Friday, 11 May 2012


Amaryllidaceae are a family of herbaceous, perennial and bulbous flowering plants included in the monocot order Asparagales. The family takes its name from the genus Amaryllis, hence the common name of the Amaryllis family.

There have been widely differing views as to the limits of the family. The most recent APG classification (APG III takes a broad view of the Amaryllidaceae, which then has three subfamilies, the Agapanthoideae (the old Agapanthaceae family), the Allioideae (the old Alliaceae family) and the Amaryllidoideae (the old Amaryllidaceae family). With this definition, the family includes about 75 genera and 1600 species.
Plants have rather fleshy and two-ranked leaves and flowers typically arranged in umbels at the apex of leafless flowering stems, or scapes. The Agapanthoideae have superior ovaries, as do the Allioideae, the onion subfamily. The Allioideae produce allyl sulfide compounds which give them their characteristic smell. The Amaryllidoideae have inferior ovaries.