Crinum asiaticum L.

Last updated: 23 Feb 2017

Scientific Name

Crinum asiaticum L.


Amaryllis carnosa Hook.f., Bulbine asiatica (L.) Gaertn., Crinum albiflorum Noronha [Invalid], Crinum angustifolium Herb. ex Steud. [Invalid], Crinum anomalum Herb., Crinum bancanum Kurz, Crinum bracteatum Willd., Crinum brevifolium Roxb., Crinum carinifolium Stokes, Crinum cortifolium Hallier f., Crinum declinatum Herb., Crinum floridum Fraser ex Herb. [Illegitimate], Crinum hornemannianum M.Roem., Crinum macrantherum Engl., Crinum macrocarpum Carey ex Kunth, Crinum macrophyllum Hallier f., Crinum northianum Baker, Crinum plicatum Livingstone ex Hook., Crinum procerum Herb. & Carey, Crinum redouteanum M.Roem., Crinum rigidum Herb., Crinum rumphii Merr., Crinum sumatranum Roxb., Crinum toxicarium Roxb., Crinum umbellatum Carey ex Herb., Crinum woolliamsii L.S.Hannibal, Crinum zanthophyllum Hannibal, Haemanthus pubescens Blanco [Illegitimate], Lilium pendulum Noronha. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Bakong, bawang hutan, bawang tanah, rumput tembaga suasa [2]
English Cape lily, crinum lily, poison bulb, sprain weed, tree crinum [2]
China Luo qun dai [2]
India Amal, amphut, bara kanur, bon naharu, campankulikacceti, chengu lauva, chindar, haliyaon, gadambhikanda, kanalmunkil, Lakshmi-narayana-chettu, magdavan, naagadavana, perunarivenkayam, sudarsana, veshei, vishamoongil [2]
Indonesia Bakung, bakung bakung, fete-fete, kajang-kajang, udu pebejek [2]
Thailand Lilua, phlapphueng [2]
Philippines Agabahan, bakong, biliba [2]
Vietnam La nang, l[as] n[as]ng, nang hoa trang, n[as]ng hoa tr[aws]ng, toi voi, t[or]I voi [2]
Fiji Viavia [2]
Guam Piga-palayi [2]
Papua New Guinea Balel, didil, faropac, gawagawa, morabau, pokaan, vule [2].

Geographical Distributions

Crinum asiaticum is distributed from India to Southeast Asia, north-western Australia and Polynesia. [3]

Botanical Description

C. asiaticum is a member of the family Amaryllidaceae. It is a herb about 1-1.8 m tall, with a bulb measures about 5-15 cm in diameter and many bulblets present. It has a false stem up to 50 cm long and clothed with old leaf sheaths. [3]

The leaves are 20-30 narrowly to broadly elliptical. The size of its leaf is 50-150 cm x 3.5-20 cm, lower horizontal, and upper semi-erect. Its margins are entire and smooth. The umbel is 10-50-flowered. [3]

The stalk of inflorescence measures between 50-100 cm long while bracts measure 9-16 cm x 3-5 cm in size and pale. The flowers are fragrant at night. It is white but sometimes pink. The stalk of each individual flower measures 0.5-2.5 cm long. The filaments of stamens are slender and measure 3.5-7 cm long. [3]

The fruits are beaked and fleshy. It is yellowish-green. The seeds are egg-shaped, 1-5-seeded and often angular. [3]


C. asiaticum is extremely polymorphic, and found along sandy shores and shaded, humid localities at low altitudes. [3]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

Leaves, bulb [4], roots [5].

Traditional Use

C. asiaticum is known throughout south-east Asia and Polynesia as an emetic and diaphoretic [4]. Tribes if Chittagong Hilly areas use this plant as a remedy of pain, swelling carbuncle, piles, earache, arthritis, skin disease, cold and cough disorders, vomiting, worms infestation, and fever. Leaves and roots of this plant are used as emetic, diaphoretic and purgatives. The leaves when smeared with castor oil and warmed, is a useful remedy for repelling inflammations and swellings at the end of toes and fingers [5].

Preclinical Data


Anti-inflammatory activity

The anti-inflammatory activity of methanol extract of C. asiaticum bulb was estimated volumetrically by measuring the mean increase in hind paw volume of carrageenan-induced Wistar albino rat with the help of plethysmometer. Oral administration of bulb extract at dose of 1.5g/kg and 2g/kg showed the highest inhibition 52.56% and 47.37% respectively, at the 3rd hour of administration. The result demonstrates that C. asiaticum exerts potential analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect in experimental animal models. [5]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation

Poisonous Management

Toxic parts

Whole plant. [6]


Lycorine and related phenanthridine alkaloids [6], crinamine, haemanthamine [7].

Lycorine is a glucosidic alkaloid occurring in abundance in the plant. Lycorine has cholinergic effects producing gastrointestinal effects like nausea, vomiting, excessive salivation and diarrhoea. It is also a centrally acting emetic and an inhibitor of protein synthesis in eukaryotic cells, by inhibition of peptide bond formation. [7]

Risk management

Poisoning from C. asiaticum is rare. It should not pose a danger to humans and animals. [6]

Poisonous clinical findings

Toxicity is uncommon in humans. Ingestion of small amounts produce few or no symptoms. Large exposures may cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, diarrhoea, dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. [6]


Intravenous hydration, antiemetic, and electrolyte replacement for patients with severe gastrointestinal symptoms, particularly in children. [6]

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of C. asiaticum [3].


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Crinum asiaticum L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2017 Feb 23]. Available from:
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume II C-D. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p.470-471.
  3. Wardah. Crinum asiaticum L. In: van Valkenburg JLCH, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant resources of South-East Asia No. 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Leiden, The Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 2001; p. 196-197.
  4. Fennell CW, van Staden J. Crinum species in traditional and modern medicine. J Ethnopharmacol. 2001;78:15-26.
  5. Rahman MA, Sharmin R, Uddin MN, et al. Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effect of Crinum asiaticum bulb extract. Asian J Pharma Clin Res. 2011;4(3):34-37.
  6. Nelson LS, Shih RD, Balick MJ. Handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. Berlin: Springer-Verlag; 2007. p. 138-139.
  7. Burrows GE, Tyrl RJ. Toxic plants of North America. Ames, Iowa: John Wiley & Sons; 2013. p. 752-755.