From: Gage & Wilkin (2008).
S. lutea (L.) Ker Gawl. ex Spreng, Syst. Veg. 2:57 (1825) Typus: ‘Habitat in Hispania, Italis, Thracia’, date unknown, LINN 416.1 (Holo- LINN, digital image!).
Amaryllis lutea L., Sp. Pl. 292 (1753).
Oporanthus luteus (L.), Herb. Appendix [Bot. Reg.] 38 (1821).
S. aurantiaca Dinsm. in Post, Fl. Syria ed. 2, 2:607 (1934) (no specimens cited).
S. sicula Tineo ex Guss. Fl. Sic. Syn. 2:811 (1844-45) Typus: Italy, Sicily, Militello, Val di Noto, 1847, Tineo s.n. (Iso- K!)
Oporanthus siculus (Tineo ex Guss.) Parl. Fl. Ital. 3:97 (1858)
S. lutea (L.) Ker Gawl. ssp. sicula (Tineo ex Guss) D.A.Webb, Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 76:358 (1978)
S. greuteriana Kamari & R.Artelari, Willdenowia 19:371 (1990) Typus: Greece, Crete, Nomos Lasithiou, Ep. Lasithiou: NW side of Lasithi Plateau, 10.x.1985, Kamari 20292 (Holo- UPA, iso- B).
BULB globose to ovoid, (1.2-)2.4–4.6(-5.7) cm in diameter; may be continuous with an extended neck 0–8.6(-10.8) x 0–1.6 cm which partially encloses the sheath; tunic chartaceous, turning dark brown when dry. SHEATH tubular, 1.7–14.6 x 0.2–2.1 cm, tubular, tapering to an abruptly acute apex to one side; membranous in texture. INDUMENTUM of sparse, fine white appressed hairs on both leaf surfaces, otherwise glabrous. LEAVES 4–6(-7), linear to narrowly lanceolate, 0.7–33.3(-39) x (0.7-)1–1.2 cm at flowering, appearing with or just after the flowers, elongating after fertilization; apex acute; margins minutely crenulate with regular or irregular crenulae; upper surface slightly furrowed, underside keeled; surfaces concolorous, bright to dark green, occasionally with a greyish or greenish median stripe when fresh, drying to a dark olive green to brown; leaves chartaceous when dry. INFLORESCENCE a solitary sessile flower; scape 1(-5), 0.3–20 x 0.1–0.5 cm, held erect at flowering, elongating and curving toward the ground at fruiting; smooth or faintly ridged. SPATHE (0.6-)1– 5(-6) cm long, lanceolate, apex acute, occasionally apically divided, attached below and completely enclosing ovary and extending part-way up perianth tube; membranous. OVARY inferior, ovoid to oblongoid–ovoid, 0.4–1.4 x 0.1–0.8 cm at flowering, epidermis smooth or with faint ridges continuous with segment veins when dry. FLOWER wholly deep yellow in colour; erect at flowering; tube 0.2–1.9 x 0.1–0.4 cm, with perianth segments inserted at the apex; segments 6(7) in two separate whorls that may ormay not be distinct, where distinct, outer whorl segments broader and apically acute, sometimes inner whorl apically obtuse, outer whorl often cucullate; 1.6–6 x 0.2–2.2 cm. FILAMENTS (0.7-)1.1–5 cm in length, thread-like; didynamous; anthers dorsifixed, dehiscing extrorsely. STYLE 1.6–5.5(-6.5) cm in length, projecting above anthers; stigmatic surface capitate. FRUIT a few-seeded capsule, drying dark brown: dehiscence not observed. SEEDS globose, 2.5–3(-3.5) mmin diameter, normally with a fleshy aril extending from one pole completely or partly to the equator.
Flowering between September and November.
Given the extremely broad geographical range of this species, its conservation status is likely to be LC (IUCN, 2001).
Found throughout southern Europe from the South of France to Spain, Italy and Greece and across North Africa east from Morocco extending into Asia as far as the Caucasus and Iran. This range may have been artificially extended by cultivation and introduction.
It is found from near sea level to c. 1500 m in elevation in stony habitats on limestone or in scrubland in the open where it receives full sun and can be common in cultivated areas.