Placea is a genus in the Amaryllidaceae family with five to seven species native to north and central Chile. It is distinguished from Rhodophiala and Hippeastrum by the presence of a short corona structure (the corona is the cup or trumpet in Narcissus).They grow among scrub on summits and steep slopes at mid elevations in the coast range and Andean foothills, in rocky clay soils, flowering in spring and dormant in summer. The Andean species experience some frost while in growth. The very showy, narrowly to widely funnel-shaped flowers are borne in an umbel. Like other amaryllids of the region, they are not eaten by grazing animals except in severe drought years. Information for this page furnished by Jane McGary.

Placea amoena Phil. Leaves glaucous-green and rather lax; scape 25-40 cm tall; flowers widely funnel-shaped, vivid rose-purple with red stripes on the lower half of each tepal; corona 8- to 12-toothed and sometimes also trifid. Coquimbo province. Photographs by Eugene Zielinski taken at Reserva Nacional Las Chinchillas. Note the cup surrounding the stamens.

Placea amoena flowers, Eugene ZielinskiPlacea amoena flowers with caterpillar, Eugene ZielinskiPlacea amoena plant, Eugene Zielinski

Placea arzae Phil. Leaves glaucous; scape 20-30 cm tall; flowers widely funnel-shaped, white with deep red-purple stripes and an entire, narrowly funnel-shaped corona, pale (yellow to green) with red to purple rim. Santiago province. Photos by Jane McGary.

Placea arzae, Jane McGaryPlacea arzae, Jane McGary

Placea germainii Phil. Leaves 2, with thickened margins; scape glaucous, 25-30 cm tall; flowers 5 or fewer in umbel, each tepal yellow with purple dots on the outer portion and purple in the inner portion; corona only 4 mm long. A single peak in the coast range of Aconcagua province.

Placea grandiflora Lem. Leaves to 15 cm long, withered by flowering; scape to 45 cm tall; flowers broadly funnel-shaped, white to cream with purple stripes; corona deeply 6-lobed, red to purple. Santiago and Aconcagua provinces.

Placea lutea Phil. Similar to P. germainii but tepals lemon- to orange-yellow with purple veins at the base rather than a purple zone, and corona longer (to 1.2 cm); another single peak in the Aconcagua coast range.

Placea ornata Miers ex Lindl. Leaves 2-3, to 25 cm long, withered by flowering. Scape to 30 cm; flowers broadly funnel-shaped, white to cream with red stripes; corona deeply 6-lobed, red to red-purple. Andean foothills of Santiago & Aconcagua provinces.

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Page last modified on November 17, 2011, at 07:29 AM