Agapanthaceae is the botanical name of a family of flowering plants. The sole included genus, and the one from which the family takes its name, is Agapanthus. This genus has been variously included in Amaryllidaceae (e.g., Fay & Chase 1996), Alliaceae (e.g., the Dahlgren system and APG II system), or Liliaceae (e.g., in the Cronquist system, which unlike most classification systems included both Alliaceae and Amaryllidaceae in a broadly defined Liliaceae). Agapanthus shares characters with genera included in both Alliaceae and Amaryllidaceae, but lacks the compounds that give alliaceous plants their characteristic onion or garlic odor, and has superior ovaries, unlike the usually inferior ovaries of Amaryllidaceae.

Fay & Chase (1996) recommend the recognition of Agapanthus as a subfamily, Agapanthoideae, in Amaryllidaceae. The APG II system (2003) prefers the inclusion of both Amaryllidaceae and Agapanthaceae in Alliaceae but allows for the optional separation of the three families, placing them in the order Asparagales, in the monocots clade.


Michael F. Fay and Mark W. Chase. 1996. Resurrection of Themidaceae for the Brodiaea alliance, and recircumscription of Alliaceae, Amaryllidaceae and Agapanthoideae. Taxon 45: 441-451 (abstract)

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