A Taxonomic Revision of the Othonna bulbosa Group (Asteraceae: Senecioneae: Othonninae)
Othonna L. (Asteraceae: Senecioneae: Othonninae) is a genus of some 120 species concentrated in the Greater Cape Floristic Region (GCFR) of South Africa, with a few species extending into southern Namibia, Angola, and Zimbabwe. The South African species of Othonna were last revised more than a century ago, and many species, particularly from the southern African winter rainfall region, remain poorly understood. This study focused on the geophytic species comprising the O. bulbosa group, distinguished by their tuberous rootstock and annual, leafy, aerial stems. A comprehensive taxonomic treatment is presented, including descriptions, complete nomenclature and typification, illustrations, and geographical distribution. Twenty-five species are recognized, of which four are newly described (O. lilacina Magoswana & J. C. Manning, O. nigromontana Magoswana & J. C. Manning, O. revoluta Magoswana & J. C. Manning, and O. sinuata Magoswana & J. C. Manning), and 18 names are reduced to synonymy. The species differ in habit, shape and incision of foliage, capitulum type (radiate vs. disciform), number of involucral bracts, pappus length, and cypselae (myxogenic vs. nonmyxogenic). We place the species into four morphologically diagnosable series (series Heterophyllae Magoswana & J. C. Manning, series Disciformes Magoswana & J. C. Manning, series Perfoliatae Magoswana & J. C. Manning, and series Undulosae Magoswana & J. C. Manning) based on habit and capitulum type.