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Abstract— Multivariate and univariate analyses were used to investigate the morphological variation among the species of Stipa sections Smirnovia and Subsmirnovia. The MODECLUS procedure using Gower′s similarity coefficient and UPGMA were
used to discover how the selected specimens segregated. Subsequently different analyses were applied to qualitative and quantitative characters to determine which were the most discriminating and to determine group placement for each specimen. This study recognizes 18 taxa for section Smirnovia,
whereas section Subsmirnovia comprises only one species, S. gaubae, which is clearly distinguished by its 3-styled ovary and its long basal leaf ligule. Both qualitative and quantitative characters are necessary
for species delimitation. The present work has corroborated previously used diagnostic characters, such as: lemma and awn length, lemma indumentum, awn shape, column indumentum, seta/column length ratio, callus indumentum and shape, presence of coronula, basal leaf ligule cilia, and the number
of styles. Likewise, some characters not previously studied in detail, were significant in species delimitation such as the presence of falcate trichomes on the callus of S. caucasica subsp. drobovii and
the subdorsal and lateral rows of fused trichomes in S. klemenzii. Finally, a key to species in subsections Smirnovia and Subsmirnovia is provided.