Original Research

Taxonomic notes and new species of the southern African genus Babiana (Iridaceae: Crocoideae)

P. Goldblatt
Bothalia | Vol 34, No 2 | a417 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v34i2.417 | © 2004 P. Goldblatt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 September 2004 | Published: 03 September 2004

About the author(s)

P. Goldblatt, B.A. Krukoff Curator of African Botany. Missouri Botanical Garden, United States

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A member of Iridaceae subfamily Crocoideae. Babiana Ker Gawl. comprises some 80 species from southern Africa. Field studies have shown the need for several taxonomic and nomenclatural changes, while a number of new species have been discovered. The type of B flabellifolia Harv. ex Klatt is a short-tubed plant that matches B. truncata GJ.Lewis. and that name falls into synonymy. The name B. flabellifolia sensu GJ.Lewis (1959) has been misapplied to long-tubed plants from the western Karoo which are now renamed B. praemorsa sp. nov. In addition. B. truncata, as originally circumscribed, included two species, one short-tubed and a second with a longer tube, which we describe here as B. cuneata sp. nov. The type off?  hypogaea Burch, has also been misinterpreted and matches the species described as B.flavida. which thus falls into the synonymy of B hypogaea. A second species. B.falcata GJ.Lewis. closely matches this species and is also reduced to synonymy. The widespread southern African species long known as B hypogaea (hypogea sensu GJ.Lewis) matches the type ol  B. bainesii Baker and must now be known by that name. Babiana stricta var.  erectifolia (GJ.Lewis) GJ.Lewis is appropriately included in typical B. stricta (Aiton) Ker Gawl. However, var. regia GJ.Lewis is a very different plant and is treated as a separate species. B. regia comb, et stat. nov.. as is long-tubed var. grandiflora GJ.Lewis. which is described as the new species, B. longiflora sp. nov. Plants included in B. stricta var. sulphurea sensu GJ.Lewis are also included in var. stricta. We are unable to match the type of Gladiolus sulphureus Jacq.. basionym of var. sulphurea (Jacq.) Baker, with any known species and the name is thus excluded. Lastly, the name B. disticha Ker Gaw l., type of the genus, is superfluous for Gladiolus fragrans Jacq. and the new combination  B fragrans comb. nov. is made, reducing  B. disticha to synonymy. Babiana fragrans Eckl., which was thought to prevent the transfer of G. fragrans. is a nomen nudum and thus invalid and cannot be taken into account in considerations of nomenclatural priority.


Babiana Ker Gawl.. B cuneata sp. nov. B. fragrans comb. nov.. B longiflora sp. nov.. B. praemorsa sp. nov., B. regia comb; et stat. nov.; biogeography; Iridaceae; southern Africa; systematics


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