Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Chlidanthus fragrans Herb.

Bulbous perennial with with large, ovoid bulbs and narrow, erect, grey-green, linear leaves.  Umbels of 3-5 trumpet-shaped, fragrant, golden yellow flowers are borne in summer.  To about 30cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

First botanically described by William Herbert in 1821 as Chlidanthus fragrans. Appendix was published as a booklet and as an appendix in both the Botanical Magazine and the Botanical Register. ‘Species. 1. Fragrans; with from 2 to 7 yellow flowers, very fragrant; tube from 3 to 4 inches long, limb about 1 and a half; leaves linear, erect, glaucous. Observ. Bulbs of this beautiful plant have been received by Lord Carnarvon from Buenos Ayres, and by Mr. Brookes of Ball’s Pond from Chili. In both collections they flowered very soon after their arrival. The flowers which I inspected had lost their fragrance, which is said to resemble that of the Jonquil.’ [Appendix 46/1821].

‘The fragrance has been likened to that of Frankincense.  Mr Lindley speaks of the leaves as grass-like, of a bright green colour, and as coming after the departure of the inflorescence.  In our sample, the leaves were glaucous and simultaneous with the flowers.’  [BR f.640/1822].  Introduced to Britain in 1820.  [JD].  FS f.326/1848.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.66/1843].


Published Apr 25, 2009 - 01:42 PM | Last updated Jun 26, 2012 - 04:32 PM

Shown are the linear leaves and three golden yellow trumpet-shaped flowers.  Botanical Register f.640, 1822.

Chlidanthus fragrans Herb. | BR f.640/1822 | BHL

Family Amaryllidaceae
Region of origin


  • Chlidanthus ehrenbergii (Klotzsch) Kunth
  • Clitanthes lutea (Poir. ex Spreng.) Herb.
  • Coleophyllum ehrenbergii Klotzsch
  • Pancratium luteum Poir. ex Spreng.
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Chlidanthus fragrans 

Confidence level