Original Research

Two new species of Babiana (Iridaceae: Crocoideae) from western South Africa, new names for B. longiflora and B. thunbergii, and com­ments on the original publication of the genus

P. Goldblatt, J. C. Manning, R. Gereau
Bothalia | Vol 38, No 1 | a260 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v38i1.260 | © 2008 P. Goldblatt, J. C. Manning, R. Gereau | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 August 2008 | Published: 14 August 2008

About the author(s)

P. Goldblatt, B.A. Krukoff Curator of African Botany. Missouri Botanical Garden., United States
J. C. Manning, South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa
R. Gereau, Missouri Botanical Garden., United States

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Abstract

Babiana symmetrantha and B. virescens are two new species of section Teretifolieae of this southern African genus, now comprising 90 species. Babiana symmetrantha blooms in August and early September and is restricted to the summit of the Langberg which lies along the border of Namaqualand and the western Karoo near Loeriesfontein. One of only three species of the section with radially symmetric flowers, it is acaulescent and has linear, almost plane leaves covered with long hairs, a perianth tube 45-60(-75) mm long, and subequal, spreading tepals. Babiana virescens blooms in early winter, in May and June, and occurs in seasonally moist open ground on gentle slopes and valley bottoms in southern Namaqualand between Nuwerus and Bitterfontein. It is distinguished by the slightly misted, oblong leaves with thickened, pale margins, and the glabrous cataphvlls and leaf sheaths. The stem, which may be produced up to 100 mm above the ground, is simpleor has a single short branch and the spikes bear 2-6 greenish flowers, the tepals of which are unusually narrow and longer than the perianth tube. We also propose a new name. B tubaeformis.  for the homonym B. longiflora and provide a new combination  Bhirsuta based on the 1783 name Antholyza hirsuta Lam., which replaces B thunbergii Ker Gawl. (1804). Lastly, we present an argument that Babiana is correctly attributed to Ker Gawler alone and that its protologue dates from 1802 contrary to some current authorities.


Keywords

<i>Babiana</i> Ker Gawl.; new names; new species; range extension; replacement names; section <i>Teretifolieae</i>;South Africa; taxonomy

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