Silene microsperma Fenzl, Pug. Pl. Nov. Syr. 9. 1842.

Eggens, Frida, Jafari, Farzaneh, Thollesson, Mikael, Crameri, Simon, Zarre, Shahin & Oxelman, Bengt, 2020, Phylogeny and species delimitation in Silene sect. Arenosae (Caryophyllaceae): a new section, PhytoKeys 159, pp. 1-34 : 1

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Silene microsperma Fenzl, Pug. Pl. Nov. Syr. 9. 1842.


8. Silene microsperma Fenzl, Pug. Pl. Nov. Syr. 9. 1842.


See below subspecies.


Turkey, Syria, N Iraq, Cyprus, Palestine and Lebanon (Fig. 7 View Figure 7 ).


This species is the most variable in the section and is here divided into four subspecies. We have chosen not to treat these taxa as species because they are obviously closely related, as seen by low variation in the DNA sequences. The taxon " S. modesta " has sometimes been treated as a species (e.g. Zohary 1966, Mouterde 1966), but has also previously been treated as a variety of S. chaetodonta ( Post 1932). Here, we accept it as a subspecies of S. microsperma .

The S. microsperma accessions with S. exsudans and one accession of S. georgievskyi ID. 42 form a weakly supported clade in the species (Fig. 1 View Figure 1 ) and rps16 (PP <0.75) trees. The RPB2 tree shows almost the same pattern, but S. chaetodonta ID 181 from Turkey is included in this clade (PP = 0.96 MPB = 83%, Fig. 5 View Figure 5 ). The ITS phylogeny supports a close relationship between S. microsperma and S. exsudans (PP = 0.98 MPB = 86% MLB = 97%, Fig. 3 View Figure 3 ). There is very little resolution within the S. microsperma clade.