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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Pancratium

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 20 species, found in the Mediterranean region, southern Asia, the Canary Islands and Africa. Pancratium tenuifolium is the only species native to southern Africa, found in Namibia, Botswana and the Northern Province. In addition, Pancratium canariense from the Canary Islands, and Pancratium maritinum from the Mediterranean region, are cultivated in southern Africa.

Species native to southern Africa

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

Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Pancratium canariense

Native to the Canary Islands.


Pancratium maritinum (Sea daffodil)

Native to the Mediterranean.



Little is known about the floral biology of Pancratium because the flowers are so ephemeral. Studies on Pancratium maritimum in Israel indicate that the flowers are pollinated by hawkmoths (Sphingidae). Flowers have an extremely long floral tube which contains nectar that is only available to insects with a long proboscis. It would appear that the flowers last only one to two days (D.A. Snijman pers. comm.).


  • Bjørnstad, I. 1973. A revision of the genus Pancratium L. (Amaryllidaceae) in Africa south of the Sahara. Norwegian Journal of Botany 29: 281-291.