Comments on several respondents offerings on this topic: > Mark: > > Try these. Looks can be deceiving. > > Alan Thanks Alan, I shall give these a lookup sometime. Until such time that I get a chance, can you summarize, is Muilla now in the Themidaceae? If it is, it's ironic n'est pa? Mar Sue, thanks for the paragraph summarizing the differences between Alliaceae and Themidaceae. Some comments: >Alliaceae have a true bulb (composed of >swollen leaf bases) with a membranous >coat, but the storage organ in >Themidaceae is a corm (composed >of stem tissue.) This is a gross generalization. Many alliums do not have a recognizeable bulb whatsoever . many Chinese species, such as A. wallichii, have nothing more that a ever-so-slightly thickened leaf base, and some fleshy white roots, nothing that you'd remotely call a bulb, but indeed merely a rhizome, and even questionably at that. A large number of species do not have membranous bulb coats... some do, some have fibrous bulbs coats, some have no recognizeable bulb coats whatsoever. I do agree that Trits and Brodes have corms, but some Geranium species, as well as some Pelergoniums, have bulbs or bulb-like storage structures whereas most are fibrous rooted perennials. Are they removed into their own genus? Alliums can have true bulbs, rhizomes (whole sections named after this feature), or a combination of vestigial bulb and rhizome. Should the different groups be separated into their own genera? Many genera exhibit similar rootstalk diversity, such as Corydalis... should these be separated out into their own family? >Most, if not all, Themidaceae lack the onion odor." Some major sections of the genus Allium also lack the characteristic onion odor. Should these non-alliaceous-scented alliums be split off into their own genus, or a new family perhaps. >While Alliaceae have a pair of bracts that >encloses the flower buds, Themidaceae have >several bracts that do not enclose the young >flowers. Alliums have *one* to *many* bracts that enclose the flower buds, not always a pair as described above. The number of spathe or bract segments, and whether the segments are persistent or not, play a role in species determination. In some species the spathe is so short and ephemeral (dropping off) that the buds can appear as not being enclosed. The genus Muilla is described as having buds enclosed in several spathe segments. What am I missing? Alan writes: >No South American Themidaceae. Strictly >Southwestern and Western U.S. andMexican. >There is no true Brodiaea in Chile. All the Chilean >onions are still onions. Way back when, many S. American plants now known as Tristagma, Ipheion, Nothoscordum, and others, were listed as Brodiaeas, even a few as Allium. Alan is quite right, there are no true Brodiaea in Chile and these genera names were misapplied. When it is said "all Chilean onions are still onions", I assume what is meant by that is that all Chilean Alliaceae are still Alliaceae, because there are no true onions (Alliums) in South America. But this Themidaceae separation has me wondering... was the division largely devised based on Western American and Mexican taxa... if so, therein lies the conventional flaw in not looking "big picture". Most American Allium fall into a single type with bulbs. Consider the genus Allium in it's holistic sense, including Chinese Allium, the "rhiziridium" section of Allium, the stoloniferous Alliums, alliums with varying bract structure, rootstalk structure, even onion smell, and tell me that Themidaceae is justified. I just want to be convinced. I'm not adverse to sensible change, but this one really has me wondering. Mark McDonough Pepperell, Massachusetts, United States firstname.lastname@example.org "New England" USDA Zone 5 ============================================== >> web site under construction - http://www.plantbuzz.com/ << alliums, bulbs, penstemons, hardy hibiscus, western american alpines, iris, plants of all types!