Monocotyledons pp 1279-1279 | Cite as


  • U. EggliEmail author
Reference work entry
Part of the Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants book series (SUCCPLANTS)


A diagnostic description of the genus is given with special emphasis on the occurrence of succulence amongst its species. The geographical distribution is outlined, together with a selection of important literature, and an explanation of the etymology of the name. This is followed by a short summary of its position in the phylogeny of the family and of the past and present classification in a phylogenetic context. The succulent features present amongst the species of the genus are shortly explained as to morphology and anatomy.

This is followed by a synoptical treatment of the succulent species of the genus, complete with typification details, full synonymy, geographical and ecological data, a diagnostic description, and, where applicable, notes on phylogenetic placement and relationships, as well as economic and/or horticultural importance.

Namophila U. & D. Müller-Doblies (Feddes Repert. 108(1–2): 77–79, ills., 1997). Type: Namophila urotepala U. & D. Müller-Doblies. — HyacinthoideaeMassonieaeLit: Martínez-Azorín & al. (2015: classification). Distr: S Namibia. Etym: Gr. ‘nama’, spring, stream; and Gr. ‘philos’, friend; for the occurence in a valley with a seasonal stream.

Bulbous geophytes to 5 cm tall, bulbs usually solitary, globose, 1.5–2.3 cm ∅; L 2, ovate, 11–16 × 8–11.7 cm, (sub-) succulent, prostrately spreading; Inf 1, corymbose-capitate, between the leaves, 2- to 3-flowered (to 19-flowered in cultivation), raceme 1–4 cm; Bra linear, inconspicuous, lowest 17–36 × (1.3–) 2.5–3.5 mm; Ped 7–18 mm; Fl stellate, green, to 33 mm ∅; Tep 19–23 mm, basally united and forming a 4–6 mm long tube, lobes (12–) 15–17 × 3.5–4.5 mm, narrowly triangular, with a distinctly caudate tip 1–4.7 mm long; St basally fused to the tepal tube; free part of Fil 6–8 mm, white; Anth 2–2.5 mm, green with yellow pollen; Ov obclavate, green, 3.5–5 × 3–3.7 mm; Sty 8–10 mm, green; Sti punctiform; Fr enveloped by the fleshy perianth, 10 mm; Se globose, 2 × 1.2–1.8 mm, black, glossy.

The monotypic genus Namophila is closely related to Massonia according to the molecular study by Manning & al. (2004). See Massonia for further comments on the classification of the group.

N. urotepala U. & D. Müller-Doblies (Feddes Repert. 108(1–2): 77–79, ills., 1997). Type: Namibia, Witputz (Müller-Doblies 88064g [WIND, B, BOL, BR, BTU, E, G, K, LI, M, MO, NBG, PRE, S, Z]). — Lit: Martínez-Azorín & al. (2015: with ills.). Distr: S Namibia (Witputz: S Namibian Escarpment); winter-rainfall area, ±700 m, spring-flowering.

Description as for the genus.


  1. Manning, J. C. [& al. 2004], Goldblatt, P. & Fay, M. F. (2004) A revised generic synopsis of Hyacinthaceae in sub-Saharan Africa, based on molecular evidence, including new combinations and the new tribe Pseudoprospereae. Edinburgh J. Bot. 60(3): 533–568, keys.
  2. Martínez-Azorín, M. [& al. 2015], 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, ills., maps, key.

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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sukkulenten-Sammlung Zürich, Grün Stadt ZürichZürichSwitzerland

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