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Bothalia - African Biodiversity & Conservation

On-line version ISSN 2311-9284
Print version ISSN 0006-8241

Bothalia (Online) vol.51 n.2 Pretoria  2021 



Othonna koos-bekkeri Van Jaarsv. is a synonym of Othonna cerarioides Magoswana & J.C.Manning (Asteraceae: Othonninae)



Simon L. MagoswanaI, II; Stephen J. BoatwrightII; Anthony R. MageeI, III; John C. ManningI, IV

ICompton Herbarium, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Private Bag X7, 7735 Claremont, Cape Town, South Africa
IIDepartment of Biodiversity & Conservation Biology, University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X17, Bellville, 7535, Cape Town, South Africa
IIIDepartment of Botany and Plant Biotechnology, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 524, Auckland Park 2006, Johannesburg, South Africa
IVResearch Centre for Plant Growth and Development, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa





Othonna koos-bekkeri Van Jaarsv. is recognised as a synonym of O. cerarioides Magoswana & J.C.Manning.

Keywords: Greater Cape Floristic Region; nomenclature; priority; succulent; taxonomy.




The genus Othonna L. (Asteraceae: Senecioneae: Othonninae) comprises ± 90 species of succulent or sub-succulent perennial herbs or shrubs with moreor-less dorsiventrally flattened leaves and radiate or disciform capitula with female sterile disc florets and female marginal florets with a beige or reddish pappus that is sometimes accrescent. The genus is concentrated in the Greater Cape Floristic Region (GCFR) of South Africa but extends into southern Namibia, southern Angola and Zimbabwe (Manning 2013; Magoswana et al. 2019, 2020).

The genus was last revised by Harvey (1865) and is in urgent need of a modern taxonomic revision, although the preliminary floristic treatments by Manning and Goldblatt (2012) and Manning (2013), along with the recent taxonomic revision of the geophytic species of the genus by Magoswana et al. (2019), constitute a valuable contribution to a complete revision of the genus in the Greater Cape Floristic Region. Among the species included by Manning (2013) in his treatment of the Namaqualand members was an unnamed taxon, Othonna sp. A from the Richtersveld and northern Namaqualand, characterised by erect, rod-like stems 1-2 m tall, with ascending branches bearing spur-shoots terminating in disciform capitula.

This species was subsequently and almost simultaneously described and published by Magoswana et al. (2020) and Van Jaarsveld (2020). Othonna cerarioides Magoswana & J.C.Manning (Magoswana et al. [March] 2020) was characterised as an erect shrub with rod-like stems and branches, bearing numerous spur-shoots with obovate-oblanceolate leaves clustered at the tips, and up to nine disciform capitula per spur-shoot; and Othonna koos-bekkeri Van Jaarsv. (Van Jaarsveld [June] 2020) as a succulent shrub distinguished by its ascending, rod-like stems and lateral spur-shoots bearing sub-umbellate clusters of yellow capitula.

In Magoswana et al. (2020) the flowering time was erroneously given as 'April to August' although citing a specimen flowering in September. Following examinations of specimens available to us and those cited in Van Jaarsveld (2020), it is evident that this was an error and the correct flowering period for this species is in autumn from March to May.

Manning (2013: 314) in his treatment of Othonna suggested that Senecio crassicaulis Hutch. was possibly conspecific with Othonna sp. A (now O. cerarioides). The latter was a typographical error for O. cyclophylla Merxm., as was clearly indicated later (Manning 2013: 328).

Of the nine paratypes cited by Van Jaarsveld (2020), six were also examined and cited in Magoswana et al. (2020). Othonna cerarioides and O. koos-bekkeri quite clearly represent the same species, for which the name O. cerarioides has nomenclatural priority (Turland et al. 2018: Art. 11.3) having been published three months before O. koos-bekkeri, and we formally synonymise the latter. We have since seen a collection of O. cer-arioides from southern Namibia (Bruyns 7320 (BOL), cited below, along with additional collections from BOL), which extends the known distribution range of the species just north of the Richtersveld onto the hills just north of the Orange River near the junction with the Gamkab River.



Othonna cerarioides Magoswana & J.C.Manning in Nordic Journal of Botany 38(3): 1 (21 March 2020).

Type: South Africa, Northern Cape, Springbok (2917): Brandberg, near O'kiep, (-DB), 13 May 1978, Hugo 1214 (NBG!, holo.; PRE, iso.!).

Othonna koos-bekkeri Van Jaarsv. in Bradleya 38: 225 (26 June 2020), syn. nov. Type: South Africa, Northern Cape, Springbok (2917): Tafelberg near Kosies (Steinkopf, Richtersveld) (-BA), without date, Van Jaarsveld and Combrink 27729 (NBG!, holo.).

Additional specimens examined

NAMIBIA. Vioolsdrif (2817): Aussenkehr, hills west of Marinkas Quellen, 8 Jul. 1997, Bruyns 7320 (BOL).

SOUTH AFRICA. Northern Cape, Vioolsdrif (2817): Ploegberg above Black Hills, 10 Jul. 1997, Bruyns 7322 (BOL). Springbok (2917): Steinkopf, Kosies, 5 Sept. 2002, Bruyns 9238 (BOL); Steinkopf, 13 Jul. 2006, Pole-Evans 2353 (BOL); 5 km N. of Concordia, 20 Jun. 1992, Bruyns 5158 (BOL).



We thank Nick Helme for bringing to our attention the publication of Othonna koos-bekkeri Van Jaarsv. This work is based on research supported by the National Research Foundation of South Africa (Grant Number 118597) awarded through the Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme (FBIP), a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the National Research Foundation and the South African National Biodiversity Institute. Additional funding was provided by Elizabeth Parker of Elandsberg. Thank you to Dr Cornelia Klak of the Bolus Herbarium for alerting us of the Namibian and additional collections of the species.


Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no financial or personal relationship(s) that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article.


Authors' contributions

SLM and JCM were the project leaders, ARM and JSB made conceptual contributions.



Harvey, W.H., 1865, Compositae, In Harvey, W.H. & Sonder, O.W. (eds), Flora Capensis 3: 44-530, Hodges, Smith & Co, Dublin.         [ Links ]

Magoswana, S.L., Boatwright, J.S., Magee, A.R. & Manning, J.C., 2019, 'A taxonomic revision of the Othonna bulbosa L. group (Senecioneae: Othonninae)', Annals of the Missouri Botanical Gardens 104(4): 515-562,         [ Links ]

Magoswana, S.L., Boatwright, J.S., Magee, A.R. & Manning, J.C., 2020, 'Othonna cerarioides, a news species from Namaqualand, South Africa', Nordic Journal of Botany 38(3): 1-6,         [ Links ]

Manning, J.C. & Goldblatt, P, 2012, Plants of the Greater Cape Floristic Region 1: the Core Cape Flora, Strelitzia 29, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.         [ Links ]

Manning, J.C., 2013, 'Othonna', In Snijman, D. (ed.), Plants of the Greater Cape Floristic Region 2: the extra Cape Flora, Strelitzia 30, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.         [ Links ]

Turland, N.J., Wiersema, J.H., Barrie, F.R., Greuter, W., Hawksworth, D.L., Herendeen, P.S., Knapp, S., Kusber, W.-H., Li, D.-Z., Marhold, K., May, T.W., Mcneil, J., Monro, A.M., Prado, J., Price, M.J. & Smith, G.F., (eds), 2018, International Code of Nomenclature for fungi, algae, and plants (Shenzhen Code) adopted by the Nineteenth International Botanical Congress Shenzhen, China, July 2017, Regnum Vegetabile 159. Glashütten: Koeltz Botanical Books.         [ Links ]

Van Jaarsveld, E., 2020, 'Othonna koos-bekkeri, a new succulent shrub from northern Namaqualand and southern Richtersveld', (N. Cape Province, South Africa), Bradleya 38: 225-330.         [ Links ]



Simon Luvo Magoswana

Submitted: 19 October 2020
Accepted: 6 July 2021
Published: 18 October 2021

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