A review of Bulbinella (Asphodelaceae): distribution, conservation status, and economic importance

  • Collen Musara University of the Free State
  • Paula Spies Department of Genetics (116), University of the Free State
  • Johanne J. Spies Department of Genetics (116), University of the Free State
  • Brita Stedje Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Blindern, Oslo
keywords: geophytes, Bulbinella, phenylanthraquinones, economic importance

Abstract

Background: This review offers a comprehensive overview of the importance of Bulbinella, a genus of the family Asphodelaceae. A total of 23 species of Bulbinella are known, of which 17 are found in South Africa, and six in New Zealand. The genus is native to the Northern, Western, and Eastern Cape Provinces of South Africa, and to the main North and South Islands of New Zealand including the subantarctic islands, Auckland and Campbell.

Studied species: Bulbinella species

Study site and years of study:     South Africa and New Zealand, 2014- 2017

Conclusion: Bulbinella has an interesting and unusual highly disjunct distribution between South Africa and New Zealand. All Bulbinella species are similar in their floral structures. However, there are differences in size, underground bulbs, swollen roots, and leaves that make species delimitation possible in this group. Through their secondary metabolites, the genus Bulbinella is extensively useful as herbal remedies for innumerable ailments and also vital as livestock feed. Data on conservation status show that all these species; except Bulbinella hookeri and Bulbinella anguistifolia are vulnerable with Bulbinella calcicola critically endangered. There is, therefore, an urgent need for studying the genetic resources of these Bulbinella species.

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Author Biography

Collen Musara, University of the Free State
PhD Student
A review of <em>Bulbinella</em> (Asphodelaceae): distribution, conservation status, and economic importance
Published
2017-07-09
How to Cite
Musara, C., Spies, P., Spies, J. J., & Stedje, B. (2017). A review of Bulbinella (Asphodelaceae): distribution, conservation status, and economic importance. Botanical Sciences, 95(2), 155-168. https://doi.org/10.17129/botsci.696
Section
REVIEW / REVISIÓN