A new species of Nicipe from the Little Karoo in South Africa is here described. Nicipe rosulata sp. nov. is characterized by its (3-)5-8 short and broad, somewhat leathery leaves disposed in a basal rosette, its narrowly ovate, acute-apiculate capsules, and its long papillate-echinulate seeds. This species is at first sight related to Nicipe britteniae and Ornithogalum lithopsoides based on their short leaves with ciliate to fimbriate margins, but it differs in floral and vegetative characters that clearly support its recognition as a distinct species. Nicipe britteniae differs from N. rosulata by the hard, distichous, ensiform, conduplicate, and densely fimbriate leaves and the rugose seeds. Ornithogalum lithopsoides clearly differs by the more numerous and much thinner leaves, and the rugose seeds, among other characters. Here we provide a detailed morphological description for Nicipe rosulata, including ecological and chorological data, and discuss relationships with its close allies. Finally, the recently described Ornithogalum lithopsoides, also from the Little Karoo, clearly belongs to Nicipe based on the leathery rosulate leaves all arising nearly at the same level, the relatively small flowers, the tepals with a dark longitudinal band mostly visible on the abaxial side, and the small capsules and seeds. This new combination in the latter genus is also presented here.
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Vol. 39 • No. 3