Family: Asparagus [Asparagaceae]


















The genus Asparagus was formerly in the Lily Family.

The Genus Chionodoxa is now called Genus Scilla and remains within the Asparagaceae Family.

Some taxonomists now put Garden Asparagus and Wild Asparagus in the Asperagaceae Family a brand new Family, but not everyone agrees. Some leave it be in its original Lily Family.

The Asparagaceae Family has now subsumed several sub-families:

  • Agavaceae (Agave)
  • Convalariaceae (Lily-of-the-Valley)
  • Dracaenaceae (Dragon's-blood Trees)
  • Hyacinthaceae (Hyancinth)
  • Laxmanniaceae (Cabbage-Palm)
  • Ruscaceae (Butcher's-Broom)
  • Themidaceae

Also, the Ornithogalum genus has relinquished 3 of its former members: three out of the four Star-of-Bethlehems. Just the namesake Star-of-Bethlehem remains; the other 3 species of Star-of-Bethlehems have been put into separate brand-new genera: Honorius, Melomphis and Loncomelos. See the blurb under Ornithogalum. All Change!

[ASPARAGUS] Asparagus

Garden Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) Photo: © RWD

[CONVALLARIA] Lily-of-the-Valley

Lily-of-the-Valley. (Convallaria majalis) Photo: © RWD

[YUCCA] Spanish-Daggers

Spanish Dagger (Yucca gloriosa) Photo: © RWD

[CORDYLINE] Cabbage-Palm

Cabbage Palm (Cordyline australis) Photo: © RWD


Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) Photo: © RWD

[SCILLA] Squills

Chionodoxa is a sub-genus of the Scilla genus. Chionodoxa (Glory-of-the-Snow) flowers differ from Squills in that their anthers grow from the top of the corolla tube whereas in Squills they grow from the base of the flower where the petals of both grow from.

Spring Squill (Scilla verna) Photo: © RWD

Autumn Squill (Scilla autumnalis) Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone

Pyrenean Squill (Scilla liliohyacinthus) Photo: © Hester Coley

Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica) Photo: © RWD

Alpine Squill (Scilla bifolia) Photo: © Dawn Nelson

Glory-of-the-Snow (Scilla forbesii) Photo: © RWD

Boissier's Glory-of-the-Snow (Scilla luciliae) Photo: © RWD

[MUSCARI] Grape-Hyacinths

Grape Hyacinth (Muscari neglectum) Photo: © Dawn Nelson

Garden Grape-Hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum) Photo: © RWD

[POLYGONATUM] Solomon's-Seals

Garden Solomon's-Seal (Polygonatum × hybridum) Photo: © RWD

Angular Solomon's-Seal (Polygonatum odoratum) Photo: © Dawn Nelson

Solomon's-Seal (Polygonatum multiflorum) Photo: © RWD

[ORNITHOGALUM] Star-of-Bethlehems

The four species of Star-of-Bethlehems have recently undergone re-appraisal. Now it seems only one Star-of-Bethlehems has remained in the Ornithogalum genus, namely the modal one: Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum), which occurs as two sub-species, ssp. umbellatum and ssp. campestre.

Taxonomists have decreed that the other 3 species of Star-of-Bethlehems are not of this genus, and each must therefore move into their own separate and brand-spanking-new species:

The Honorius genus for Drooping Star-of-Bethlehem (Honorius nutans)

The Melomphis genus for Tall Star-of-Bethlehem (Melomphis arabica)

The Loncomelos genus for Spiked Star-of-Bethlehem (Loncomelos pyrenaicum)

But for reasons better known to taxonomists, they all appear under their old genus name in the newest Fourth Edition of 'Flora of the British Isles' (despite all their new binomial names being mentioned there). This suits your Author for he then doesn't need to spend a whole day inventing 3 new genera on this website. Winners all round. :-)

Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum ssp. campestre) Photo: © RWD

Spiked Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum pyrenaicum) Photo: © Sue Hill

Drooping Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum nutans) Photo: © Bruce Whetton

[RUSCUS] Butcher's-Broom

Butcher's Broom (Ruscus aculeatus) Photo: © Dawn Nelson

Family: Asparagus [Asparagaceae]

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