Original Research

Systematics and biology of the African genus Ferraria (Iridaceae: Irideae)

P. Goldblatt, J. C. Manning
Bothalia | Vol 41, No 1 | a33 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v41i1.33 | © 2011 P. Goldblatt, J. C. Manning | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 December 2011 | Published: 13 December 2011

About the author(s)

P. Goldblatt, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri, United States
J. C. Manning, Research Centre for Plant Growth and Development, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Full Text:



Following field and herbarium investigation of the subequatorial African and mainly western southern African Ferraria Burm. ex Mill. (Iridaceae: Iridoideae), a genus of cormous geophytes, we recognize 18 species, eight more than were included in the 1979 account of the genus by M.P. de Vos. One of these, F. ovata, based on Moraea ovata Thunb. (1800), was only discovered to be a species of Ferraria in 2001, and three more are the result of our different view of De Vos’s taxonomy. In tropical Africa, F. glutinosa is recircumscribed to include only mid- to late summer-flowering plants, usually with a single basal leaf and with purple to brown flowers often marked with yellow. A second summer-flowering species, F. candelabrum, includes taller plants with several basal leaves. Spring and early summer-flowering plants lacking foliage leaves and with yellow flowers from central Africa are referred to F. spithamea or F. welwitschii respectively.


Ferraria Burm Ex Mill; Floral Biology; Iridaceae; New Species; Taxonomy; Tropical Africa; Winter Rainfall Southern Africa


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