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Crinum purpurascens (starry crinum)

The bulb, leaves and sap of starry crinum are used in traditional medicine in West Africa for treating a range of ailments from pneumonia to snake-bite.
Crinum purpurescens at Kew

Crinum purpurescens at Kew Gardens

Species information

Scientific name: 

Crinum purpurascens Herb.

Common name: 

starry crinum

Conservation status: 

Not evaluated according to IUCN Red List criteria.

Habitat: 

River banks in rain forests.

Key Uses: 

Ornamental, medicinal.

Known hazards: 

None known.

Taxonomy

Subclass: 
Superorder: 
Lilianae
Order: 
Asparagales
Family: 
Amaryllidaceae
Genus: Crinum

About this species

There are at least 65, and perhaps over 100 according to various classifications, species of Crinum in the tropical and warm countries of America, Africa, Asia and Australia, and more than 20 species can be found in southern Africa alone.

The name Crinum derives from the Greek krinon, meaning a white lily. Although C. purpurascens has a white flower, it is tinted on the outside with purple as is the flower stalk (scape).

Synonym: 

Crinum purpurascens var. angustilobium De Wild.

Genus: 
Crinum

main info

Courses at Kew

Kew offers a variety of specialist training courses in horticulture, conservation and plant science.

Students learn about plant taxonomy and identification

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