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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Hypoxidaceae

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

There are nine genera and about 130 species worldwide of which seven genera and 79 species are native to southern Africa. An additional species is naturalised, and two species are cultivated in the region. Southern Africa is the region with the highest diversity of hypoxids but the family is also native to South America, Australia and tropical Asia.

Genera native to southern Africa


One species is native to southern Africa and two species are cultivated.


Seven species, all endemic to southern Africa.


About 90 species (pantropical: sub-Saharan Africa, America, SE Asia and Australia), with 44 species native to southern Africa and one species naturalised.


Two species, endemic to the Western Cape.


Six species, all endemic to southern Africa.


Two species: Saniella occidentalis (pictured) and Saniella verna


Seventeen species, endemic to southern Africa (winter rainfall region, including Namibia, Northern Cape, Western Cape and Eastern Cape).

[photo Colin Paterson-Jones ]