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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Cyrtanthus

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 

Fifty-one species are native to southern Africa and there is a further species (Cyrtanthus welwitschii) occurring further north, its distribution including Angola and Malawi. Bulb contains non-lethal haemolytic saponin and alkaloids, and causes vomiting and diarrhoea if eaten.

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI), Flora of Zimbabwe and Flora of Mozambique. The species name Cyrtanthus rhodesianus is of uncertain status and is not included in the list (see African Flowering Plants Database).

Cyrtanthus angustifolius (Fire lily)

Cyrtanthus attenuatus


Cyrtanthus aureolinus

Cyrtanthus bicolor


Cyrtanthus brachyscyphus (Dobo lily, Orange Ifafa lily)

Cyrtanthus brachysiphon

Cyrtanthus breviflorus (Yellow fire lily, Wild crocus)

Cyrtanthus carneus (Fire lily)

Cyrtanthus clavatus


Cyrtanthus collinus

Cyrtanthus contractus (Fire lily)

Cyrtanthus debilis

Cyrtanthus elatus

Cyrtanthus epiphyticus (Tree lily, Tree cyrtanthus)

Cyrtanthus erubescens


Cyrtanthus eucallus


Cyrtanthus falcatus (Fire lily)

Cyrtanthus fergusoniae

Cyrtanthus flammosus

Cyrtanthus flanaganii (Yellow dobo lily)

Cyrtanthus flavus


Cyrtanthus galpinii (Galpin's cyrtanthus, Fire lily)

Cyrtanthus guthrieae (Bredasdorp lily)

Cyrtanthus helictus


Cyrtanthus herrei

Cyrtanthus huttonii

Cyrtanthus inaequalis


Cyrtanthus labiatus


Cyrtanthus leptosiphon

Cyrtanthus leucanthus 

Cyrtanthus loddigesianus

Cyrtanthus mackenii (Ifafa lily)

Cyrtanthus mackenii (Ifafa lily)

Cyrtanthus macmasteri


Cyrtanthus macowanii

Cyrtanthus montanus


Cyrtanthus nutans

Cyrtanthus obliquus (Giant cyrtanthus)

Cyrtanthus obrienii (Red Ifafa Lily)

Cyrtanthus ochroleucus

Cyrtanthus odorus

Cyrtanthus rotundilobus


Cyrtanthus sanguineus (Large red cyrtanthus, Inanda lily, Kei lily)

Cyrtanthus smithiae

Cyrtanthus spiralis

Cyrtanthus staadensis


Cyrtanthus stenanthus (Long-tubed cyrtanthus, Golden star)

Cyrtanthus suaveolens


Cyrtanthus thorncroftii


Cyrtanthus tuckii (Green-tipped fire lily)

Cyrtanthus ventricosus

Cyrtanthus wellandii


  • Dyer, R.A. 1939. Description, classification and phylogeny. A revision of the genus Cyrtanthus. Herbertia 6: 65-103.

  • Reid, C. & Dyer, R.A. 1984. A review of the southern African species of Cyrtanthus. American Plant Life Society, La Jolla, California.