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Crinum asiaticum L.

Botanical 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 [3]


Amaryllidaceae [1]

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Bakong, bawang hutan [5]
English Crinum lily, poison bulb [5]
Indonesia Bakung (General); kajang-kajang (Palembang); fete-fete (Ternate) [5]
Philippines Bakong (General); agabahan (Bisaya); biliba (Subanun) [5]
Thailand Phlapphueng (Central); lilua (Northern) [5]
Vietnam N[as]ng hoa tr[aws]ng, t[or]i voi, l[as] n[as]ng [5]
Papua New Guinea Morabau (Kabulula, Trobriand Islands); didil (Lesu, New Ireland); pokaan (Western Highlands) [5]
France Crinole asiatique [5].


Crinum asiaticum is a member of the Amaryllidaceae family. It is a bulbous herb with the bulb size from 5-10 cm diameter. The leaves are linear-lanceolate, shortly acuminated 50-70 cm long, narrow with a sheathing base. The flowers are white and fragrant at night. The fruits are subglobose, capsules bursting irregularly and contain 1-2 seeds [4].


Tropical asia [1].

Plant Use

C. asiaticum has multiple uses in traditional medicine or tropical Asia where it is commonly found in the coastal region. It is essentially used to treat inflammatory conditions due to infection and trauma. The leaves are used as external application in cases of bruising, sprains, strains and fractures of bone. The bulb is used as an emetic and a counter-irritant while the root is an emetic, a nauseant and a diaphoretic when fresh [6].

Toxic Parts

Whole plant [1].


Lycorine and related phenanthridine alkaloids [1], crinamine, haemanthamine [2]. 

Lycorine is a glucosidic alkaloid occurring in abundance in the plant. Lycorine has cholinergic effects producing gastrointestinal effects like nausea, vominting, 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 [2].

Risk Management

Poisoning from C. asiaticum is rare. It should not pose a danger to humans and animals [1].

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 [1].


Intravenous hydration, antiemetics, and electrolyte replacement for patients with severe gastrointestinal symptoms, particularly in children [1].


  1. Nelson LS, Shih RD, Balick MJ. Handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. Berlin: Springer-Verlag; 2007. p. 138-139.
  2. Burrows GE, Tyrl RJ. Toxic Plants of North America. Ames, Iowa: John Wiley & Sons; 2013. p. 752-755.
  3. The Plant List. Crinum asiaticum L. Ver1.1. c2013 [cited 2014 August 21]. Available from:
  4. Warrier PK. Indian Medicinal Plants: A Compendium of 500 Species Volume 2. Hyderbad: Orient Longman Private Ltd.; 1994. p. 209.
  5. 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, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher; 2001. p. 196-197.
  6. Koh HL. A Guide to Medicinal Plants: An illustrated scientific and medicinal approach.  Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.; 2009. p. 55-56. 

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