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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Babiana

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Monocotyledons > Order: Asparagales > Family: Iridaceae

Endemic to southern Africa. Most of the 91 species are endemic to the Western Cape and Namaqualand (Northern Cape).

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI) and Flora of Zimbabwe.

Babiana ambigua

Babiana angustifolia

Babiana arenicola


Babiana attenuata

Babiana auriculata


Babiana bainesii

Babiana blanda


Babiana brachystachys

Babiana carminea

Babiana cedarbergensis


Babiana cinnamomea


Babiana confusa


Babiana crispa

Babiana cuneata

Babiana curviscapa

Babiana dregei

Babiana ecklonii

Babiana engysiphon


Babiana fimbriata

Babiana flabellifolia


Babiana foliosa


Babiana fourcadei


Babiana fragrans

Babiana framesii

Babiana gariepensis


Babiana geniculata


Babiana grandiflora


Babiana hirsuta

Babiana horizontalis


Babiana hypogea

Babiana inclinata

Babiana karooica


Babiana lanata


Babiana lapeirousioides


Babiana latifolia


Babiana leipoldtii

Babiana lewisiana


Babiana lineolata


Babiana lobata

See Goldblatt (1983)


Babiana longicollis


Babiana melanops

Babiana minuta


Babiana montana

Babiana mucronata

Babiana namaquensis

Babiana nana

Babiana noctiflora

Babiana odorata

Babiana papyracea


Babiana patersoniae


Babiana patula

Babiana pauciflora


Babiana petiolata


Babiana pilosa


Babiana planifolia


Babiana praemorsa

Babiana pubescens


Babiana purpurea

Babiana pygmaea

Babiana radiata

Babiana regia


Babiana rigidifolia


Babiana ringens

Babiana rubella


Babiana rubrocyanea

Babiana salteri


Babiana sambucina

Babiana scabrifolia


Babiana scariosa

Babiana secunda


Babiana sinuata


Babiana spathacea

Babiana spiralis


Babiana stenomera


Babiana striata


Babiana stricta

Babiana symmetrantha


Babiana tanquana

Babiana torta

Babiana toximontana


Babiana tritonioides


Babiana tubaeformis


Babiana tubiflora

Babiana tubulosa

Babiana unguiculata


Babiana vanzijliae

Babiana villosa

Babiana villosula

Babiana virescens


Babiana virginea



Four main types of pollination have been discerned in this genus (Goldblatt & Manning 2000):

  • Many short-tubed species are pollinated by long-tongued bees, particularly those in the family Anthophoridae.
  • Long-tubed species are pollinated by long-proboscid flies in the genera Prosoeca and Moegistorhynchus (Diptera: Nemestrinidae).
  • Species with large, actinomorphic flowers are pollinated by monkey beetles (Hopliini).
  • There are 2 or 3 red-flowered species that are pollinated by sunbirds.


  • Goldblatt, P. 1983. Babiana lobata Lewis. Flowering Plants of Africa 47: t.1866.
  • Goldblatt, P. & Manning, J.C. 2000. Iridaceae. In: In: Seed Plants of Southern Africa (ed. O.A. Leistner). Strelitzia 10: 623-638. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • Lewis, G.J. 1959. The genus Babiana. Journal of South African Botany, Supplementary Volume 3.