Ismene amancaes

Ismene amancaes, commonly called amancae or amancay,[1][2] is a herbaceous plant species in the family Amaryllidaceae and native to the coastal hills of Peru.

Ismene amancaes
Ismene amancaes.jpg
Flower close-up.
Scientific classification edit
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Amaryllidoideae
Genus: Ismene
I. amancaes
Binomial name
Ismene amancaes
  • Hymenocallis amancaes (Ruiz & Pav.) G. Nicholson
  • Narcissus amancaes Ruiz & Pav.
  • Pancratium amancaes (Ruiz & Pav.) Ker Gawl.


I. amancaes is a species with spherical bulbs 3.5–5 cm in diameter.[3][4] The leaves are strap-shaped, 25–50 cm long and 2.5–5 cm wide, bright green.[3][4] The 2-6 yellow pedicellate flowers are borne at the end of a scape up to 33 cm long.[3] The floral tube is greenish yellow, 5-7.5 cm long, bearing at the end the tepals, which are linear to narrowly lanceolate, 6-7.5 cm long, with green tips.[3][5] The floral corona is funnel-shaped, yellow with green stripes, 5–6 cm long, 6-8.5 cm wide, bearing the stamens facing inwards.[3][5][4]

Distribution and habitatEdit

Flowers and part of a leaf.

Endemic to Peru, Ismene amancaes inhabits coastal hills up to 1500 m of elevation, especially near the city of Lima, as part of the lomas ecosystem.[5][6][4][7]

Chemical compoundsEdit

It is reported that I. amancaes contains the alkaloid substances galantamine[8] and narcissidine.[9]


Remains of I. amancaes have been found in archaeological sites near the city of Lima.[10]

The flowering of this species was the subject of a festival ("Festival de Amancaise") celebrated in June in Lima, until the first half of the 1800s.[11] In a place among the hills surrounding Lima, people from the city gathered annually to celebrate the flowering of the plant in a festival with music and dance, similar to May Day.[11] The festival attracted people from all classes of the society then, while a common sight was people sporting the flowers in their garments.[11]


I. amancaes is considered an endangered species by the IUCN since 1997.[12]


  1. ^ Suni, Mery; Pascual, Edisson; Jara, Enoc (2011). "Desarrollo reproductivo del "amancay" Ismene amancaes (Amaryllidaceae) en su ambiente natural". Revista Peruana de Biología (in Spanish). 18 (3): 293–297.
  2. ^ Soto, Marilú; Leiva, Milagros (2015). "Estudio exomorfológico y fitoquímico de los bulbos de dos especies endémicas del Perú de la familia Amaryllidaceae". Arnaldoa (in Spanish). 22 (1): 269–288.
  3. ^ a b c d e Cullen, James; Knees, Sabina G.; Cubey, H. Suzanne; Shaw, J. M. H. (2011). The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: A Manual for the Identification of Plants Cultivated in Europe, Both Out-of-Doors and Under Glass. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521761475.
  4. ^ a b c d Weathers, John (1911). The Bulb Book. Applewood Books. p. 284. ISBN 9781429013772.
  5. ^ a b c Francis, Macbride, J. (1936). "Flora of Peru /". Fieldiana. v.13:pt.1:no.3: 671.
  6. ^ Goodall, David W. (2014). Evolution of Desert Biota. University of Texas Press. p. 17. ISBN 9780292740990.
  7. ^ Paxton, Sir Joseph (1837). Paxton's Magazine of Botany, and Register of Flowering Plants. Orr and Smith. p. 267.
  8. ^ Willaman, John James; Schubert, Bernice (1961). Alkaloid-bearing Plants and Their Contained Alkaloids. U.S. Department of Agriculture. p. 15.
  9. ^ Glasby, John (2012). Encyclopedia of the Alkaloids: Volume 2 (I-Z). Springer Science & Business Media. p. 988. ISBN 9781461587293.
  10. ^ Browman, David L. (1978). Advances in Andean Archaeology. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 110, 115. ISBN 9783110810011.
  11. ^ a b c Stewart, Charles Samuel (1831). A Visit to the South Seas, in the U.S. Ship Vincennes: During the Years 1829 and 1830; with Scenes in Brazil, Peru, Manila, the Cape of Good Hope, and St. Helena. J.P. Haven. pp. 168–173.
  12. ^ IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. 1997. p. 618.