Doryanthes is the sole genus in the flowering plant family Doryanthaceae. The genus consists of two species, D. excelsa (gymea lily) and D. palmeri (giant spear lily), both endemic natives of the coast of Eastern Australia.[3] Doryanthaceae is part of the order Asparagales (the asparagoid lilies).

Doryanthes excelsa.JPG
Doryanthes excelsa
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Doryanthaceae
R.Dahlgren & Clifford[2]
Genus: Doryanthes

Plants grow in a rosette form, only flowering after more than 10 years. They enjoy a warm environment, good soil, and much water during the warmest time of the year.[3]


The genus Doryanthes was first described in 1802 by the Portuguese priest, statesman, philosopher and botanist José Francisco Corrêa da Serra (1751–1823), a close friend of Joseph Banks. D. excelsa or gymea lily, which is endemic to southern Sydney and the Illawarra, inspired the naming of Doryanthes, the journal of history and heritage for Southern Sydney founded by Dharawal historian Les Bursill.

The family Doryanthaceae, placed in the order Asparagales of the monocots, has only recently been recognized by taxonomists.[2] Formerly the genus was usually placed in the family Agavaceae,[4] now the subfamily Agavoideae of the family Asparagaceae.


  1. ^ Search for "Doryanthes", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2012-06-01
  2. ^ a b Angiosperm Phylogeny Group III (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
  3. ^ a b Botanica : The Illustrated A–Z of over 10,000 garden plants and how to cultivate them, Köln: Köneman, 2004, ISBN 978-3-8331-1253-9, p. 312
  4. ^ Blunden, G.; Yi, Yi & Jewers, K. (1973), "The comparative leaf anatomy of Agave, Beschorneria, Doryanthes and Furcraea species (Agavaceae: Agaveae)", Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 66 (2): 157–179, doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.1973.tb02167.x