The Scilla plumbea puzzle—present status of the genus Scilla sensu lato in southern Africa and description of Spetaea lachenaliiflora, a new genus and species of Massonieae (Hyacinthaceae)

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Abstract:

We have studied a taxon from South Africa that has been hidden for more than 150 years within Scilla plumbea (Hyacinthaceae). However, phylogenetic reconstruction based on trnL-F data, morphological evidence (including seed characters), and karyology suggest independent status. DNA data place it close to the Daubenya alliance but not close to any particular genus of Massonieae previously included within Scilla s.l. Unique characters of seeds indicate that this taxon does not belong to the Daubenya clade. Analysis of the iconotype of Scilla plumbea Lindl., on the other hand, reveals morphological details suggesting membership in the Scilla natalensis clade (= genus Merwilla in the recent classification of Speta). Merwilla, however, occupies a basal position among Massonieae and is not related to the Daubenya clade. Based on all data, we describe this taxon as a new genus and species Spetaea lachenaliiflora Wetschnig & Pfosser.

Keywords: CHROMOSOME NUMBERS; FLORA OF SOUTHERN AFRICA; HYACINTHACEAE; MASSONIEAE; PLASTID DNA SEQUENCES; SCILLA PLUMBEA; SEED MORPHOLOGY; SPETAEA LACHENALIIFLORA

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Botany, University of Graz, Holteigasse 6, A-8010 Graz, Austria. 2: Department of Higher Plant Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Botany, University of Vienna, Rennweg 14, A-1030 Vienna, Austria.

Publication date: February 1, 2003

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