Belamcanda included in Iris, and the new combination I. domestica (Iridaceae:Irideae)

Peter Goldblatt*, David J. Mabberley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The eastern Asian genus Belamcanda (Iridaceae: Irideae), with its sole species, B. chinensis, the leopard or blackberry lily, has long been understood to be most closely related to Iris dichotoma (syn. Pardanthopsis dichotoma), but has nevertheless been maintained as a separate genus because of its distinctive floral, fruit, and seed morphology. Molecular DNA sequence evidence shows B. chinensis and its sister species, I. dichotoma, to be nested within the large Northern Hemisphere genus Iris (ca. 280 spp.). Not only does consistent taxonomic treatment of genera of the Iridaceae require that Belamcanda be transferred to Iris, but we argue that taxonomy should follow the principle of monophyly, which requires that Belamcanda and any other genus nested in Iris be treated as members of that genus. A new combination, I. domestica (basionym Epidendrum domesticum), is made for B. chinensis (based on Ixia chinensis), because the name Iris chinensis is preoccupied. The names Belamcanda pampaninii Léveillé and B. chinensis var. taiwanensis S. S. Ying are here included in the synonymy of I. domestica.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-132
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Belamcanda
  • Iridaceae
  • Iridoideae
  • Iris
  • Paraphyly
  • Phylogeny


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