Greek hymen – membrane, kalos – beauty, referring to the corona uniting the stamens.
Perennial herbs. Leaves evergreen or deciduous, usually 2-ranking, occasionally stalked but mostly strap-like. Flower stalk flattened, solid. Flowers solitary or in small groups, usually fragrant. Perianth with a narrow tube, lobes 6, linear to linear-lanceolate; corona funnel-shaped, often lobed or toothed. Filaments fused to the corona at their bases. Ovary 3 chambers with 2 or 4-8 ovules in each chamber. Fruit capsule fleshy. [Ismene Salisb., Elisena Herb.]
Grown for the ornamental and often fragrant flowers. Formerly placed in Pancratium, an Old World genus, and also generally including Ismene and Elisena.The subgenus Ismene, the Basket Flowers have coronas about 3.5-7 cm long like those of daffodils and incurved stamens. Spider Lilies have shorter coronas and longer stamens that are erect or spreading.
Seeds or offsets.
Some species have local medicinal uses.
Flowering stem solid; flowers with corona and versatile anthers; ovules few and basal. Pancratium has ovules in a row above one another in the ovary.
35-40 species from the American tropics.
Sealy (1954), Flory (1978).
Source: (2005). Amaryllidaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.