/04/07

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