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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 8 | Crassulaceae

7. Aeonium Webb & Berthelot, Hist. Nat. Îles Canaries. 3(2,1): 184, plates 28-35. 1840.

[Dioscoridean name for A. arboreum]

Reid V. Moran

Shrubs [perennial herbs], not viviparous, [1-]7-10[-20] dm, glabrous or pubescent. Stems erect, branched [simple], woody or fleshy. Leaves persistent, crowded in rosettes at ends of branches, alternate, sessile, not connate basally; blade oblong-lanceolate or obovate, laminar to terete, 3-15 cm, fleshy, base not spurred, margins ciliate; veins not conspicuous. Inflorescences terminal cymes. Pedicels present. Flowers erect or spreading, [6-]7-12[-16]-merous; sepals connate basally, all alike; petals spreading or erect, distinct or nearly so, cream or bright yellow; calyx and corolla not circumscissile in fruit; nectaries mostly rectangular; stamens 2 times as many as sepals; filaments adnate on corolla base; pistils erect, distinct or nearly so; ovary base rounded; styles 2+ times shorter than ovary. Fruits erect. Seeds ellipsoidal, ribbed, finely cross-ribbed. x = 18.

Species 31 (2 in the flora): introduced, California; Asia (Yemen), Africa, Atlantic Islands (especially Canary Islands).

Aeonium and the other polymerous-flowered Macaronesian Crassulaceae were formerly included in the polymerous-flowered Sempervivum. From studies in DNA and molecular systematics, T. H. M. Mes (1995) concluded that Aeonium and these related genera probably evolved from North African Sedum-like ancestors and are only more distantly related to Sempervivum. He thought that the wide range of growth-forms in Aeonium, including the woody habit, is derived from herbaceous ancestors.

SELECTED REFERENCE Liu, H. Y. 1989. Systematics of Aeonium (Crassulaceae). Taichung. [Natl. Mus. Nat. Sci. [Taiwan], Special Publ. 3.]

1 Rosette leaves 50-75, blade bright green, 5-9(-15) cm, 1.5-3 mm thick; petals 9-11, spreading, bright yellow.   1 Aeonium arboreum
+ Rosette leaves 15-25, blade gray-green, 3-6 cm, 2-5 mm thick; petals 7-9, erect, cream.   2 Aeonium haworthii

Lower Taxa


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