Original Research

A revised infrageneric classification and synopsis of the Afro-Eurasian genus Moraea (Iridaceae: Irideae)

P. Goldblatt, J. C. Manning, J. Schnitzler
Bothalia | Vol 43, No 1 | a84 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v43i1.84 | © 2013 P. Goldblatt, J. C. Manning, J. Schnitzler | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 January 2013 | Published: 13 January 2013

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
J. Schnitzler, Institute for Ecology, Evolution and Diversity, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

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Molecular phylogenetic studies of Moraea Mill. and the inclusion of Barnardiella Goldblatt, Galaxia Thunb., Gynandriris Parl., Hexaglottis Vent., Homeria Vent. and Roggeveldia Goldblatt in the genus have rendered the existing infrageneric classification, dating from 1976, in need of substantial revision. In particular, subg. Moraea and subg. Vieusseuxia have been shown to be paraphyletic. We propose a new infrageneric classification, based, as far as current data permit, on phylogenetic principles. Monophyletic subgenera and sections are circumscribed based on molecular phylogenies alone or in combination with morphological considerations. We recognize 11 subgenera, 15 sections and three series, arranged as follows in phylogenetic sequence: Plumarieae; Visciramosae (with sect. Multifoliae and sect. Visciramosae); Moraea (with sect. Moraea and sect. Polyphyllae); Galaxia (with ser. Unguiculatae, ser. Eurystigma and ser. Galaxia); Monocephalae; Acaules; Polyanthes (with sect. Serpentinae, sect. Deserticola, sect. Hexaglottis, sect. Gynandriris, sect. Polyanthes and sect. Pseudospicatae); Grandifl orae; Vieusseuxia (with sect. Integres, sect. Vieusseuxia and sect. Villosae); and Homeria (with sect. Stipanthera, sect. Flexuosae, sect. Homeria and sect. Conantherae). Most are moderately to well circumscribed at the morphological level either by floral or vegetative characters, except subg. Moraea, which includes a small number of unspecialized species apparently not linked by any apomorphic features. With over 27 new species described in the past 25 years and another 60 transferred to the genus, Moraea now includes 214 species. We provide a full taxonomic synopsis of the genus.


Iridaceae; Iridoideae; Moraea Mill; New Species; Southern Africa; Taxonomy


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