Ballyanthus Bruyns in Aloe 37 (4): 76 (2001)
Type: Ballyanthus prognathus (P. R. O. Bally) Bruyns
Etymology: Peter R. O. Bally (1895-1980), Kenya-based Swiss botanist who first described the plant.
Distribution: Somalia - Somaliland.
Distribution map of Ballyanthus
Number of species: 2 (Plowes 2013).
History: Dr. Philip Glover collected a plant in 1945 in juniper forest at 'Gaan Libah in Somalia and passed it on to Peter Bally who described it as Stapelia prognatha (1962). Larry Leach transfered it to the genus Orbea (1975). Peter Bruyns found in the cladistic analysis that it wasn't related to other Orbea species. His analysis indicated that the species is a part of Duvalia-Davaliandra-Huernia clade. So he exludeded it from Orbea and placed it in a new genus Ballyanthus (2001).
Ulrich Meve and Sigrid Liede in their phylogenetic study (2002) also found that Ballyanthus is nested in Duvalia but they didn't accept the new genus.
"A hybrid origin for O. prognatha therefore is possible. Because a monotypic genus for Ballyanthus cannot be accepted, and since no different treatment of Orbea prognatha is clearly enforced by our results, we propose to retain the traditional taxonomy of this species."
Meve, Liede (2002)
Darrel Plowes separeted plants with larger and pale greyish-purple flowers from B. prognathus to a new taxa B. major (Plowes 2013e)