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A new classification of the polyphyletic genus Centaurium Hill (Chironiinae, Gentianaceae): description of the New World endemic Zeltnera, and reinstatement of Gyrandra Griseb. and Schenkia Griseb.

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This paper provides a practical taxonomic treatment of the polyphyletic genus Centaurium Hill. This new classification defines monophyletic groups and thus reflects the phylogenetic relationships within the subtribe Chironiinae (Gentianaceae). For this purpose, the establishment of a new genus, Zeltnera, along with the reinstatement of Gyrandra Griseb. and Schenkia Griseb., results in numerous new species combinations, a more restrictive circumscription of Centaurium Hill, and novel generic delimitations within Chironiinae. Fifteen genera are recognized, encompassing ca. 108 species. The new genus Zeltnera comprises 25 species mainly confined to California, Mexico, and Texas. Gyrandra is a small genus with three species restricted to some areas of Mexico (G. chironioides, G. pterocaulis and G. tenuifolia) and two species widespread in Central America (G. brachycalyx and G. pauciflora). Schenkia comprises five species: S. spicata is broadly distributed in Eurasia and north Africa, S. australis, S. clementii, and S. japonica are confined to Australia and the Pacific region, while S. sebaeoides is a rare and endangered Hawaiian endemic. Finally, the genus Centaurium s.s. consists of ca. 20 species of primarily Mediterranean distribution.
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Keywords: CENTAURIUM; GENTIANACEAE; GYRANDRA; NOMENCLATURE; SCHENKIA; SYSTEMATICS; TAXONOMY; ZELTNERA

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Laboratoire de Botanique Evolutive, Université de Neuchâtel, Emile Argand 11, 2007 Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Publication date: 01 August 2004

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