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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 26 | Iridaceae

14. Freesia Ecklon ex Klatt, Linnaea. 34: 672. 1866.
[name conserved]

Freesia [for F. H. T. Freese, d. 1876, student of C. F. Ecklon, 1795–1868, who first used the name (as Freesea), although in a different sense]

Peter Goldblatt

Anomatheca Ker Gawler

Herbs, perennial, from corms. Corms tunicate, conic, ca. 10 mm diam.; tunics fibrous; fibers fine, pale, reticulate. Stems simple or branched. Leaves several, sometimes prostrate; blade plane, lanceolate [ensiform or oblong]. Inflorescences spicate, secund, usually strongly flexed basally, ± horizontal, several–many-flowered; bract green [pale straw colored], coriaceous or membranous. Flowers often strongly fragrant, zygomorphic; tepals connate into tube, mostly white or yellow, sometimes pink or red, subequal, outer whorl slightly larger than inner; perianth tube cylindric or funnel-shaped, short or long proximally, abruptly expanded into short to long tube or flared distally; stamens asymmetrically disposed, unilateral; anthers usually parallel; style arching over filaments, dividing into 3 filiform branches. Capsules irregularly globose, usually rugose. Seeds several per locule, globose, without wings; seed coat light to dark brown, hard, shiny. x = 11.

Species 15 (2 in the flora): introduced; South Africa.

Critical phylogenetic study has shown Freesia to be nested in Anomatheca, and the two genera have been united.


Goldblatt, P. 1982. Systematics of Freesia Klatt (Iridaceae). J. S. African Bot. 48: 39–91. Goldblatt, P. and J. C. Manning. 1995. Phylogeny of the African genera Anomatheca and Freesia (Iridaceae–Ixioideae), and a new genus Xenoscapa. Syst. Bot. 20: 161–178.

1 Perianth hypocrateriform; tepals pink to red with dark red markings on lower 3 tepals; tube cylindric throughout.   1 Freesia laxa
+ Perianth funnel-shaped; tepals predominantly white, sometimes with yellow markings on lower tepals, tepals and tube lightly flushed with purple abaxially; distal part of tube longer than basal part, very gradually flared.   2 Freesia alba

Lower Taxa


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