Amaryllidaceae is the botanical name of a family of flowering plants. The plants are herbaceous perennials that grow from bulbs, often with showy flowers. It consists of about sixty genera (see list of genera), with over eight hundred species. Several genera are commonly grown in gardens, including:

Amaryllidaceae has been recognized, with varying circumscriptions, by most classification systems of the 20th Century, although the Cronquist system included it within a very broadly defined Liliaceae. The two families have traditionally been separated by including species with inferior ovaries in Amaryllidaceae and those with superior ovaries in Liliaceae. The APG II system (2003) includes Amaryllidaceae in Alliaceae but allows for its optional recognition, in the order Asparagales, in the monocots clade. The APG system, of 1998, accepted this as a separate family.

Fay and Chase (1996) include Agapanthus in Amaryllidaceae (as subfamily Agapanthoideae) but the APG II system includes Agapanthus in Alliaceae, with optional recognition in its own family as Agapanthaceae. Agapanthus differs from other Amaryllidaceae in having superior ovaries.


  • Michael F. Fay and Mark W. Chase. 1996. Resurrection of Themidaceae for the Brodiaea alliance, and Recircumscription of Alliaceae, Amaryllidaceae and Agapanthoideae. Taxon 45: 441-451 (abstract)

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