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This species is accepted, and its native range is E. Tropical Africa to Mozambique.
Crinum kirkii Baker original illustration from Curtis's Botanical Magazine


Amaryllidaceae, Inger Nordal (University of Oslo). Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1982

Morphology General Habit
Bulbs 15–20 cm. in diameter, often with a considerable neck.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves flaccid, lorate, up to 120 cm. long, 4–13 cm. broad, keeled with a distinct midrib, crispate and scabrous or serrulate on the margin, normally without an intact apex; white woolly fibres appearing when a leaf is torn.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Scape
Scape 30–50 cm. long, contemporary with the leaves.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts
Spathe-valves red-brown, robust, thick, often spongy inside, persistent and erect, enveloping the perianth-tubes at anthesis.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers (3–) 8–20 (–24), sweetly scented, subsessile.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Perianth
Perianth-tube greenish, 9–15 cm. long, curved only in the upper part above the erect involucre; segments green in bud, but during anthesis pure white with a broad sharply bordered purple dorsal streak, broadly lanceolate to elliptic, acuminate, 9–14 cm. long, 2–3.5 cm. broad, outer and inner ones subequal in width, all connivent to a zygomorphic funnel, more open at night.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Filaments white, declinate; anthers dark grey or black, rarely brown, curved, ± 1 cm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Style white, often tinged red distally.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruits crimson to rose, globose, without a beak.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds not seen.
Grassland and Acacia, Commiphora bushland; 0–2300 m.
K1 K4 K5 K6 K7 T2 Z not known elsewhere

Native to:

Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania

Crinum kirkii Baker appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Tweedie, J.R. 45597.000

First published in Bot. Mag. 106: t. 6512 (1880)

Accepted by

  • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14.: i-vi, 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.
  • Nordal, I. (1982). Amaryllidaceae Flora of Tropical East Africa: 1-30.


Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Zimudzi, C., Archer, R.H., Kwembeya, E.G. & Nordal, I. (2006). Synopsis of Amaryllidaceae from the Flora Zambesiaca area Kirkia. The Zimbabwe Journal of Botany 18: 151-168.

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Bak. in Bot. Mag. 106, t. 6312 (1880).
  • Bak. in Flora of Tropical Africa 7: 402 (1898).
  • Harms in Die Pflanzenwelt Ost-Afrikas und der Nachbargebiete, Theile C: 145 (1895).
  • R. O. Williams, Useful and Ornamental Plants in Zanzibar and Pemba p. 215 (1949).

Art and Illustrations in Digifolia
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.