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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 26 | Iridaceae

13. Sparaxis Ker Gawler, Ann. Bot. (König & Sims). 1: 225. 1804.

[Greek sparasso, to tear, alluding to the sometimes lacerated bracts]

Peter Goldblatt

Streptanthera Sweet; Synnotia Sweet

Herbs, perennial, from corms. Stems simple or branched. Leaves several, sometimes prostrate; blade plane, ensiform to oblong. Inflorescences spicate, spiral or secund, 2–5-flowered[–many-flowered]; bracts pale to light brown, irregularly streaked with dark brown, unequal, outer usually exceeding inner, scarious, acute or 3-cuspidate, inner apex 2-furcate to 2-cuspidate. Flowers odorless [fragrant], actinomorphic [zygomorphic]; perianth tube funnel-shaped, sometimes obliquely so; tepals spreading, connate into tube, variously colored, sometimes with strongly contrasting markings, subequal, outer whorl slightly larger than inner [unequal, dorsal tepal largest]; stamens symmetrically arranged [asymmetrical], unilateral; anthers straight [coiled]; style [unilateral, often arching over filaments] dividing into 3 short branches, apices spatulate [long, filiform]. Capsules globose to oblong, cartilaginous. Seeds 8–15 per locule, globose; seed coat light to dark brown, hard, shiny. x = 10.

Species 15 (1 in the flora): introduced; s Africa.


Goldblatt, P. 1969. The genus Sparaxis. J. S. African Bot. 35: 219–252. Goldblatt, P. 1992. Phylogenetic analysis of the South African genus Sparaxis (including Synnotia) (Iridaceae–Ixioideae), with two new species and a review of the genus. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 79: 143–159. Goldblatt, P. 1999. Sparaxis. In: Department of Agricultural Technical Services [South Africa]. 1963+. Flora of Southern Africa. 19+ vols. (some partial). Pretoria. Vol. 7, part 2, fasc. 1, pp. 151–169.

Lower Taxon


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