Genus Melasphaerula

Melasphaerula graminea (L.f.) Ker Gawl., Bot. Mag. 17: t. 615 (1803)

1 accepted species:

Melasphaerula graminea (L.f.) Ker Gawl., Bot. Mag. 17: t. 615 (1803).

As yet a solitary species, nor have we in the many specimens we have seen ever observed it to vary even in colour. Flowers scentless, 2 – 6 on each peduncle-like branchlet, which last, in the archedly-flexuose curvatures and one-ranked manner of bearing their flowers, resemble the rachis of Ixia secunda.

Found by Thunberg at the Cape of Good Hope, on the Groenekloof hills, and near Bergrivier; introduced into Kew Gardens, by Mr. Masson in 1787. The generic name we have derived from (Greek) black and (Greek) a globe, in allusion to the colour and form of the bulblets produced on the stem, as mentioned and figured by Jacquin. In the capillary tenuity and elastic tremulousness of its branchlets it reminds us of the quaking-grass, Briza.

Our drawing was taken at the Nursery of Messrs. Wykes and Grimwood, Kensington. Requires the treatment of the other Cape Enfantae. Propagates plentifully by feed and bulbs; but the leaves are apt if kept in a pit to be easily bitten and destroyed by the frost, and though this does not kill the plant it weakens it very much; to make it produce the bulblets mentioned by Jacquin, and to have it in perfection, we should think the dry stove would be the best place to grow it in. G.

See below:

melas01.JPGmelas03.JPGmelas04.JPGMelasphaerula graminea Bot Repos t.62.jpgmelos06.JPGmelos07.JPGZMelaspharuleaGraminea Bot Mag 615.jpg


Homotypic Names:
  • * Gladiolus gramineus L.f., Suppl. Pl.: 95 (1782).

  • * Basionym/Replaced Synonym

Heterotypic Synonyms:
  • Diasia graminifolia DC., Bull. Sci. Soc. Philom. Paris 3: 151 (1803).
  • Diasia iridifolia DC., Bull. Sci. Soc. Philom. Paris 3: 151 (1803).
  • Melasphaerula intermedia Sweet, Hort. Brit.: 399 (1826).
  • Melasphaerula parviflora G.Lodd., Bot. Cab. 15: t. 1444 (1829), nom. nud.
  • Melasphaerula iridifolia Sweet, Hort. Brit., ed. 2: 502 (1830).
  • Diasia intermedia Heynh., Nom. Bot. Hort.: 261 (1840).
  • Diasia parviflora (G.Lodd.) Steud., Nomencl. Bot., ed. 2, 1: 501 (1840).


Awaiting original catalog description
Botanist's Repository, 1799 t.62

Further Reading for Melasphaerula


Library search for Melasphaerula



-- BobPries - 2013-12-11
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Melasphaerula graminea Bot Repos t.62.jpgjpg Melasphaerula graminea Bot Repos t.62.jpg manage 33 K 23 Feb 2019 - 16:16 BobPries  
ZMelaspharuleaGraminea_Bot_Mag_615.jpgjpg ZMelaspharuleaGraminea_Bot_Mag_615.jpg manage 201 K 07 Jan 2015 - 18:23 BobPries Coutesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library
melas01.JPGJPG melas01.JPG manage 83 K 12 Dec 2014 - 19:49 Main.TLaurin Photo by John Weiler
melas03.JPGJPG melas03.JPG manage 75 K 12 Dec 2014 - 19:54 Main.TLaurin Photo by John Weiler
melas04.JPGJPG melas04.JPG manage 77 K 12 Dec 2014 - 19:57 Main.TLaurin Photo by John Weiler
melos06.JPGJPG melos06.JPG manage 126 K 18 Dec 2014 - 03:10 Main.TLaurin Photo by John Weiler
melos07.JPGJPG melos07.JPG manage 77 K 18 Dec 2014 - 03:12 Main.TLaurin Photo by John Weiler
Topic revision: r10 - 23 Feb 2019, BobPries
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