Anthericum

Anthericum is a genus in the Anthericaceae family from the Europe (Mediterranean area), North Africa, and to tropical America. The Angiosperm Phylogeny Group II, 2003 suggests that this genus could optionally be included in the Agavaceae or Asparagaceae family. The species having rhizomatous or tuberous roots. Plants have long narrow leaves and branched stems of starry white flowers. Not many are grown in cultivation. A number of species are now included in the genus Chlorophytum.


Anthericum liliago is native to Southern Europe where it is found in mountain meadows. It has grass-like leaves and white flowers. These pictures were taken May 2004 at Kew Gardens by Bob Rutemoeller. This species is often received as seed under the name Paradisea liliastrum, a more desirable but less amenable garden subject that has funnel-shaped flowers rather than the widely flaring flowers of Anthericum. This and other Anthericum species are likely to self-sow prolifically in the garden. Photos 1-2 were taken by Bob Rutemoeller. Photo 3 was taken by Nhu Nguyen from the UC Botanical Garden.

Anthericum liliago, Bob RutemoellerAnthericum liliago, Bob RutemoellerAnthericum liliago, Nhu Nguyen

Anthericum ramosum is native to Western & Central Europe, and is an excellent yet underused ornamental species. Perhaps it is neglected because it is sometimes regarded as not overly hardy, when in fact, it's perfectly hardy in USDA Zone 5, in Northern New England, USA. The plant is trim and neat, with tidy firm basal foliage that's handsome in it's own right. Starting in July, erect, wiry branched stems sport flurries of starry white flowers, each with a yellow ovary and sporting yellow anthers. It flowers throughout the summer, growing to about 2' - 3' tall (60 - 90 cm), and is a visual delight on sunny days when the reflexed white flowers open. In flower, the plant is reminiscent of Gaura lindheimeri, a central and western American wildflower that enjoys popularity here in the USA. I have included 3 photos; 2 showing the whole plant from 2 different angles, and a closeup of the flowers. Photographed on July 9, 2004, by Mark McDonough.

Anthericum ramosum, Mark McDonoughAnthericum ramosum, Mark McDonoughAnthericum ramosum, Mark McDonough

Anthericum saundersiae see Chlorophytum saundersiae


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