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Galanthus

(Genus)

Overview

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Herbs, perennial, scapose, from brown, tunicate, ovoid to globose bulbs; offset bulbs often present. Leaves 2(-3), basal, opposite, with sheathing blade, vernation flat and parallel, or convolute; nonsheathing blade erect to recurving at maturity, grayish green, linear-oblanceolate, glaucous; sheathing blade white, tubular, membranous, enclosing leaf bases and scape. Scape erect in flower, prostrate in fruit, green, solid. Inflorescences pendulous, 1-flowered, spathaceous; spathe bracteate, membranous; bracts 2, connate, split on 1 side. Flowers nodding, fragrant; perianath 2.5 cm or shorter; tepals 6, distinct, unequal; outer tepals spreading, white, narrowly obovate to almost orbicular, larger than inner; inner tepals overlapping, appearing tubular, green-spotted at apex only or apex and base, straight to semiorbicular, apex notched; stamens 6, inserted at bases of tepals, distinct; anthers basifixed, longer than filaments, bases lobed, apices tapered, dehiscense introrse, via terminal slits; ovary inferior, green, 3-locular, globose, septal nectaries present; style, white, unbranched, filiform; stigma indistinct to minutely capitate; pedicel wiry, short, slender. Fruits capsular, green, globose, fleshy, dehiscence loculicidal. Seeds 18-36, light brown, 3.5 mm, oblong to obtuse, elaiosomes fleshy. x = 12.

Species 14-17: introduced; Europe, sw Asia (Asia Minor, Iranian Caucasus, and Caspian Sea regions) ; introduced and naturalized elsewhere.

A number of Galanthus species, especially G. nivalis, are commonly cultivated for their late- winter and early-spring flowers, which emerge through the snow. Species of Galanthus are sometimes confused with Leucojum, snowflakes, a spring-flowering relative. The plants of Leucojum are usually taller, bear 2-3 flowers per stem, and their tepals are all equal.[1]

Photos

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Taxonomy

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The Genus Galanthus is further organized into finer groupings including:

Bibliography

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Footnotes

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  1. Gerald B. Straley  & Frederick H. Utech "Galanthus". in Flora of North America Vol. 26 Page 55, 280, 293. Oxford University Press. Online at EFloras.org.

Sources

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Last Revised: October 04, 2013
2013/10/04 00:30:31