||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Spanish Wikipedia. (December 2014)|
The Amaryllidaceae are a family of herbaceous, perennial and bulbous flowering plants included in the monocot order Asparagales. The family takes its name from the genus Amaryllis, hence the common name of the amaryllis family.
The Amaryllidaceae are mainly terrestrial (rarely aquatic) flowering plants that are herbaceous or succulent geophytes (occasionally epiphytes) that are perennial, with the exception of four species. Most genera grow from bulbs, but a few such as Agapanthus, Clivia and Scadoxus develop from rhizomes.
The leaves are simple rather fleshy and two-ranked with parallel veins. Leaf shape may be linear, oblong, elliptic, lanceolate or filiform. The flowers are typically arranged in umbels at the apex of leafless flowering stems, or scapes. The Agapanthoideae have superior ovaries, as do the Allioideae, the onion subfamily, while the Amaryllidoideae have inferior ovaries. The Allioideae produce allyl sulfide compounds which give them their characteristic smell. 
The history of this family can be traced back to Linnaeus' Hexandria monogynia (1753) although not formally named as such till 1805, by Jean Henri Jaume Saint-Hilaire who used the term 'Amaryllideae',. and then 'Amaryllidaceae' by John Lindley in 1836. The Linnaean grouping contained 51 genera which over the course of time have been variously classified either liliaceous or amaryllidaceous. This uncertainty of circumscription reflected a wider problem with the petaloid monocots in general. over the course of time there have been widely differing views as to the limits of the family, and consequently much of the literature dealing with this family requires careful inspection to determine which sense of the Amaryllidaceae the work treats. At one stage in recent history the Amaryllidaceae were joined together with the Liliaceae (e.g. Cronquist 1988 and Thorne 1976) included Amaryllidaceae within broad concepts of Liliaceae.
A wide variety of suprageneric classifications existed within the Amaryllidaceae, for instance Hickey and Clive (1997) describe ten tribes by which the family were divided, such as the Zephyrantheae.
The most recent APG classification (APG III of 2009) takes a broad view of the Amaryllidaceae, which then has three subfamilies, the Agapanthoideae (the old Agapanthaceae family with a single genus), the Allioideae (the old Alliaceae family with around 20 genera) and the Amaryllidoideae (the old Amaryllidaceae family with about sixty genera). With this definition, the family includes about 75 genera and 1600 species.
- Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009), "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III", Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161 (2): 105–121, doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x, retrieved 2010-12-10
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- Meerow, Alan W.; Fay, Michael F.; Guy, Charles L.; Zaman, Faridah Q. & Chase, Mark W. (1999). "Systematics of Amaryllidaceae based on cladistic analysis of plastid sequence data". American Journal of Botany 86 (9): 1325–1345. doi:10.2307/2656780.
- Exposition des Familles Naturelles 1: 134. 1805. (Feb-Apr 1805)
- Lindley, J. 1836. The vegetable kingdom, 2nd ed. Bradbury and Evans, London.
- Cronquist, A. 1988. The evolution and classification of flowering plants, 2d ed. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY.
- Thorne, R. F. 1976. A phylogenetic classification of the Angiospermae. Evolutionary Biology 9: 35–106.
- Michael Hickey and Clive King. Common Families of Flowering Plants. Cambridge University Press, 1997. ISBN 0521576091. page 177
- Chase, M.W.; Reveal, J.L. & Fay, M.F. (2009), "A subfamilial classification for the expanded asparagalean families Amaryllidaceae, Asparagaceae and Xanthorrhoeaceae", Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161: 132–6, doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00999.x
- Stevens, P.F., "Asparagales: Amaryllidaceae", Angiosperm Phylogeny Website
- William Herbert. Amaryllidaceae: Preceded by an Attempt to Arrange the Monocotyledonous Orders, and Followed by a Treatise on Cross-bred Vegetables, and Supplement. Ridgway, London 1837
- Meerow AW, Snijman DA. Amaryllidaceae, in Kubitzki 1998, pp. 83-110
- Meerow AW, Francisco-Ortega J, Kuhn DN, Schnell RJ (2006) Phylogenetic relationships and biogeography within the Eurasian clade of Amaryllidaceae based on plastid ndhF and nrDNA ITS sequences: lineage sorting in a reticulate area? Syst Bot 31: 42–60
- Kubitzki, K., ed. (1998). The families and genera of vascular plants. Vol.3. Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 3-540-64060-6. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
- Vigneron, Pascal. "Amaryllidaceae". Amaryllidaceae.org (in French). Retrieved 23 October 2014.
- Strydom, Adéle. PHYLOGENETIC RELATIONSHIPS IN THE FAMILY AMARYLLIDACEAE. PhD thesis, Department of Plant Sciences, University of the Free State, 2005
- Ronsted N, Symonds MR, Birkholm T, Christensen SB, Meerow AW, et al. (2012) Can phylogeny predict chemical diversity and potential medicinal activity of plants? A case study of Amaryllidaceae. BMC Evol Biol 12: 182. doi: 10.1186/1471-2148-12-182
- Takos, Adam; Rook, Fred (31 May 2013). "Towards a Molecular Understanding of the Biosynthesis of Amaryllidaceae Alkaloids in Support of Their Expanding Medical Use". International Journal of Molecular Sciences 14 (6): 11713–11741. doi:10.3390/ijms140611713. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
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