Monocotyledons pp 1289-1289 | Cite as


  • E. Van JaarsveldEmail author
Reference work entry
Part of the Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants book series (SUCCPLANTS)


A diagnostic description of the monotypic genus is given. The geographical distribution is outlined, together with a selection of important literature, and an explanation of the etymology of the name. This is followed by a short summary of its position in the phylogeny of the family and of the past and present classification in a phylogenetic context.

This is followed by a synoptical treatment of the single succulent species of the genus.

Spetaea Wetschnig & Pfosser (Taxon 52(1): 75, 2003). Type: Spetaea lachenaliiflora Wetschnig & Pfosser. – HyacinthoideaeMassonieaeDistr: RSA (Western Cape). Etym: For Dr. Franz Speta (1941–2015), Austrian botanist and specialist of petaloid monocotyledons.

Perennial summer-deciduous bulbous plants; bulbs underground, ovoid, 3.5 cm ∅, bulb scales firm, dark brown; R fibrous; L up to 6, succulent, canaliculate, linear to lanceolate, acuminate, 15–25 × 1–3 cm, glabrous, surface shining, without spots; Inf solitary, erect, 20–50 cm, raceme 4–5 cm ∅, densely flowered; Bra 2–3 mm, recurved; Ped horizontally spreading, 9–19 mm, glabrous; Fl campanulate; Tep 9–11 × 1.8–2.5 mm, basally fused to form a narrow cup, blue to violet, 1-veined; Fil fused at the base, spreading, blue or violet, 9–12 mm; Anth 2.5 mm, violet to purple, dorsifixed, pollen yellow; Ov 3 × 2 mm ∅; Fr obovoid, obtusely 3-lobed, 10 × 8 mm; Se 2.6 × 1.7 mm, slightly wrinkled, black. — Cytology: 2n = 20 (protologue).

The single species of this genus was for long regarded as part of a widely circumscribed Scilla plumbea auct. (not S. plumbea Lindley, see Merwilla plumbea), but the studies of Wetschnig and Pfosser (2003) showed that the plants from the Du Toits Kloof area are an independent taxon distinct from any other member of the tribe. In their molecular analysis, Spetaea forms a subclade with Daubenya, Androsiphon, Amphisiphon and Massonia. Spetaea is distinct within the tribe due to its almost uniquely wrinkled seeds.

S. lachenaliiflora Wetschnig and Pfosser (Taxon 52(1): 75, ills. (p. 76), 2003). Type: RSA, Western Cape (Drège 1997 [B, W]). – Distr: RSA (Western Cape: Du Toits Kloof); rocky parts in Hawequas Sandstone Fynbos vegetation, winter-rainfall region; flowering during mid-summer. I: Lewis (1947, as Scilla plumbea).

Description as for the genus.


  1. Lewis, G. J. (1947) Scilla plumbea. Flow. Pl. Afr. 26: t. 1006 + 2 pp. text.Google Scholar
  2. Wetschnig, W. & Pfosser, M. F. (2003) The Scilla plumbea puzzle — present status of the genus Scilla sensu lato in southern Africa and description of Spetaea lachenaliiflora, a new genus and species of Massonieae (Hyacinthaceae). Taxon 52(1): 75–91, ills., key.

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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biodiversity and ConservationUniversity of the Western CapeBellvilleSouth Africa

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