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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: Hyacinthinae
Genus: Barnardia
Species: B. japonica – B. numidica

Barnardia Lindl., Bot. Reg. t. 1029. 1 Dec 1826.

Typus: Barnardia scilloides Lindl. = Barnardia japonica (Thunb.) Schult. & Schult.f.

Simira Raf., Fl. Tellur. 4: 28. 1838.

Native distribution areas:

Southwestern Europe
Northern Africa
Algeria, Libya, Tunisia.
Russian Far East
China South-Central, Inner Mongolia, Manchuria, China Southeast.
Eastern Asia
Japan, Korea, Nansei-shoto, Taiwan.

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


Farr, E.R. & Zijlstra, G. (eds.) 1996 onwards. Barnardia in Index Nominum Genericorum (Plantarum). Accessed: 2010 Jan 06.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2006. Barnardia in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2006 Jan. 6. Reference page.

Vernacular names

Barnardia is a small genus of bulbous flowering plants in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Scilloideae (also treated as the family Hyacinthaceae).[2] The genus has two species, one found in the Balearic Islands and north-west Africa, the other in east China, Korea, Japan and adjacent localities.[1] It was suggested in 2012 that the two species were not closely related.[3]


Plants of Barnardia grow from bulbs. The flowers appear in the autumn and are borne in a dense raceme containing small narrow bracts. Individual flowers are star-shaped, small, and with pink or more rarely white tepals. The filaments of the stamens are widened at the base. The elongated seeds are dark brown in colour.[4]


The genus Barnardia was created by John Lindley in 1826 together with the single species B. scilloides. However, this species had already been described as Ornithogalum japonicum by Carl Peter Thunberg in 1784, so that it is now called B. japonica.[1] The genus name honours Edward Barnard.[5]

Barnardia is placed in the tribe Hyacintheae, subtribe Hyacinthinae (or the subfamily Hyacinthoideae, tribe Hyacintheae, by those who accept the family Hyacinthaceae). The genus (represented by B. japonica) occupied a basal position in the Hyacinthinae in a 1999 molecular phylogenetic analysis, suggesting an early evolutionary origin.[6]

As of March 2013, the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families recognized two species:[7]

Barnardia japonica (Thunb.) Schult. & Schult.f. (syns Ornithogalum japonicum Thunb.; B. scilloides Lindl., B. sinensis (Lour.) Speta; Scilla chinensis Benth., nom. illeg., S. japonica Baker, nom. illeg., S. sinensis (Lour.) Merr, S. scilloides (Lindl.) Druce)

From eastern Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Russia around Vladivostok)

Barnardia numidica (Poir.) Speta (syns Scilla numidica Poir., S. parviflora Desf., nom. illeg.)

From the Balearic Islands and north-west Africa (Algeria, Tunisia, Libya)

Ali et al. (2012) suggest that B. numidica is not related to B. japonica and should be transferred to a genus of its own.[3]

Barnardia japonica is cultivated as an ornamental bulb, sometimes under one of its synonyms, such as Scilla scilloides. In a temperate climate it requires a sunny position where it flowers in the autumn. As well as the normal pink-flowered form, a white form is in cultivation.[8]

"Barnardia", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2013-03-28
Stevens, P.F. (2001 onwards), "Asparagales: Scilloideae", Angiosperm Phylogeny Website, retrieved 2013-03-28
Ali, Syed Shujait; Yu, Yan; Pfosser, Martin & Wetschnig, Wolfgang Wetschnig (2012), "Inferences of biogeographical histories within subfamily Hyacinthoideae using S-DIVA and Bayesian binary MCMC analysis implemented in RASP (Reconstruct Ancestral State in Phylogenies)", Annals of Botany, 109 (1): 95–107, doi:10.1093/aob/mcr274, PMC 3241591, PMID 22039008, p. 101
"Barnardia Lindl". eMonocot. Archived from the original on 2013-04-19. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
Lindley, J. (1826), "Barnardia scilloides", The Botanical Register, 12: plate 1029, retrieved 2013-04-17
Pfosser, Martin; Speta, Franz (1999). "Phylogenetics of Hyacinthaceae based on plastid DNA sequences" (PDF). Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden. 86 (4): 852–875. doi:10.2307/2666172. JSTOR 2666172.
Search for "Barnardia", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2013-03-28
Beckett, K., ed. (1994), Encyclopaedia of Alpines : Volume 2 (L–Z), Pershore, UK: AGS Publications, ISBN 978-0-900048-62-3, p. 1203

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