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Scadoxus cinnabarinus

Scadoxus cinnabarinus (*)

Classification System: APG IV

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

Familia: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamilia: Amaryllidoideae
Tribus: Haemantheae
Genus: Scadoxus
Sectio: S. sect. Demeusea
Species: Scadoxus cinnabarinus

Scadoxus cinnabarinus (Decne.) Friis & Nordal, Norweg. J. Bot. 23: 64 (1976).

Haemanthus cinnabarinus Decne., J. Gén. Hort. 12: 27. 1857.

Haemanthus angolensis Welw., J. Bot. 16: 194 (1878).
Haemanthus brachyandrus Baker in Oliv. & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 7: 391 (1898).
Haemanthus cabrae De Wild. & T.Durand, Ann. Mus. Congo Belge, Bot., sér. 2, 1(1): 56 (1899).
Haemanthus congolensis De Wild., J. Soc. Natl. Hort. France, sér. 4, 3: 292 (1902).
Haemanthus demeusei De Wild., J. Soc. Natl. Hort. France, sér. 4, 3: 291 (1902).
Haemanthus diadema L.Linden, Cat. Spec. Ill. Pl. Nouv. Congo 1901: 27 (1902).
Haemanthus eetveldeanus De Wild. & T.Durand, Ann. Mus. Congo Belge, Bot., sér. 2, 1(1): 56 (1899).
Haemanthus fascinator L.Linden, Cat. Spec. Ill. Pl. Nouv. Congo 1901: 27 (1902).
Haemanthus germarianus J.Braun & K.Schum., Mitt. Deutsch. Schutzgeb. 2(extr.): 1 (1889).
Haemanthus kundianus J.Braun & K.Schum., Mitt. Deutsch. Schutzgeb. 2(extr.): 1 (1889).
Haemanthus laurentii De Wild., J. Soc. Natl. Hort. France, sér. 4, 3: 289 (1902).
Haemanthus lescrauwaetii De Wild. ex Gentil, Gard. Chron., ser. 3, 35: 274 (1904).
Haemanthus lindenii N.E.Br., Ill. Hort. 37: 89 (1890).
Haemanthus longipes Engl., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 7: 332 (1886).
Haemanthus mirabilis L.Linden, Gard. Chron., ser. 3, 29: 332 (1901).
Haemanthus radcliffei Rendle, J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 37: 223 (1904).
Haemanthus rotularis Baker, Gard. Chron., n.s., 7: 656 (1877).

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Africa
Regional: West Tropical Africa
Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Niger, Sierra Leone.
Regional: West-Central Tropical Africa
Central African Republic, Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gulf of Guinea Islands, Zaire.
Regional: East Tropical Africa
Regional: South Tropical Africa

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

Friis, I. & Nordal, I. 1976. Studies on the genus Haemanthus (Amaryllidaceae) IV. Division of the genus into Haemanthus s. str. and Scadoxus with notes on Haemanthus s.str. Norwegian Journal of Botany 23(2): 63–77. Reference page.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2018. Scadoxus cinnabarinus in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2018 Jul. 31. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2018. Scadoxus cinnabarinus. Published online. Accessed: Jul. 31 2018. 2018. Scadoxus cinnabarinus. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 31 Jul. 2018.

Scadoxus cinnabarinus is a herbaceous plant from tropical rainforest in Africa. It is native to Western and Central Africa from Sierra Leone in the far west to Angola in the south.[2] It has been reported from Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Niger, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, São Tomé, Zaire, Uganda, and Angola.


Scadoxus cinnabarinus grows from a short rhizome. Many other species of Scadoxus have a pseudostem (false stem) formed from the tightly wrapped bases of the leaves. Scadoxus cinnabarinus has at most a very short pseudostem, making the plant shorter than other species, with an overall height of up to 60 cm (24 in). The flowers are borne on a scape (leafless stem) which emerges from the centre of the leaves and is usually not much taller than them, with a height of 15–40 cm (6–16 in). Up to 100 (but usually fewer) orange-red flowers are arranged in an umbel at the top of the scape. The bracts underneath the umbel have withered by the time of full flowering. The individual pedicels (flower stalks) are 15–45 mm (0.6–1.8 in) long, and bend downwards when the fruit (a berry) is formed, whereas in most other species of Scadoxus they are upright at this stage.[2][3]

The flowers are somewhat differently shaped in different parts of the range of the species. In particular individual flowers from East Africa, especially Uganda, have a long tube at the base formed by the fusion of the tepals, up to 15 mm (0.6 in) long, whereas elsewhere the tube may be as short as 3 mm (0.1 in). The width of the leaves also varies throughout the range. This variation has resulted in a substantial number of names for what appears to be a single widespread and variable species.[3]

Scadoxus cinnabarinus was sent to Joseph Decaisne in 1855 from Gabon,[4] and formally named by him in 1857 as Haemanthus cinnabarinus.[1][5] The specific epithet cinnabarinus refers to the colour of the flowers, which Decaisne described as "rouge cinabre vif" (bright cinnabar red).[5]

Many other names within the genus Haemanthus are now considered to be synonyms of Scadoxus cinnabarinus:[1]

Haemanthus angolensis Welw.
Haemanthus brachyandrus Baker
Haemanthus cabrae De Wild. & T.Durand
Haemanthus congolensis De Wild.
Haemanthus demeusei De Wild.
Haemanthus diadema L.Linden
Haemanthus eetveldeanus De Wild. & T.Durand
Haemanthus fascinator L.Linden
Haemanthus germarianus J.Braun & K.Schum.
Haemanthus kundianus J.Braun & K.Schum.
Haemanthus laurentii De Wild.
Haemanthus lescrauwaetii De Wild. ex Gentil
Haemanthus lindenii N.E.Br.
Haemanthus longipes Engl.
Haemanthus mirabilis L.Linden
Haemanthus radcliffei Rendle
Haemanthus rotularis Baker

Scadoxus was originally separated from Haemanthus by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque in 1838,[6] when he moved Haemanthus multiflorus to Scadoxus multiflorus.[7] This separation was ignored by most workers until 1976, when Scadoxus was again segregated from Haemanthus by Ib Friis and Inger Nordal. Haemanthus species are southern in distribution, form true bulbs and have 2n = 16 chromosomes, whereas Scadoxus species, such as S. cinnabarinus, are found throughout tropical Africa, do not all form bulbs and have 2n = 18 chromosomes.[8]
Distribution and habitat

Scadoxus cinnabarinus is widely distributed around the Congo Basin from Sierra Leone in the north to Angola in the south. It is found in tropical rainforest, in humid shady habitats subject to high rainfall, where the soils are largely organic.[2]

Scadoxus cinnabarinus has been cultivated in heated greenhouses ("stove-houses") since it was sent to Europe in 1855. Its requirement for a high temperature makes its cultivation demanding. Like other species of Scadoxus from tropical rainforests, it requires an open organic soil to ensure good drainage and aeration around the roots, together with shade from strong sun. Pests are those of Scadoxus generally.[2]
Toxicity and uses

The genus Scadoxus is known to have some strongly toxic species, containing poisonous alkaloids. These are lethal to animals, such as sheep and goats, that graze on the plants. Scadoxus cinnabarinus has been used in parts of tropical Africa as a component of arrow poisons and fish poisons. It is also used in traditional medicine.[9]

"Scadoxus cinnabarinus", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2014-03-24
Hutchinson, J. (2014), "Scadoxus of central and east Africa", The Plantsman, New Series, 13 (1): 36–42
"Scadoxus cinnabarinus (Decne.) Friis & Nordal", eMonocot, retrieved 2014-03-27
Hutchinson (2014) says that Decaisne "discovered" the species, but Decaisne (1857) wrote "Cette jolie plante est originaire du Gabon, d'ou elle nous a été envoyée, en Novembre 1855" – this beautiful plant is native to Gabon, from where it was sent to us in November 1855.
Decaisne, Joseph (1857), "Haemanthus cinnabarinus Dcne", Journal géneral d'horticulture (in French), 12: 27, retrieved 2014-03-28
Rafinesque-Smaltz, C.S. (1838), Flora Telluriana, Philadelphia, part 4, p. 19, retrieved 2014-03-25
"Scadoxus multiflorus", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2014-03-25
Meerow, Alan W. & Clayton, Jason R. (2004), "Generic relationships among the baccate-fruited Amaryllidaceae (tribe Haemantheae) inferred from plastid and nuclear non-coding DNA sequences", Plant Systematics and Evolution, 244 (3–4): 141–155, doi:10.1007/s00606-003-0085-z, S2CID 10245220
"Scadoxus multiflorus (Martyn) Raf. subsp. katharinae (Bak.) Friis & Nordal", PlantZAfrica, South African National Biodiversity Institute, retrieved 2014-03-25

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