Help with Resnova pilosa/Hyacinthaceae

Tue, 03 Jun 2008 19:29:08 PDT
I'm not sure of the standing of Scilla proper in southern Africa, but here
are the differences between the other genera according to Ute & Dietrich
Mueller-Doblies (Feddes Repert. 108: 1-2: 49-96, 1997). I've
highlightedsome contrasting character traits that seem more useful or
The key works by comparing information in the paired couplets (1a vs. 1b)
until a satisfactory result is achieved.

1a. Ovary shortly conical, +/- with a 6-lobed disc at the base, stipitate;
bulb usually covered by a +/- thick coat of papery dead scales that persist
for several years..............Ledebouria

1b. Ovary globose to oblong, sessile; bulb usually +/- naked (dead
scales quickly
      2a. All perianth segments +/- spreading; filaments subulate
(filiform), biseriate, outer ones inserted at the throat, inner ones 0.5-2mm
above the base of the inner segments; ovary ovoid to oblong; perianth 5-17mm
long (in all but one species more than 9mm long)...Resnova
      2b. Inner perianth segments permanently connivent (= closely held
together); filaments flat, deltoid or acuminate, nearly touching each other
at the broad insertion (occasionally confluent); ovary globose; perianth in
southern African species 3-5mm long......... Drimiopsis

In the same article they mention that the character of the inner perianth
segments ("petals") being connivent, or closely held against each other, is
only seen in Albuca among the SA hyacinths. So in a sense Albuca is to
Ornithogalum as Drimiopsis is to Ledebouria. These three genera appear to be
"natural" and rather distinctive but they very well may not be recognized in
botanical circles based on modern investigations using gene sequence

To be sure the Mueller-Doblies have a track record of being "splitters" and
so recognize more formal taxonomic entities than most others working with
hyacinths and amaryllids. Nonetheless they have made valuable contributions
to our knowledge of these plants, including field work. Unfortunately their
published research is not readily accessible to those without access to an
academic library; this is also true of some papers of Goldblatt & Manning,
one of which would answer the question about Scilla in SA. I am working to
get a photocopy of this important article based on molecular studies-- it is
available online for about $US20.00 (Edinburgh Journal of Botany). A bit
steep in my opinion.

Dylan Hannon
Dylan Hannon Rare Bulbs

On Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 10:12 AM, Mary Sue Ittner <> wrote:

> Hi,
> When Justin asked about this plant I looked it up as I had never heard of
> the genus. Like Paul I learned it was in the Hycinthaceae family. I
> couldn't find this species listed in any of the many South African flora
> books I consulted. IPNI lists:
> Hyacinthaceae Resnova pilosa van der Merwe.
> Aant. Hers. Gen. Scilla Suid-Afr. (Tydskr. Wetensk. Kuns, vi. Afl. 3) 46
> (1946).
> So it appears to have been published in 1946.
> Both Kew and IPNI give this reference:
> basionym of: Hyacinthaceae Ledebouria pilosa
>  (
> Van der Merwe ) J.C.Manning & Goldblatt
> Edinburgh J. Bot. 60(3): 561 (2003 publ. 14 April 2004).
> Kew lists this species as native from Mpumalanga to KwaZulu-Natal so it
> would be from a summer rainfall area. I'd assume it would be dormant in
> winter and grow in summer. Rogan are you familiar with this plant and can
> you help Justin with cultivation information?
> John Bryan's Bulbs directs most of the Resnovas including this one to
> Drimiopsis maxima. That plant is listed by Kew as Resnova
> humifusa  (published 1997) with a note that this new name is not accepted
> by other check lists. Presumably they did not choose to call it Resnova
> maxima since there already was a plant by that name published in  1946.
> Ledebouria maxima is listed as a synonym from the Manning and Goldblatt
> reference above for for Resnova maxima.
> Looking through the Kew synonym list for Resnova species you find
> Drimiopsis, Scilla, Ledebouria as synonyms.
> Any Hyacinthaceae experts in our group that can explain the difference
> between Resnova, Scilla, Drimiopsis, and Ledebouria? I'd love to add this
> to the wiki.
> All the name changes may be really fascinating for taxonomists, but it
> makes it really difficult (I say again) for people who want to grow the
> plants to get information about them when the name has changed and you have
> books written prior to those changes. How in the world do we keep up?
> Mary Sue
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