African Plant Database

Drimia altissima (L. f.) Ker Gawl.
Family : Hyacinthaceae
Protologue : Bot. Mag. 91: t. 5522 (1865)
Information on the genus : Drimia
Basionym : Ornithogalum altissimum L. f.
Status for SA : accepted (present)
Status for TA : accepted (present)
Synonym(s) Homotypic
 Ornithogalum altissimum L. f. (1782)
 Urginea altissima (L. f.) Baker
Synonym(s) Heterotypic
=Ornithogalum giganteum Jacq. (1797)
=Urginea gigantea (Jacq.) Oyewole (1975)
=Scilla micrantha A. Rich. (1850)
=Urginea micrantha (A. Rich.) Solms (1867)
=Urginea epigea R.A. Dyer (1947)
=Urginea brevipes Baker (1874)
=Drimia barteri Baker (1871)
=Drimia paolii Chiov. (1916)
=Drimia uitenhagensis Eckl. (1830)
=*Drimia incerta A. Chev. (1920)
=Idothea altissima (L. f.) Kuntze (1891)
=Idothea barteri (Baker) Kuntze
=Urginavia altissima (L. f.) Speta
=Urginavia epigea (R.A. Dyer) Speta
=Urginavia micrantha (A. Rich.) Speta
Ecology and distribution
Trop. Afr.
Biology : Herb 0,35-2 m tall, usually flowering before the leaves; bulb ovoid, 7-15 cm Ø, sometimes exposed on soil surface, with a neck; leaves lanceolate, 20-50x2-7,5 cm; scape erect, to1 cm Ø; raceme ± dense, to 80 cm long, of up to 700 flowers; pedicels 0,8-3 cm long, spreading; perianth-segments free or united up to 2 mm, 0,5-1,1 cm long, white or greenish white with a green abaxial band; filaments linear to slightly triangular, free or united with the perianth-segment, free part 4-7 mm long; capsule subglobose, sometimes with an emarginate apex, 0,8-1,5 cm long, 0,9-1,5 cm Ø.
Ecology : Usually in grassland; bushland; open woodland; wet or arid places in sandy or clayish soils; sometimes on very rocky ground; sometimes very common; savanna; ferruginous ground; often in overgrazed or recently burnt places; black loamy soil; 0-2700 m alt.
  Very variable.
  Leaves and bulbs very poisonous to livestock, can cause significant losses. The bulbs have been sold as a substitute of squill, Urginea maritima, in Europe (S. Afric. J. Bot. 65: 291, 1999), used for its digitalis-like effect.
South. Afr.
Biol./Eco : perennial-Geophyte- Ht 1 - 2.5 m. Alt: 50 - 915 m. Distribution: BOT, NAM, EC, FS, GA, KN, LP, MP, NW, SWZ

Bibliography for Tropical Africa :
  • Boudet G. & J.P. Lebrun (1986). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Mali. Etudes et Synthèses IEMVT 16
  • Cat. Pl. Vasc. Burkina Faso:35 (2012)
  • Darbyshire, I. Kordofami, M. & al. (2015). The plants of Sudan and South Sudan, An annoted checklist. Kew Publishing
  • César J. & C. Chatelain (2019). Flore illustrée du Tchad. Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de Genève, Coopération Suisse & Univ. N'Djaména

Bibliography for Southern Africa :
  • J. S. African Bot. 43: 288-292 (1977).
  • List South. African Succ. Pl. : 83 (1997).
  • Checklist Flow. Pl. Sub-Saharan Africa : 761 (2006).

Bibliography other :
  • Manning J.C. & P. Goldblatt (2018). Systematics of Drimia Jacq. (Hyacinthaceae: Urgineoideae) in southern Africa Strelitzia 90: 13
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Record n°15450
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