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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Crinum

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Monocotyledons > Order: Asparagales > Family: Amaryllidaceae

About 65 species worldwide, found mainly in the tropics, with 22 species native to southern Africa. An additional four exotic species are cultivated in the region.  

Some species have poisonous seeds and bulbs, containing haemolytic saponin, and the alkaloids lycorine, crinine and crinamine.

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI), Flora of Zimbabwe and Flora of Mozambique.

Crinum acaule (Maputaland grass crinum)

Crinum bulbispermum (Orange River lily, Vaal River lily)

Crinum buphanoides

Crinum campanulatum


Crinum crassicaule

Crinum euchrophyllum


Crinum giesii


Crinum graminicola (Grass crinum, Grass vlei lily)

Crinum harmsii


Crinum lineare

Crinum lugardiae

[= Crinum carolo-schmidtii]


Crinum macowanii (River lily, River crinum)

Crinum macowanii (River lily, River crinum)

Crinum minimum

[= Crinum walteri]

Recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Crinum moorei (Moore's crinum, Natal lily)

Crinum moorei (Moore's crinum, Natal lily)

Crinum ornatum


Crinum paludosum (Bushveld vlei lily)

Crinum parvibulbosum


Crinum rautanenianum


Crinum stuhlmannii (Candy-striped crinum)

[= Crinum delagoense]

See Flora of Zimbabwe.

Crinum subcernuum


Crinum variabile (River lily)

Crinum verdoorniae


Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List mainly from Glen (2002).

Crinum asiaticum

Native to Asia (e.g. China, South Korea, Japan, India).


Crinum jagus

Native to tropical Africa.


Crinum kirkii

Native to tropical Africa.


Crinum pedunculatum

Native to Australia.



  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.

  • Verdoorn, I.C. 1973. The genus Crinum in southern Africa. Bothalia 11: 27-52.