Genera and Species
Historically there has been little agreement over classification and estimates of the number of genera and species varies widely. The APG III states "The area around Asparagaceae is difficult from the standpoint of circumscription. Although Asparagaceae s.l. are heterogeneous and poorly characterized, Asparagaceae s.s., Agavaceae, Laxmanniaceae, Ruscaceae and even Hyacinthaceae have few if any distinctive features. ... For convenience and better communication, a subfamilial classification of ... Asparagaceae sensu APG III is proposed in Chase, Reveal & Fay (2009). This will allow researchers to use a subfamily name where previously they would have used one of the APG II bracketed family names." According to Stevens, there is "considerable disagreement over generic limits in Scilloideae". with different sources listing from 15 to 45 genera for sub-Saharan Africa alone. Watson gives about 30 genera and 500–700 species. Stevens (APWeb) suggests 41-70 genera and 770-1000 species. Pfosser and Speta (1999) cite 70 genera and 1000 species. The subfamily thus contains anything between around 40 and 70 genera and up to 1000 species.
Some genera that were formerly placed within the Scillioideae (as Hyacinthaceae), e.g., Chlorogalum and Camassia, are currently placed in the Agavoideae.
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Famous quotes containing the words species and/or genera:
“Nature seemed to have adorned herself for our departure with a profusion of fringes and curls, mingled with the bright tints of flowers, reflected in the water. But we missed the white water-lily, which is the queen of river flowers, its reign being over for this season.... Many of this species inhabit our Concord water.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Genius detects through the fly, through the caterpillar, through the grub, through the egg, the constant individual; through countless individuals the fixed species; through many species the genus; through all genera the steadfast type; through all the kingdoms of organized life the eternal unity. Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.”
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