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Systematics of freesia iridaceae

, : Systematics of freesia iridaceae. Journal of South African Botany 48(1): 39-92

Freesia is a small genus of southern African Iridaceae subfamily Ixioideae, here treated as comprising 11 spp. [F. alba (G. L. Meyer) Gumbleton, F. sparrmannii (Thunb.) N.E.Br, F. caryophyllacea (Burm.f.) N.E.Br., F. elimensis L. Bol., F. leichtlinii Klatt, F. fergusoniae L. Bol., F. refracta (Jacq.) Klatt, F. corymbosa (Burm. f.) N.E.Br., F. occidentalis L. Bol., F. speciosa L. Bol. and F. andersoniae L. Bol.] The genus is divided into 2 sections based on tepal and bract morphology, sect. Freesia with dry bracts and cordate inner tepals, and sect. Viridibractea with green bracts. Species are concentrated in the southern Cape Province, in the Cape Floristic Region, but F. andersoniae occurs outside this area, in the Karoo, northern Cape and Orange Free State. Based on morphological and cytological grounds, Freesia is believed to be closely allied to Anomatheca, but other affinities are unknown. The genus was last revised in 1935 when 19 spp. were recognized, this number now substantially reduced. Taxonomic and horticultural history is reviewed and several original chromosome counts are presented.

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