familyIridaceae
genusFreesia

Freesia

Ecklon ex Klatt
Linnaea 34: 672. 1866.
Common names: Freesia
Etymology: 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
Synonyms: Anomatheca Ker Gawler
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 405. Mentioned on page 349.

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.

Distribution

Introduced; South Africa.

Discussion

Species 15 (2 in the flora).

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

Key

1 Perianth hypocrateriform; tepals pink to red with dark red markings on lower 3 tepals; tube cylindric throughout. Freesia laxa
1 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. Freesia alba
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