The difference between Trimezia and Neomarica

David Ehrlich
Tue, 02 Oct 2012 14:21:51 PDT
I have copied the following from Wikipedia.
Trimezia is closely related to the genus Neomarica, and species have been 
transferred between the two genera. According to Chukr & Giulietti (2001), 
characters of the flowers do not clearly distinguish the genera, whereas 
vegetative characters do. Some which they consider diagnostic are shown in the 
following table.
Underground system always a corm almost always a rhizome, only a corm in 10% of 
the species 

Leaf bases (cataphylls) arranged in a spiral arranged in a plane, with the base 
of one clasping the one above (equitant) 

Leaves flattened or circular, not folded sword-shaped (ensiform), folded 
lengthwise (conduplicate) 

Flowering stem (scape) circular in cross-section (terete), never leaf-like 
flattened, always leaf-like 

Equitant is a fun word -- it has nothing to do with equal; rather it's ultimate 
root is equus (horse), and has to do with the way the leaves stradle one 
another, the way one stradles a horse.  The more immediate root is from the 
present participle of equitare -- to ride (a horse).  I suppose conduplicate and 
distichous together imply equitant.
There is a third genus in the group: Pseudotrimezia.  Its flowers are different, 
with subequal tepals (in the above two genera, the tepals of the inner whorl are 
geniculate (knee like)).  The underground stem is a cormiform rhizome, and the 
stem is terete.

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