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Fire lilies
Flame lilies
1724 Pyrolirion arvense.jpg
golden flame lily
(Pyrolirion arvense)[1]
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Amaryllidoideae
Tribe: Eustephieae
Genus: Pyrolirion

Leucothauma Ravenna

Pyrolirion, commonly known as fire lilies or flame lilies, is a small genus of herbaceous, bulb-forming South American plants in the Amaryllis family, native to Chile, Peru, and Bolivia.[3][4]


Pyrolirion have thin linear leaves that may be pointed at the tips. The flowers, which can vary in coloration, are borne erect on solitary hollow scapes. The perigone is funnel-shaped, with a cylindrical tube that flares out abruptly to star-like radially arranged (actinomorphic) petals. Small scale-like "paraperigone" may be present at the base.[5]

The stamens arise from or below the throat. The style has three branches at the tip with spoon-shaped (spatulate) stigmas. The seeds are laterally compressed, colored black with white seams (raphe).[5]


The genus Pyrolirion was first established by the British botanist William Herbert in 1837.[6] The name Pyrolirion is from Greek πῦρ (pyr, "fire") and λείριον (leirion, "lily"). It is named after the flame-like colors of the flowers of Pyrolirion arvense (the golden flame lily).[7][8]

Pyrolirion is classified under the tribe Eustephieae of the subfamily Amaryllidoideae, family Amaryllidacea. It was previously sometimes considered by some authors as a subgenus of Zephyranthes (rain lilies), but DNA sequencing has shown that it is a distinct genus more closely related to the genera Chlidanthus, Eustephia, and Hieronymiella in the tribe Eustephieae than to members of the tribe Hippeastreae.[9][10]


The species-level classification of Pyrolirion is unclear and in need of further study. The following are accepted at present (April 2015)[2][11][12]

  1. Pyrolirion albicans Herb. - Perú (Arequipa)
  2. Pyrolirion arvense (F.Dietr.) - Perú (Cusco, Lima)
  3. Pyrolirion boliviense (Baker) Sealy - Bolivia (Cochabamba, La Paz)
  4. Pyrolirion cutleri (Cárdenas) Ravenna - Bolivia (Cochabamba)
  5. Pyrolirion flavum Herb. - Perú (Cusco, Lima)
  6. Pyrolirion huantae Ravenna - Perú
  7. Pyrolirion tarahuasicum Ravenna - Perú
  8. Pyrolirion tubiflorum (L'Hér.) M.Roem. - Perú, Chile


  1. ^ 1835 illustration from Edwards's Botanical Register; Consisting of Coloured Figures of Exotic Plants Cultivated in British Gardens; with their History and Mode of Treatment. London 20: t. 1724. As Pyrolirion aureum
  2. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  3. ^ Herbert, William 1821. Appendix to Botanical Register, page 37
  4. ^ Tropicos, Pyrolirion Herb.
  5. ^ a b A.W. Meerow & D.A. Snijman (1998). "Amaryllidaceae". In Klaus Kubitzki,. Flowering plants, Monocotyledons: Lilianae (except Orchidaceae). Volume III. Springer. p. 103. ISBN 978-3-540-64060-8. 
  6. ^ William Herbert (1863). Amaryllidaceae: preceded by an attempt to arrange the monocotyledonous orders, and followed by a treatise on cross-bred vegetables, and supplement. James Ridgway & Sons. pp. 183–185. 
  7. ^ David H. McNicoll (1863). Dictionary of natural history terms with their derivations: including the various orders, genera, and species. Lovell Reeve & Co. p. 435. 
  8. ^ David Gledhill (2008). The Names of Plants. Cambridge University Press. p. 322. ISBN 978-0-521-86645-3. 
  9. ^ "Hippeastreae" (in French)., Société Française des Iris et plantes Bulbeuses (SFIB). Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Pyrolirion". Pacific Bulb Society. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Pyrolirion" (in French)., Société Française des Iris et plantes Bulbeuses (SFIB). Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Pyrolirion". The Plant List: A working list of all plant species. Retrieved November 29, 2011.