Hypoxis

Hypoxis is a large genus in the Hypoxidaceae family found in tropical and southern Africa, the Americas, southeast Asia and Australia. The rootstock is a vertical rhizome. Leaves are often hairy and flowers star-shaped, usually yellow, but sometimes white.


Hypoxis acuminata is found in damp grassland in the Eastern Cape. It has hairy leaves in a spiral tuft and yellow flowers in spring. Photo by Cameron McMaster taken in the Amatola Mountains of the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Hypoxis acuminata, Cameron McMaster

Hypoxis angustifolia has a carrotlike tuber, linear to lanceolate hairy leaves and yellow flowers. It grows in grassland or rock crevices from Mossel Bay, South Africa to tropical Africa, Mauritius, and Madagascar. Photo #1 by Cameron McMaster taken in the Amatola Mountains of the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Photos #2-3 from Cameron McMaster were taken at the Kei River mouth in the Eastern Cape. The next two photos taken near Balloch in the Eastern Cape by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner, January 2010.

Hypoxis angustifolia, Cameron McMasterHypoxis angustifolia, Kei Mouth, Cameron McMasterHypoxis angustifolia, Kei Mouth, Cameron McMasterHypoxis angustifolia, Balloch, Bob RutemoellerHypoxis angustifolia, Balloch, Mary Sue Ittner

Hypoxis argentea grows in grassland, on rocky outcrops in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. It has narrow ribbed leaves with silky yellowish hairs and small yellow flowers. Photos taken January 2010 by Cameron McMaster and Mary Sue Ittner on Gaika's Kop.

Hypoxis argentea, Gaika's Kop, Cameron McMasterHypoxis argentea, Gaika's Kop, Mary Sue IttnerHypoxis argentea, Gaika's Kop, Mary Sue Ittner

Hypoxis costata is a summer rainfall species southern Africa species found on stony, grassy slopes from 2050 to 2400 meters. It has broad rigid, sickle-shaped, ribbed leaves produced with flowers that are densely hairy or hairless. Flowering stems are as long as the leaves and the yellow flowers are large. Photos 1-3 taken January 2010 at Maclear by Mary Sue Ittner. Photos 4-5 taken January 2010 by Bob Rutemoeller in the Eastern Cape.

Hypoxis costata, Maclear, Mary Sue IttnerHypoxis costata, Maclear, Mary Sue IttnerHypoxis costata, Maclear, Mary Sue IttnerHypoxis costata, Bob RutemoellerHypoxis costata, Bob Rutemoeller

Hypoxis goetzei is distributed from southwest Kenya to southern tropical Africa. Photos by Nicholas Wightman taken near Lilayi, Zambia.

Hypoxis goetzei, Lilayi, Nicholas WightmanHypoxis goetzei, Lilayi, Nicholas WightmanHypoxis goetzei, Lilayi, Nicholas Wightman

Hypoxis hemerocallidea syn. Hypoxis rooperi is found in marshy forest margins and grassland from the southern Cape to the Northern province, South Africa. It has sickle-shaped keeled hairy leaves. The yellow flowers on branched stems are green and hairy on the reverse of the outer tepals and open mornings. In recent times it has been called the 'African potato' (in fact it grows from a corm) and there has been speculation about its pharmacological properties. It has been used in traditional medicine for a long time for a variety of ailments including HIV and AIDS, urinary cancer, and as a laxative and vermifuge. The seeds are stimulated to germinate by building a small fire on top of the flat to simulate a fire in their native grasslands. Photos by Cameron McMaster, Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner taken in the Eastern Cape.

Hypoxis hemerocallidea, Cameron McMasterHypoxis hemerocallidea, Cameron McMasterHypoxis hemerocallidea, Bob RutemoellerHypoxis hemerocallidea leaves, Mary Sue IttnerHypoxis hemerocallidea seed, Mary Sue Ittner

Seed photos by David Pilling. In the high magnification view it can be seen the seed is composed of hexagons and pentagons; in each of these there is a perfect reflection of the black lens aperture and surrounding diffuser.

Hypoxis hemerocallidea seed, David PillingHypoxis hemerocallidea seed, David Pilling

Hypoxis longifolia grows from a rhizome that has a neck densely surrounded by fibrous bristles. It grows on seasonal damp grassy flats and slopes in the southeast Cape. Leaves are strongly veined and reach above the flowers. Flowers are yellow. Photo taken by Cameron McMaster in the Amatola Mountains of the Eastern Cape.

Hypoxis longifolia, Cameron McMaster

Hypoxis membranacea is a species common in swampy areas, grassland, and mistbelt forest from the coast to the mountains, Eastern Cape to Lesotho. This species has leaves with scattered white hairs and small white flowers. Photos by Cameron McMaster including a close-up of the flowers, the whole plant illustrating hairy leaves and flowers, and finally a photo of a form with larger leaves that also shows the hairy flower buds.

Hypoxis membranacea, Cameron McMasterHypoxis membranacea, Cameron McMasterHypoxis membranacea, Cameron McMaster

Hypoxis multiceps is found in grassland up to 2000 m in the Eastern Cape. It has arching flat hairy rough leaves appearing after the flowers and 1-4 flowers opening in more or less opposite pairs. Photo by Cameron McMaster of the leaves taken in the Eastern Cape.

Hypoxis multiceps leaves, Cameron McMaster

Hypoxis occidentalis is a species growing from 0.05-0.2 m high. from southwestern Australia where it is found in winter wet areas, creek beds, granite outcrops and clay flats in sandy, clay, or laterite soils. It blooms May to November and has dark linear, flat glabrous leaves and yellow flowers from ½-3.4 cm across.

Hypoxis occidentalis var. quadriloba is distinctive in having 4 tepals and 4 stamens. Photos taken in William Bay National Park in Western Australia by Mary Sue Ittner.

Hypoxis occidentalis var. quadriloba, William Bay, Mary Sue IttnerHypoxis occidentalis var. quadriloba, William Bay, Mary Sue Ittner

Hypoxis rigidula is wide spread in South Africa, growing on grassy slopes up to 2300 m. It has flat, erect strongly ribbed hairy leaves and large yellow flowers. Photos by Cameron McMaster taken at Maclear.

Hypoxis rigidula, Maclear, Cameron McMasterHypoxis rigidula, Maclear, Cameron McMaster

Hypoxis spp.

Hypoxis sp. #3 Argentina was obtained from Yucca Do Nursery. Photos taken July & August 2003 by Lee Poulsen.

Hypoxis sp. #3 Argentina, Lee PoulsenHypoxis sp. #3 Argentina, Lee Poulsen

Hypoxis sp. was taken near Morgan Bay in the Eastern Cape by Mary Sue Ittner.

Hypoxis sp., Morgan Bay, Mary Sue IttnerHypoxis sp., Morgan Bay, Mary Sue Ittner

Hypoxis spp. seen, but not identified in Australia. Photos taken by Mary Sue Ittner and Bob Rutemoeller. Photos 1-2 were taken at Porongurup National Park in Western Australia. The last photo was taken in the Grampians.

Hypoxis sp., Porongurup National Park, Mary Sue IttnerHypoxis sp., Porongurup National Park, Mary Sue IttnerHypoxis sp., Grampians, Mary Sue Ittner

Hypoxis zeyheri shown in habitat on Mt. Kubusie in the Amatola Mountains of the Eastern Cape. Photo taken by Cameron McMaster

Hypoxis zeyheri, Cameron McMaster

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