Plants photographed elsewhere in Namibia (not on Kyffhäuser)
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Ammocharis coranica (Ker Gawl.) Herb.

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Ammocharis coranica

Image 1
22 Mar 2016

Family: Amaryllidaceae
Full name: Ammocharis coranica (Ker Gawl.) Herb.
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Giflelie, Seeroogblom, Seerooglelie, Berglelie, Gifbol
English common name(s): Sore eye lily, Tumble weed, Sore eye flower, Ground lily, Karoo lily, Bible flower
Synonym(s): Amaryllis coranica Ker Gawl.
Ammocharis taveliana Schinz - p.p. (inflorescence)
Status: Native
Description: Ammocharis coranica is a summer-growing, deciduous bulb and grows to a height of 200 to 350 mm, when flowering. This species has a spherical-shaped bulb, 150–200 mm in diameter and covered in thinly layered tunics. Each bulb consists of 9–15 green leaves, broadly strap-shaped and sickle shaped, 300–450 mm long, with very finely toothed margins. Leaves lie flat on the surface of the soil. Ammocharis coranica has a rounded inflorescence of pink or reddish pink, trumpet-shaped, sweetly scented flowers, which protrudes above ground after the leaves have appeared. This inflorescence appears in summer, from September to March. The tepals of the flower are strongly curved backwards, which allows the stamens to be exserted. Ammocharis coranica has very fleshy seeds, which are covered by a thin, membrane-like layer. (from

Perennial herb, growing from a large underground bulb. Leaves in a basal rosette, often with a "cut-off" look, due to grazing by wildlife or cattle. Flowers in a large terminal umbel, pink to carmine. (from Flora of Zimbabwe website)

Ammocharis coranica, commonly the ground lily, is a deciduous, summer-growing geophyte reaching heights from 25 cm to 35 cm in bloom. The globose bulb is up to 20 cm in diameter, covered in brown cartilaginous tunics. Up to three angled scapes, about 20 cm long, carry the inflorescences. They are topped with umbels of up to 25 cm wide, bearing 20 to 60 flowers each. The spathe bracts at the umbel base are up to 6 cm long. The green pedicels of 4 cm long do not elongate in fruiting. The sweet-scented, funnel-shaped flowers are radially symmetrical, deep pink but several shades occur. The perianths are straight, from 8 mm to 25 mm long. Six exserted stamens rise at the perianth tube mouth, spreading on unequal filaments. The inferior ovary is oblong, the style exserted. The capsule is nearly globose, the fleshy seeds up to 15 mm in diameter. The fruits do not develop into tumbleweeds. The species distribution is widespread in southern Africa to Angola, occurring in all nine South African provinces. The plants are adapted to sandy as well as clayey soils in dolomite, often among stones or in hot, dry, rocky places. The bulbs can survive several years of drought and appear rapidly after rain. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century. The generic name, Ammocharis, is derived from the Greek words ammos meaning sand and charis meaning grace, referring to the sandy places where the plants grow and the charm of the flowers. The specific name, coranica, is derived from the name of the indigenous Korana tribe that shared some home regions with the plant (Duncan, et al, 2016; Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2015; Manning, 2009; (from
Link(s) African Plant Database
JSTOR Plant Science
Kew Herbarium Catalogue
BGBM Berlin-Dahlem - Virtual Herbarium
Züricher Herbarien
iNaturalist (Namibia / Alex Dreyer)
iNaturalist (Namibia)
iNaturalist (southern Africa)
Flora of Zimbabwe
Fleurs de notre Terre - Galerie Namibie
Tree Atlas of Namibia
Content last updated: 18 Apr 2024

Note: The identification of some of the plants on this website is not 100% certain. Any comments will be highly appreciated. I would also be willing to supply higher resolution images upon request. Please contact me at the e-mail address given below.

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