Pseudoprospero is a genus of bulbous flowering plants in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Scilloideae (also treated as the family Hyacinthaceae). The genus has a single species Pseudoprospero firmifolium, which is endemic to South Africa (the Cape Province, Natal).
Pseudoprospero firmifolium grows from an underground bulb whose tunic has dry, paper-like outer layers. The channelled linear leaves are evergreen. The flowers are borne in a loose many-flowered raceme, which usually has a side branch. Individual flowers have white to lilac tepals which are joined at the base and persist into the fruiting stage. The stamens are more-or-less erect, with filaments joined at the base to the tepals and to each other. The seeds are black.
From the 1970s onwards, Franz Speta and co-workers split up the broadly defined genus Scilla, placing many of its species into separate genera. One of these genera was Pseudoprospero, created by Speta in 1998 for the former Scilla firmifolia. Subsequent studies have confirmed that Pseudoprospero firmifolium is distinct not only from Scilla but from all other genera in the tribe Hyacintheae (or the subfamily Hyacinthoideae for those who accept the family Hyacinthaceae), being placed in its own subtribe.[note 1]
Two subspecies are recognised:
- Pseudoprospero firmifolium subsp. firmifolium - Cape Province
- Pseudoprospero firmifolium subsp. natalensis J.C.Manning - KwaZulu-Natal
Five homoisoflavanones, 3,5-dihydroxy-7,8-dimethoxy-3-(3',4'-dimethoxybenzyl)-4-chromanone, 3,5-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-3-(3',4'-dimethoxybenzyl)-4-chromanone, 3,5-dihydroxy-7,8-dimethoxy-3-(3'-hydroxy-4'-methoxybenzyl)-4-chromanone, 3,5,6-trihydroxy-7-methoxy-3-(3'-hydroxy-4'-methoxybenzyl)-4-chromanone and 3,5,7-trihydroxy-3-(3'-hydroxy-4'methoxybenzyl)-4-chromanone, can be isolated from the dichloromethane extract of the bulbs of P. firmifolium.
- Manning, Goldblatt & Fay (2004) place Pseudoprospero as the sole genus in the family Hyacinthaceae, subfamily Hyacinthoideae, tribe Pseudoprospereae, equivalent to the classification family Asparagaceae, subfamily Scilloideae, tribe Hyacintheae, subtribe "Pseudoprosperinae", although this last name appears not to have been published.
- "Search for Pseudoprospero", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2013-04-12
- Stevens, P.F. (2001 onwards), "Asparagales: Scilloideae", Angiosperm Phylogeny Website, retrieved 2013-04-12
- "Pseudoprospero firmifolium", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2013-04-12
- "Pseudoprospero Speta", eMonocot, retrieved 2013-04-12
- Trávníček, Bohumil; Duchoslav, Martin; Šarhanová, Petra & Šafářová, Lenka (2009), "Squills (Scilla s.lat., Hyacinthaceae) in the flora of the Czech Republic, with taxonomical notes on Central-European squill populations" (PDF), Acta Musei Moraviae, Scientiae biologicae (Brno), 94: 157–205, retrieved 2013-04-09
- Manning, J.C.; Goldblatt, P.; Fay, M.F. (2004), "A revised generic synopsis of Hyacintheaceae in sub-Saharan Africa, based on molecular evidence, including new combinations and the new tribe Pseudoprospereae", Edinburgh Journal of Botany, 60 (3): 533–568, doi:10.1017/S0960428603000404
- Koorbanally, C; Sewjee Sarisha, Mulholland D A; Crouch, N R; Dold, A (2007). "Homoisoflavanones from Pseudoprospero firmifolium of the monotypic tribe Pseudoprospereae (Hyacinthaceae: Hyacinthoideae)". Phytochemistry. 68 (22-24): 2753–2756. doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2007.08.005. PMID 17884116.