15. Romulea Maratti, Pl. Romul. Saturn. 13. 1772.
[For Romulus, one of the mythical founders of Rome, the type species of the genus being common around that city]
Herbs, perennial, from corms. Stems: true stem aerial [subterranean and only peduncles of individual flowers aerial], simple or branched. Leaves 1–several; blade linear, oval to terete in cross section, 4-grooved (2 on each surface, on either side of thickened midrib) [2-grooved]. Inflorescences solitary flowers, interpreted as sessile, thus without pedicels; bracts inserted at ovary base, green or flushed with purple, unequal, outer exceeding inner, firm, inner bract margins membranous to scarious (rarely entirely scarious). Flowers odorless [fragrant], actinomorphic; tepals forming wide cup, connate into tube, subequal, outer whorl often slightly larger than inner; perianth tube funnel-shaped [or cylindric]; stamens symmetrical; filaments distinct [connate]; anthers usually erect, contiguous; style branching opposite or beyond anthers into 3 slender branches divided for ± 1/2 length. Capsules ovoid-oblong, walls firm, cartilaginous. Seeds many, globose; seed coat light to dark brown, often smooth, shiny. x = 13 or 14.
Species ca. 90 (1 in the flora): introduced; Africa, s Europe, Middle East.
De Vos, M. P. 1972. The genus Romulea in South Africa. J. S. African Bot., suppl. 9. De Vos, M. P. 1983. Romulea. In: Department of Agricultural Technical Services [South Africa]. 1963+. Flora of Southern Africa.... 19+ vols. (some partial). Pretoria. Vol. 7, part 2, fasc. 2, pp. 10–73. Manning, J. C. and P. Goldblatt. 2001. A synoptic review of Romulea (Iridaceae: Crocoideae) in sub-Saharan Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and Socotra including new species, biological notes, and a new infrageneric classification. Adansonia, sér. 3, 23: 59–108.