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Classification System: APG IV

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

Familia: Asparagaceae
Subfamilia: Lomandroideae
Genus: Sowerbaea
Species: S. alliacea – S. juncea – S. laxiflora – S. multicaulis – S. subtilis
Name

Sowerbaea Sm., Trans. Linn. Soc. London 4: 218 (1798)

Type species: Sowerbaea juncea Andrews, Bot. Repos. 2: t. 81 (1800) Not Sowerbaea juncea Sm., Trans. Linn. Soc. London 5: 159 (1800), nom. illeg.

References

Smith, J.E. (1798) Transactions of the Linnean Society of London 4: 218.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2015. Sowerbaea in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2015 Sept. 22. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2015. Sowerbaea. Published online. Accessed: Sept. 22 2015.
Tropicos.org 2015. Sowerbaea. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 22 Sept. 2015.

Vernacular names
English: Rush Lilies

Sowerbaea is a small genus of perennial herbs which are endemic to Australia.[1]

The genus is placed in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Lomandroideae.[2] It has also been included in Anthericaceae and Liliaceae.[3]

Some species may have annual above-ground growth. The habit is erect or climbing. Leaves are alternate. The flowers are grouped into umbels or other kinds of clusters. They may be white, pink, or shades of purple.[4]

The genus was first described by James Smith in 1798. The first species to be described, Sowerbaea juncea Andrews (1800), was in the Botanists Repository, with a 1798 illustration of a specimen growing in England. The seeds of the species were cultivated in England, sometime shortly after the founding of the colony in New South Wales. Smith also described the species in the same year as Andrews, using the same name, but since the Andrews name was published first it is his description regarded as having priority.[1][5]

The next species to be described was Sowerbaea laxiflora Lindl. (1839), a plant found in Western Australia.

The genus is named after the botanical illustrator James Sowerby.

Species accepted:[1]

Sowerbaea alliacea F.Muell. - Northern Territory
Sowerbaea juncea Andrews - vanilla lily,[5] rush lily, vanilla plant, chocolate flower, chocolate lily - New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria
Sowerbaea laxiflora Lindl. - purple tassels, vanilla lily - Western Australia
Sowerbaea multicaulis E.Pritz. - many-stemmed lily - Western Australia
Sowerbaea subtilis D.A.Stewart - Queensland

References

Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
Stevens, P.F., Angiosperm Phylogeny Website: Asparagales: Lomandroideae
"Genus: Sowerbaea Sm". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Area. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
"Sowerbaea". FloraBase. Western Australian Government Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
Morcombe, Michael (1991). Australia's Wildflowers (Réimpr. ed.). Sydney: The Book Company and Ure Smith Press. p. 26. ISBN 0725408731.

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Biology Encyclopedia

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