Original Research

The Genus Asparagus in Southern Africa*

J. P. Jessop
Bothalia | Vol 9, No 1 | a1576 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v9i1.1576 | © 1966 J. P. Jessop | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 November 1966 | Published: 18 November 1966

About the author(s)

J. P. Jessop,

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A revision of the genus Asparagus in South Africa, South West Africa, Bechuanaland, Basutoland, and Swaziland has been undertaken.

Notes are given on the value of most o f the characters which have been used in the separation of species, recent literature on the nature of  Asparagus assimilatory organs, and a technique for the examination of chromosomes. Chromosome counts are listed for ten taxa.

There is a key to the forty species and four varieties. In the main part of the work these taxa are described, and their synonymy, taxonomy, distribution and habitats dealt with. Six species and one variety are new.

The following are the new species and combinations:  A. setaceus (Kunth) (Asparagopsis setacea Kunth), A. mueronatus, A. macowanii Bak. var. zuluensis (N. E. Br.)  (A. zuluensis N. E. Br.), A. rigidus, A. densiflorus (Kunth)  {Asparagopsis densiflora Kunth),  A. aethiopicus L. var. angusticladus, A. falcatus L. var. ternifolius (Bak.)  (A. aethiopicus L. var.  ternifolius Bak.),  A. aspergillus,  A. obermeyerae,  A. krebsianus (Kunth) (Asparagopsis krebsiana Kunth),  A. acocksii A. crassicladus.

Several plants o f horticultural importance occur in South Africa. The three best known are A. plumosus, which is reduced here to synonymy under  A. setaceus (Kunth) Jessop, and  A. sprengeri and  A. myersii. A. sprengeri is being reduced to synonymy under  A. densiflorus (Kunth) Jessop,.  A. myersii, which is a  nomen nudum, is also regarded as belonging to  A. densiflorus.


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Crossref Citations

1. Phylloclade development in the Asparagaceae: an example of homoeosis
Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society  vol: 94  issue: 3  first page: 327  year: 1987  
doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8339.1986.tb01053.x