Issue 9, 2013

The chemistry and biological activity of the Hyacinthaceae


Covering: 1914 to 2012

The Hyacinthaceae (sensu APGII), with approximately 900 species in about 70 genera, can be divided into three main subfamilies, the Hyacinthoideae, the Urgineoideae and the Ornithogaloideae, with a small fourth subfamily the Oziroëoideae, restricted to South America. The plants included in this family have long been used in traditional medicine for a wide range of medicinal applications. This, together with some significant toxicity to livestock has led to the chemical composition of many of the species being investigated. The compounds found are, for the most part, subfamily-restricted, with homoisoflavanones and spirocyclic nortriterpenoids characterising the Hyacinthoideae, bufadienolides characterising the Urgineoideae, and cardenolides and steroidal glycosides characterising the Ornithogaloideae. The phytochemical profiles of 38 genera of the Hyacinthaceae will be discussed as well as any biological activity associated with both crude extracts and compounds isolated. The Hyacinthaceae of southern Africa were last reviewed in 2000 (T. S. Pohl, N. R. Crouch and D. A. Mulholland, Curr. Org. Chem., 2000, 4, 1287–1324; ref. 1); the current contribution considers the family at a global level.

Graphical abstract: The chemistry and biological activity of the Hyacinthaceae

Article information

Article type
Review Article
29 Jan 2013
First published
29 Jul 2013
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Nat. Prod. Rep., 2013,30, 1165-1210

The chemistry and biological activity of the Hyacinthaceae

D. A. Mulholland, S. L. Schwikkard and N. R. Crouch, Nat. Prod. Rep., 2013, 30, 1165 DOI: 10.1039/C3NP70008A

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