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The Genus Asparagus in Southern Africa*

By J. P. Jessop


<p>A revision of the genus<em> Asparagus</em> in South Africa, South West Africa, Bechuanaland, Basutoland, and Swaziland has been undertaken.</p> <p>Notes are given on the value of most o f the characters which have been used in the separation of species, recent literature on the nature of  <em>Asparagus</em> assimilatory organs, and a technique for the examination of chromosomes. Chromosome counts are listed for ten taxa.</p> <p>There is a key to the forty species and four varieties. In the main part of the work these taxa are described, and their synonymy, taxonomy, distribution and habitats dealt with. Six species and one variety are new.</p> <p>The following are the new species and combinations:  <em>A. </em><strong>setaceus</strong> (Kunth) (Asparagopsis setacea Kunth), <em>A.</em> <strong>mueronatus</strong><em>, A. macowanii </em>Bak. var. <strong>zuluensis </strong>(N. E. Br.)  (<em>A. zuluensis</em> N. E. Br.), <em>A. </em><strong>rigidus</strong>,<em> A.</em> <strong>densiflorus</strong> (Kunth)  {Asparagopsis densiflora Kunth),  <em>A.</em> <strong>aethiopicus</strong> L. var. <strong>angusticladus</strong>, <em>A.</em><strong> falcatus</strong> L. var. <strong>ternifolius </strong>(Bak.)  (A. aethiopicus L. var.  ternifolius Bak.),  A. aspergillus,  A. obermeyerae,  <em>A. </em><strong>krebsianus </strong>(Kunth) (Asparagopsis krebsiana Kunth),  <em>A.</em> <strong>acocksii</strong>. <strong> A</strong>. <em>crassicladus</em>.</p> <p>Several plants o f horticultural importance occur in South Africa. The three best known are A. plumosus, which is reduced here to synonymy under  <em>A. setaceus</em> (Kunth) Jessop, and  A. sprengeri and  <em>A. myersii. A. sprengeri</em> is being reduced to synonymy under  <em>A. densiflorus</em> (Kunth) Jessop,.  <em>A. myersii</em>, which is a  nomen nudum, is also regarded as belonging to  <em>A. densiflorus</em>.</p

Topics: General. Including nature conservation, geographical distribution, QH1-199.5
Publisher: AOSIS
Year: 1966
DOI identifier: 10.4102/abc.v9i1.1576
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