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Open Access Urtica dioica subsp. cypria, with a re-evaluation of the U. dioica group (Urticaceae) in western Asia

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An overview is provided over the perennial taxa in the Urtica dioica complex in Cyprus, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. The literature reports a variety of names for the taxa of this group in this region and the recognition and taxonomic status of taxa differ between the respective floristic treatments. On the basis of both living and herbarium material the tentative recognition of the following taxa for these countries is here proposed: U. dioica subsp. cypria (endemic to Cyprus), U. dioica subsp. dioica (syn. Urtica haussknechtii; Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Cyprus and Turkey, Europe, E USA, W, N & Central Asia), U. dioica subsp. pubescens (Turkey, also SE Europe east of Italy and Hungary, Ukraine, Russia), U. dioica subsp. kurdistanica (syn. U. xiphodon, U. dioica var. xiphodon, U. dioica var. subincisa; Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey) and U. fragilis (Turkey, Lebanon). The subspecies of U. dioica show relatively weak morphological and ecological differentiation, comparable to that observed in Asian and North American subspecies of this group, but the recognition of subsp. cypria is recommended on the basis of weak, but highly consistent morphological characters, such as the distribution of stinging hairs and its exclusively monoecious character. U. fragilis can be considered as very distinct and likely only remotely related.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3372/wi.36.36212

Publication date: October 1, 2006

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  • Willdenowia is an international peer-reviewed journal publishing original research papers in English from the entire fields of plant, algal and fungal systematics, covering the evolution, taxonomy and nomenclature of these organisms as well as related fields such as floristics and plant geography. Three issues appear each year (in April, August and December) in an open-access online edition and a print edition. Individual papers may be published in the online edition as fast-track articles ahead of inclusion in these issues.

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