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Biarum and Eminium 

With about 30 species in all, Biarum and Eminium can be treated together since the majority of species have similar requirements. They enjoy a thorough dry rest and, with the exception of the group of species around Biarum tenuifolium, frost-free conditions.

Of the two, Eminium seem to be the more temperamental to maintain in cultivation for any length of time. Although there are growers who have maintained Central Asian E. lehmanii for many years.

All species of both genera require full sun to prevent the foliage becoming drawn and senescing too early. All benefit from being kept growing as long as possible each season to ensure that the tuber size increases rather than reduces – the latter is a common problem with many of the species; once the tubers reach a too-small size they are very tricky to recover.

Biarum tenuifolium and its subspecies are easily grown in the open and soon multiply to form dense clumps. Biarum rhopalospadix (syn. B. spruneri) is also amenable to open ground planting, although it prospers better in a raised bed with some provision of rain protection during the dormant period. The northern Egypt populations of two species, Biarum olivieri and Eminium spiculatum, require particular mention in that they grow in coastal consolidated sand. Eminium spiculatum is one of the  most widespread species of the genus, although for a long time B. olivieri was considered to be restricted to the area, but is now known to extend into the Negev, although still restricted to sand dunes.

Biarum crispulum (Schott) Engl. in situ. Photo by Peter Boyce.
Biarum kotschyi (Schott) B.Mathew ex Riedl, in situ. Photo by Peter Boyce.

Species list (P. C. Boyce, unpublished data)

Biarum Schott

  • Biarum aleppicum J. Thiébaut. South Turkey to northwestern Syria.
  • Biarum angustatum (Hook.f.) N.E.Br. Southwest Syria and Israel.
  • Biarum auraniticum Mouterde. Southwest Syria and Israel.
  • Biarum bovei Blume. Eastern Meditteranean to Iran.
  • Biarum carduchorum (Schott) Engl. Southeastern Turkey to west Iran.
  • Biarum carratracense (Willik.). South Spain.
  • Biarum crispulum (Schott) Engl. Southern Turkey to northwestern Syria.
  • Biarum davisii Turrill. Crete.
  • Biarum dispar (Schott) Talavera. Southwest Spain, Sardinia, north Arica.
  • Biarum ditschianum Bogner & P.C. Boyce. Southwestern Turkey and Kastellorizo island.
  • Biarum eximium (Schott & Kotschy) Engl. Southern Turkey, Jordan.
  • Biarum fraasianum (Schott) Nyman. Southeast Greece.
  • Biarum kotschyi (Schott) B.Mathew ex Riedl. East & south Turkey.
  • Biarum marmarisense (P.C. Boyce) P.C. Boyce. Eastern Aegean Islands to southwestern Turkey.
  • Biarum mendax P.C. Boyce. Portugal to southwest Spain.
  • Biarum olivieri Blume. South Israel to north Egypt.
  • Biarum pyrami (Schott) Engl. South Turkey to Jordan.
    • Biarum pyrami var. serotinum Koach & Feinbrun. Israel
  • Biarum rhopalospadix K. Koch. Southern Greece.
  • Biarum rifatii Yildirim & Altioglu. Southwest Turkey.
  • Biarum straussii Engl. North Iraq to west Iran.
  • Biarum syriacum (Spreng.) Riedl. South central Turkey to northwest Syria.
  • Biarum tenuifolium (L.) Schott.
    • Biarum tenuifolium subsp. abbreviatum (Schott) K.Richt. South Italy, Sardinia, Sicily, west Greece, North Macedonia.
    • Biarum tenuifolium subsp. arundanum (Boiss. & Reut.) Nyman. South Portugal, south Spain, north Morocco.
    • Biarum tenuifolium subsp. galianii (Talavera) P.C. Boyce. Southwest Spain.
    • Biarum tenuifolium subsp. idomenaeum P.C. Boyce & Athanasiou. Crete.
    • Biarum tenuifolium subsp. tenuifolium. South Italy, Balkan penninsula.
    • Biarum tenuifolium subsp. zelebori (Schott) P.C. Boyce. Eastern Aegaen Islands. Western Turkey.

Eminium Schott

  • Eminium albertii (Regel) Engl.
  • Eminium heterophyllum (Blume) Schott
  • Eminium intortum (Banks & Sol.) Kuntze
  • Eminium jaegeri Bogner & P.C. Boyce
  • Eminium koenenianum Lobin & P.C. Boyce
  • Eminium ledebourii Schott
  • Eminium lehmannii Kuntze
  • Eminium rauwolffii (Blume) Schott
  • Eminium regelii Vved.
  • Eminium spiculatum (Blume) Schott
Biarum crispulum uprooted. Photo by David Scherberich.
Biarum ditschianum Bogner & P.C.Boyce. Photo by Fred Muller
Biarum tenuifolium subsp. abbreviatum (Schott) K.Richt. Photo by David Scherberich.
Eminium rauwolffii
Eminium rauwolffii (Blume) Schott at the Botanischer Garten der Universität Basel (Switzerland). Photo by David Scherberich.
Biarum marmarisenseI (P.C.Boyce) P.C.Boyce. Photo by David Scherberich.
Biarum dispar (Schott) Talavera in leaf. Photo by David Scherberich.
Biarum auraniticum Mouterde tuber, 4 years from seed. Photo by David Scherberich.