Herbs perennial, chiefly bulbous, with linear leaves not scurfy nor woolly. Flowers showy, mostly regular and on scapes, with an adherent, 6-parted perianth. Stamens 6, anthers introrse. Ovary 3-celled, with styles united into 1. Fruit a 3-celled capsule or berry. Seeds 1 to ∞, with fleshy albumen. Figs. 315, 342, 395, 39G.
Genera C3, species 400, chiefly tropical plants, most abundant in Brazil and S. Africa. Very few are found in our climate.
Properties. A few of the Amaryllids possess poisonons properties, which is very rare among the Endogens. The Hottentots are said to poison their arrows by dipping them in the viscid juice of the bulbs of Haemanthus toxicarius. The bulbs of Narcissus poeticus, and of other species, are emetic. The fermented juice of the Agave forms the intoxicating pulque of the Mexicans. Many arc highly ornamental in cultivation.
§ Perianth bearing a crown on the summit of its tube. (*)
* Crown a thin membrane connecting the stamens.....................
* Crown a firm cup containing the stamens..............................
§ Perianth destitute of a crown. (**)
** Segments united into a tube above the ovary. Stamens perigynous. (a)
a Flowers solitary, tube of the perianth straight. erect....................
a Flowers many, tube of the perianth straight................................
a Flowers many, tube of the perianth curved...............................
** Segments distinct down to the ovary. Flowers nodding, (b)
b Perianth irregular. Stamens declind and curved.....................
b Perianth regular. - Sepals (all white) larger than petals..............
- Sepals (green-tipped) as large as petals................
- Sepals and petals equal, yellow.......................
1. PANCRATIUM, L. (Gr. all, powerful; the name was first applied to the medicinal squill.) Tube of the perianth produced above the ovary, long and slender, dilated in the throat, limb regular, 6-parted; stamens 6, inserted on the throat, their bases connected by an ample membrane forming a broad, funnel-shaped corona; anthers linear, versatile; capsule 3-valved, ∞-seeded. - Bulbs tunicated, bearing long lvs. and a scape with a bracted umbel of showy fls.
1 P. rotatnm L. Scapes 2 - 6-flowered; lvs. long, strap-shaped, obtuse; ovary ovate-triangular; sep. and pet. linear, as long as the tube; crown broad-funnel-shaped or top-shaped, the margin 12 toothed, alternate teeth stameniferous stamens and declined style nearly as long as the sepals; anthers yellow. - Marshes and low grounds, along streams, throughout the S. States. Bulb white, an inch or more in diam. Scape 18' to 2f high. Fls. usually but 2, white. Perianth and tube about 3' long, the crown about 18" broad, very thin and often torn. Apr. May. (P. Mexicanum L. Hymenocallis Herbt.)
2 P. coronarium Le Conte. Scape many-flowered; lvs. linear-lanceolate, obtuse; petals linear, thrice longer than the crown, which is large, funnel-shaped, 18-angled, or having 2 angular teeth between the stamens, and often a jagged sinus between the teeth; stam. much shorter than the petals, with long (6 to 8"), linear, yellow anthers. - River swamps, along the coast, Car., Ga. (Pursh) to La. (Mr. R. Green). Scapes and lvs. 2 or 3f long. Fls. white. Style much longer than the stamens.
3 P. maritimum L. Scape many-flowered; lvs. linear, strap-shaped, glaucous, longer than the scape; perianth funnel-shaped, segm. lance-linear, spreading above, longer than the crown; crown funnel-shaped, its base adherent to the segments, its margin with 6 pairs (12) of prominent teeth, alternating with the stamens, which are borne in the sinuses. River swamps, S. Car., Ga. (Walter, Catesby) and westward (Le Conte). Not lately seen? Scape 18' to 2f high. Fls. very fragrant, evanescent. (P. occidentalis Le Conte ?) Eur.
2. NARCIS'SUS, L. (Gr. stupor; from the effects produced by the smell of some of the species.) Perianth regular, 6-parted, bearing on its throat a cup or bell-form crown (consisting of a whorl of united sterile stamens); fertile stamens 6, inserted within the tube and concealed within the crown. - A genus of well known, much cultivated flowers, many of them very fragrant and beautiful. They have bulbous roots, ensiform leaves, and usually yellow fls., with a long, compressed spathe, opening on one side and deciduous.
§ Crown longer than the tube of the perianth...................................................
§ Crown shorter shan the tube of the perianth, - its border crenate...................
Nos. 2, 3
- its border entire.....................
1 N. Pseudo-Narcissus L. Daffodil. Scape 2-edged, straight, striated; segments sulphur color; corona with a serrate-crenate orifice, and as long as the petals. - Gardens. Root bulbous. Leaves linear, a foot long, striate, veined. Scape a foot high, bearing at the top a single, very large flower, with a very long cup or corona, April, May. † Eur. (Ajax, Haworth.)
2 N. Jonquilla L. Jonquils. Scape 1 - 3-flowered; segments reflexed, spatu-late; cup (corona) much shorter than the segments, saucer-shaped, spreading, cre-nate. - Gardens. Scape a foot high, round, slender, bearing at the summit a few flowers of a rich yellow, and very fragrant. May, Jn. † Spain. (Queltia Herbert.)
3 N. poeticus L. Poet's Narcissus. Scape 1-flowered; segments imbricate at base, reflexed; corona expanded, flat, rotate, crenulate; 3 anth. shorter than the tube. - Gardens. Scape about a foot high, leaves of the same length. It bears a single flower, which is mostly white, but having the crown singularly adorned with circles of crimson, white and yellow. Jn. † S. Europe.
4 N. Tazetta L. Spathe many-flowered; corona campanulate, truncate, shorter than the petals; lvs. flat. - Gardens. Root a large bulb. Leaves smooth, sword-shaped. Scape naked, striate, a foot high, with 10 - 12 flowers. Corolla white, cup a strong yellow, not fragrant. April, May. † Spain. (Hermione Herbert.)
3. ZEPHYRAN'THUS, Herbert. Amaryllis. Atamasco Lily. the west wind, Perianth superior, tubular at base, funnel-form, with a 6-parted, regular limb, which spreads above; stamens 6 inserted in the throat, or one of them lower down, filaments slender; anther versatile; style filiform, somewhat declined; stigma
3-fid; seeds ∞, 2 rows in each sell, black. - Bulb tunicated, sending up a scape with linear lvs. Spathe 1-leaved. Fls. erect, showy and beautiful. Fig. 315.
Z. Atamasco Herbt. Spathe 2-cleft, acute; flowers solitary, pediceled; cor. campanulate, suberect, with the segm. equally spreading above; filaments much exceeding the tube, but shorter than the segments. - An attractive flower, in wet clay soils, Va. to Fla. Lvs. linear, a foot long. Scape round, 6 to 12' high. Spathe a little colored, bifid at the summit. Flower large, white and pink. Sepals lanceolate, 3 to 3 1/2' long (including the 1' tube). March (S.), May (N.) (Amaryllis L.).