Former Hyacinthaceae or the Hyacinth family was a family of about 46 genera found in North America, Eurasia, and Africa. Genera in this family were at one time in Liliaceae. They are bulbous geophytes or very occasionally rhizomatous perennials with flowers grouped on an unbranched leafless stalk. Leaves mostly arise from the base. Flowers have six tepals and stamens and a superior 3 chambered ovary and a simple stigma. APG II optionally included this family in Asparagaceae. APG III eliminated the option and included it in Asparagaceae as the subfamily Scilloideae.
No matter the whole family's name and placement, the true taxonomic controversies evolve within the Genera of Scilloideae:
The revision by J. Manning, P. Goldblatt & M.F. Fay, (2004) "A revised generic synopsis of Hyacinthaceae in sub-Saharan Africa, including new combinations and the new tribe Pseudoprospereae", Edinburgh Journal of Botany 60(3): 533-568 caused some controversy over some groups being sunk into a single genus. Albuca, Casitha, Coilonox, Dipcadi, Eliokarmos, Galtonia, Neopatersonia, Ornithogalum, Pseudogaltonia, Stellarioides, and Zahariadia were sunk into Ornithogalum. Amphisiphon, Androsiphon, Daubenya, and Neobakeria, were sunk into Daubenya. Drimiopsis, Ledebouria, and Resnova were sunk into Ledebouria. Lachenalia, Periboea, Polyxena were sunk into Lachenalia. Massonia and Whiteheadia were sunk into Massonia. Boosia, Charybdis, Drimia, Fusifilum, Linanthus, Rhadamanthus, Schizobasis, Sekanama, Tenicroa, Thuranthos, and Urginavia, were sunk into Drimia.
The most controversial decision is the sinking of 11 genera into Ornithogalum. Further work by researchers at SANBI, the Missouri Botanical Garden and Kew has not supported all of these changes and Albuca, Dipcadi, and Pseudogaltonia have been reinstated. In a "A molecular phylogeny and a revised classification of Ornithogaloideae(Hyacinthaceae) based on an analysis of four plastid DNA regions" written by John C. Manning, Félix Forest, Dion S. Devey, Michael F. Fay & Peter Goldblatt in TAXON 58 (1), February 2009: 1-107, this subject is again addressed. In this paper the species of Ornithogalum with green or brownish median stripes on the outer tepal surfaces and 3 to 5 veins along the midline were moved to Albuca. We will be gradually changing the wiki pages to reflect these changes, but keeping the synonyms as plants will still be found in books and in the trade under their previous names.
The second most controversial group is the sinking of another 11 genera into Drimia. However, the data for this group has sufficient support for such inclusion. As for the other groups, the data was well supported. We will be including synonyms on wiki pages to help sort out which plants are known under more than one name.