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Classification System: APG IV

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

Familia: Asparagaceae
Subfamilia: Scilloideae
Tribus: Hyacintheae
Genus: Leopoldia
Species: L. bicolor – L. caucasica – L. comosa – L. cycladica – L. eburnea – L. ghouschtchiensis – L. gussonei – L. longipes – L. maritima – L. matritensis – L. neumannii – L. spreitzenhoferi – L. tabriziana – L. tenuiflora – L. tijtijensis – L. weissii

Leopoldia Parl., Fl. Palerm. 1: 435 (1845), nom. cons.

Typus: Leopoldia comosa (L.) Parl.

Note: May be a synonym of Muscari subgen. Leopoldia, however some combinations do not have equivalents in Muscari; L. ghouschtchiensis – L. neumannii – L. tabriziana – L. tijtijensis
. See also Muscari Discussion Page

Muscari subg. Leopoldia (Parl.) Peterm., Deutschl. Fl.: 577. 1849.
Comus Salisb., Gen. 24. 1866.
Botrycomus Fourr., Ann. Soc. Linn. Lyon ser. 2. 17: 160. 1869.
Etheiranthus Kostel., Ind. Hort. Bot. Prag.: 56. 1844.
Pelotris Raf., Autik. Bot.: 125. 1840.


Leopoldia Herb. (1821) nom. rej. = Hippeastrum Herb., nom. cons.

Native distribution areas:

Middle Europe
Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland.
Southwestern Europe
Baleares, Corse, France, Portugal, Sardegna, Spain.
Southeastern Europe
Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Kriti, Romania, Sicilia, Turkey-in-Europe, Yugoslavia.
Eastern Europe
Krym, Ukraine.
Northern Africa
Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia.
Canary Islands.
North Caucasus, Transcaucasus.
Western Asia
Cyprus, East Aegean Islands, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon-Syria, Palestine, Sinai, Turkey.
Arabian Peninsula
Gulf States, Saudi Arabia.

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

Primary references

Parlatore, F. 1845. Flora Palermitana ossia Descrizione delle Piante che Crescono Spontanee nella Valle di Palermo. Volume primo. XXII + 442 pp. Firenze: Società Tipografica. Biblioteca Digital Reference page.

Additional references

Aymerich, P. & Sáez, L. 2018. A new nomenclatural combination in Leopoldia (Scilloideae, Asparagaceae) and first record of Leopoldia matritensis for Catalonia. Butl. Inst. Catalana Hist. Nat. 82: 109–110. PDF ResearchGate Reference page.
Böhnert, T. & Lobin, W. 2017. Leopoldia neumannii sp. nov. (Asparagaceae, Scilloideae): a new species of Muscari sensu lato from Greece. Willdenowia 47(2): 179–185. DOI: 10.3372/wi.47.47210 Reference page.
Dizkirici, A., Yigit, O., Pınar, S.M. & Eroğlu, H. 2019. Molecular phylogeny of Muscari (Asparagaceae) inferred from cpDNA sequences. Biologia (Bratislava) 74(3): 205–214. DOI: 10.2478/s11756-018-00164-0 Reference page. (involving most species occurring in Turkey, supporting Muscari s.l.)
Jafari, A. & Maassoumi, A.A. 2011. Synopsis of Leopoldia, Muscari and Pseudomuscari (Hyacinthaceae) in Iran, with Leopoldia ghouschtchiensis sp. nova. Annales Botanici Fennici 48(5): 396–400. DOI: 10.5735/085.048.0502 PDF Reference page.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2018. Leopoldia in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Aug. 1. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2018. Leopoldia. Published online. Accessed: Aug. 1 2018. 2014. Leopoldia. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2014 Mar. 3.

Leopoldia is a genus of bulbous perennial plants in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Scilloideae.[2] The genus is widespread around the Mediterranean region and neighboring lands, from the Canary Islands to Iran.[1][3]

Leopoldia species were formerly included in the genus Muscari (as the Leopoldia group or subgenus), and like muscari are often called grape hyacinths.[4] Their flowers are arranged in a spike or raceme with those at the top more brightly coloured than those lower down.


Leopoldia can be distinguished from Muscari by being generally taller plants and having more open spikes or racemes of flowers, caused by the individual flowers being spaced further apart. The lower fertile flowers are relatively long, often urn-shaped or tubular and are white, yellow, green or brown but never blue; they have distinct 'shoulders' close to the mouth of the flower, which is smaller than the general diameter of the flower and surrounded by small lobes or "teeth" formed by the ends of the fused tepals. The colour of the lobes is a diagnostic feature in identifying species. At the top of the raceme there is usually a tuft of bright violet, blue or pink sterile flowers.[4]

In 1819, William Herbert was the first to use Leopoldia as the name of a genus; it was proposed as a provisional name (nomen provisorium) for the genus he later (in 1821) called Hippeastrum. Although Leopoldia was subsequently validated (i.e. it became the correct name for Hippeastrum), this was overlooked, and Hippeastrum rather than Leopoldia was used for the genus of New World amaryllids. In 1845, Filippo Parlatore independently proposed Leopoldia for a group of species he separated from Muscari. In 1970, Fabio Garbari and Werner Greuter proposed that Parlatore's Leopoldia should be conserved and Herbert's Leopoldia rejected. This was accepted and Leopoldia Parl. is now a conserved name (nomen conservandum), and so the correct name for the genus described here.[5]

As of February 2014, the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families accepts 12 species:[1]

Leopoldia bicolor (Boiss.) Eig & Feinbrun, 1947 - Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria
Leopoldia caucasica (Griseb.) Losinsk., 1935 - Caucasus, Turkey, Iraq, Iran
Leopoldia comosa (L.) Parl., 1847 - Mediterranean and Europe from Canary Islands to Iran, north to Great Britain, Denmark, Poland, Ukraine; naturalized in South Australia and in parts of the USA
Leopoldia cycladica (P.H.Davis & D.C.Stuart) Garbari, 1972 - Greece including Greek Islands
Leopoldia eburnea Eig & Feinbrun, 1947 - Egypt, Palestine, Israel
Leopoldia ghouschtchiensis Jafari & Maassoumi, 2011 - Iran
Leopoldia gussonei Parl., 1857 - Sicily
Leopoldia longipes (Boiss.) Losinsk., 1935 - from the Caucasus south to Sinai and the Persian Gulf
Leopoldia maritima (Desf.) Parl., 1845 - North Africa and southwest Asia from Morocco to Iran; also Crimea
Leopoldia tenuiflora (Tausch) Heldr., 1878 - from Germany and Italy east to Ukraine, Iran, Saudi Arabia
Leopoldia tijtijensis Jafari, 2012 - Iran
Leopoldia weissii Freyn, 1878 Greece, Turkey


L. comosa bulbs are pickled and eaten in Iran under the name of "moosir" (موسیر) (or 'Shallot yogurt'),[6][7] in Greece under the name of "volvoi" (βολβοί), meaning "bulbs",[8] and in the Basilicata and Apulia region of Italy, under the names of "lampascioni",[9] "lampasciuni", and "lamponi". They are included in the Ark of Taste catalogue of heritage foods.

"Leopoldia", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2014-02-25
Stevens, P.F. (2001 onwards), "Asparagales: Scilloideae", Angiosperm Phylogeny Website, retrieved 2014-02-25
"Leopoldia", Altervista Flora Italiana
Mathew, Brian (1987), The Smaller Bulbs, London: B.T. Batsford, ISBN 978-0-7134-4922-8, pp. 126
Garbari, F. & Greuter, W. (1970), "On the Taxonomy and Typification of Muscari Miller (Liliaceae) and Allied Genera, and on the Typification of Generic Names", Taxon, 19 (3): 329–335, doi:10.2307/1219056
Bulow, Alessandra (11 January 2013). "Preview Of the White Moustache's Artisanal Yogurt Tasting Flight |". Epicurious. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
Makalintal, Bettina (14 August 2018). "Your Ultimate Guide to Artisan Yogurt". culture: the word on cheese. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
Andrew Dalby and Rachel Dalby Gifts of the Gods: A History of Food in Greece, p. 56, at Google Books
"Traditional Foods of Puglia Italy-Cooking Lampascioni Hyacinth Bulbs". Italian Connection. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2020.

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