Prosartes D. Don. Fairybells, Mandarin.
A genus of 6 species, of temperate e. North America, w. North America, and e. Asia. Dahlgren, Clifford, & Yeo (1985) suggest that American species of Disporum are generically distinct from Asiatic species and should be segregated in the genus Prosartes, a distinction made as long ago as 1839. Asian Disporum species lack the distinctly reticulate venation of our plants, have strictly glabrous foliage (vs. pubescent), have spurred tepals (vs. unspurred), blue or black berries (vs. red or straw-colored), tripartite stigma (vs. not), and other differences (Jones 1951). Further study of generic limits by Shinwari et al. (1994) shows that the separation into Prosartes of the American species often assigned to Disporum is clearly warranted, based on morphological and karyological grounds. Prosartes is much more closely related to Streptopus than to (Asian) Disporum; (Asian) Disporum is more closely related to Uvularia.
Ref: Johnson (1968); Jones (1951); Shinwari et al. (1994); Tamura In Kubitzki (1998a); Tamura, Utech, & Kawano (1992); Utech (2002h) In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (2002a). Show full citations.