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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Asparagales

Familia: Asparagaceae
Subfamilia: Scilloideae
Tribus: Hyacintheae
Subtribus: Massoniinae
Genus: Massonia
Species: M. amoena – M. angustifolia – M. bakeriana – M. bifolia – M. calvata – M. citrina – M. dentata – M. depressa – M. echinata – M. etesionamibensis – M. gypsicola – M. hirsuta – M. inaequalis – M. jasminiflora – M. latebrosa – M. longipes – M. luteovirens – M. mimetica – M. obermeyerae – M. pseudoechinata – M. pustulata – M. pygmaea – M. roggeveldensis – M. saniensis – M. sempervirens – M. sessiliflora – M. setulosa – M. tenella – M. thunbergiana – M. visserae – M. wittebergensis
Source(s) of checklist:

Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Massonia in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2020 June 24. Reference page.

Name

Massonia Thunb. ex Houtt., Nat. Hist. 2(12): 424 (1780).

Type species: Massonia depressa Houtt.

Synonyms

Heterotypic
Podocallis Salisb., Gen. Pl.: 17. (1866)
Whiteheadia Harv., Gen. S. Afr. Pl., ed. 2: 396. (1868)
Desertia Mart.-Azorín, M.Pinter & Wetschnig, Phytotaxa 221: 206. (2015)

Note: Sensu Manning (2019). Desertia and Whiteheadia still have their own taxon pages, which need dismantling with redirects.
Distribution
Native distribution areas:

Africa
Southern Africa
Cape Provinces, Lesotho, Namibia, Free State, Northern Provinces

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
References

Houttuyn, M., 1780. Nat. Hist. 2(12):424.
Martínez-Azorín, M., Pinter, M. & Wetschnig, W. 2015. Desertia, a new genus in Massonieae (Asparagaceae, Scilloideae), including the description of Desertia luteovirens and the taxonomic revisions of Whiteheadia and Namophila. Phytotaxa 221(3): 201-225. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.221.3.1 Reference page.
Manning, J.C. 2019. The genus Massonia Thunb. ex Houtt. (Hyacinthaceae: Scilloideae) in the Core Cape Floristic Region. South African Journal of Botany 121: 329–354. DOI: 10.1016/j.sajb.2018.11.015 Open access Reference page.
Manning, J.C. 2017. Nomenclatural adjustments in African plants 3. Bothalia 47(1): 1–2. DOI: 10.4102/ABC.V47I1.2252 Open access Reference page.
Manning, J.C., Goldblatt, P. & Fay, M.F. 2004. A revised generic synopsis of Hyacintheaceae in sub-Saharan Africa, based on molecular evidence, including new combinations and the new tribe Pseudoprospereae. Edinburgh Journal of Botany 60(3): 533–568. DOI: 10.1017/S0960428603000404 Open access Reference page.
Müller-Doblies, Ute & Dietrich. 1997. A partial revision of the tribe Massonieae (Hyacinthaceae). 1. Survey, including three novelties from Namibia: a new genus, a second species in the monotypic Whiteheadia, and a new combination in Massonia. Feddes Repert. 108(1–2):49–96. DOI: 10.1002/fedr.19971080106.
Müller-Doblies, Ute & Dietrich. 2010. De Liliifloris Notulae 8. Two new Massonia species (Hyacinthaceae) from South Africa. Feddes Repert. 121(3-4):127-132. DOI: 10.1002/fedr.201000022.

Links

Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Massonia in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2019 Feb. 03. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2019. Massonia. Published online. Accessed: Feb. 03 2019.
Hassler, M. 2020. Massonia. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2020. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2020 June 24. Reference page.
Tropicos.org 2019. Massonia. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 03 Feb. 2019.

Vernacular names

Massonia is a genus of bulbous perennial flowering plants in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Scilloideae (also treated as the family Hyacinthaceae).[2] It is native to southern Africa,[1] and is found in localities such as Namaqualand with hot and dry summers, being dormant in summer and growing during winter.[3] The genus Whiteheadia has been merged into Massonia.[4] It is classed as a cryptophyte.

Description

Massonia grows from underground bulbs whose outer tunic is pale brown and papery or leathery. Two relatively broad leaves appear at the same time as the flowers, spreading out on either side, sometimes lying flat on the ground. The flowers are borne in a raceme, which may be short and held at ground level. There may be a "tuft" of green bracts at the top of the inflorescence. Individual flowers are pale in colour, white, or with green, yellow or pink tones. They are bell-shaped or somewhat tubular, with the tepals joined at the base forming a short or long tube. The stamens are more-or-less erect, with their filaments joined to the end of the tube formed by the tepals and also to each other, forming a small cup. The seeds are dull black.[5]

The species Massonia depressa has been shown to be pollinated by rodents, including two species of gerbil (Gerbillurus paeba and Desmodillus auricularis). Very few species of plant are rodent-pollinated.[6]
Systematics

The genus name was attributed to Carl Peter Thunberg by Maarten Houttuyn in 1780.[1] It honours the Scottish botanist and gardener Francis Masson.[7] A molecular phylogenetic study showed Massonia to be monophyletic, but also that the two species of the genus Whiteheadia were placed separately at the base of the Massonia clade, rendering Whiteheadia paraphyletic. Accordingly, Manning et al. transferred W. bifolia and W. etesionamibensis to Massonia.[8]

Massonia is the type genus of the subtribe Massoniinae which is placed in the tribe Hyacintheae (or the tribe Massonieae in the subfamily Hyacinthoideae for those who accept the family Hyacinthaceae). It is most closely related to the genus Lachenalia.[8]
Species

As of December 2021, Plants of the World Online accepted the following species:[9]

Massonia amoena Mart.-Azorín, M.Pinter & Wetschnig
Massonia angustifolia L.f.
Massonia bakeriana M.Pinter, Mart.-Azorín & Wetschnig
Massonia bifolia (Jacq.) J.C.Manning & Goldblatt
Massonia calvata Baker
Massonia dentata Mart.-Azorín, V.R.Clark, M.Pinter, M.B.Crespo & Wetschnig
Massonia depressa Houtt.
Massonia dregei Baker
Massonia echinata L.f.
Massonia etesionamibensis (U.Müll.-Doblies & D.Müll.-Doblies) J.C.Manning & Goldblatt
Massonia gypsicola Mart.-Azorín, M.Pinter, M.B.Crespo, M.Á.Alonso & Wetschnig
Massonia hirsuta Link & Otto
Massonia inaequalis W.F.Barker ex Mart.-Azorín, M.Pinter, M.B.Crespo, M.Á.Alonso
Massonia jasminiflora Burch. ex Baker
Massonia latebrosa Masson ex Baker
Massonia longipes Baker
Massonia luteovirens (Mart.-Azorín, M.Pinter & Wetschnig) J.C.Manning
Massonia mimetica Mart.-Azorín, M.Pinter, M.B.Crespo & Wetschnig
Massonia obermeyerae Mart.-Azorín, A.P.Dold, M.Pinter & Wetschnig
Massonia pseudoechinata Mart.-Azorín, M.Pinter & Wetschnig
Massonia pustulata Jacq.
Massonia pygmaea Schltdl. ex Kunth
Massonia roggeveldensis Mart.-Azorín, M.Pinter & Wetschnig
Massonia saniensis Wetschnig, Mart.-Azorín & M.Pinter
Massonia sempervirens U.Müll.-Doblies, G.Milkuhn & D.Müll.-Doblies
Massonia sessiliflora (Dinter) Mart.-Azorín, M.B.Crespo, M.Pinter & Wetschnig
Massonia setulosa Baker
Massonia tenella Sol. ex Baker
Massonia thunbergiana Wetschnig, Mart.-Azorín & M.Pinter
Massonia triflora Compton
Massonia wittebergensis U.Müll.-Doblies & D.Müll.-Doblies

Cultivation

Massonia species have been described as "essentially plants for the collector". They require the protection of an alpine house or bulb frame in regions subject to frosts. Well-drained soil and a sunny situation are considered essential. They can be propagated by seed, flowering after at least two to four years.[10]
References

"Massonia", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2013-04-17
Stevens, P.F., Angiosperm Phylogeny Website: Asparagales: Scilloideae, retrieved 2013-04-17
"Massonia pustulata - plant of the month Dec 2010 - Plant Portraits - Alpine Garden Society". www.alpinegardensociety.net. Archived from the original on 2015-01-05.
Müller-Doblies, U. & Müller-Doblies, D. (1997). A partial revision of the tribe Massonieae (Hyacinthaceae) 1. Survey, including three novelties from Namibia: a new genus, a second species in the monotypic Whiteheadia, and a new combination in Massonia. Feddes Repertorium 108: 49-96.
"Massonia Thunb. ex Houtt.", eMonocot, retrieved 2013-04-17
Johnson, Steven D.; Pauw, Anton & Midgley, Jeremy (2001), "Rodent pollination in the African lily Massonia depressa (Hyacinthaceae)", American Journal of Botany, 88 (10): 1768–1773, doi:10.2307/3558351, JSTOR 3558351, PMID 21669608
Genaust, Helmut (1976), Etymologisches Wörterbuch der botanischen Pflanzennamen (in German), Basel: Birkhäuser, ISBN 978-3-7643-0755-4
Manning, J.C.; Goldblatt, P.; Fay, M.F. (2004), "A revised generic synopsis of Hyacintheaceae in sub-Saharan Africa, based on molecular evidence, including new combinations and the new tribe Pseudoprospereae", Edinburgh Journal of Botany, 60 (3): 533–568, doi:10.1017/S0960428603000404
"Massonia Thunb. ex Houtt". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 22 December 2021.

Beckett, K., ed. (1994), Encyclopaedia of Alpines : Volume 2 (L–Z), Pershore, UK: AGS Publications, ISBN 978-0-900048-62-3, p. 786

Pink, A. (2004). Gardening for the Million. Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.

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