Silene microsperma subsp. microsperma.

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 subsp. microsperma.


8a. Silene microsperma subsp. microsperma.

= Silene kotschyi Boiss., Diagn. Pl. Orient. 1: 40. 1843. - Type: [Turkey], In monte Tauro, [1836], K.G.T. Kotschy 85 (lectotype, designated here: G-BOIS! [G00544619]; isolectotypes: W! [W19580022871], BM! [BM000990903], LE! [LE01051362], TUB! [No Barcode], G! [G00226928, G00226929, G00226930], KFTA [KFTA0001153]); syntypes: [Syria], Syria prope Aintab, Aucher Eloy 425 (G! [G00226812, G00226931], G-BOIS! [G00544620], BM! [BM000990904], E! [E00286983])

= Silene kotschyi var. effusissima Boiss., Fl. Or. Suppl. 85. 1888. - Type: [Turkey], Hab. Syriæ Marasch in agris, [15.7.1865], H.K. Haussknecht s.n. (lectotype, designated here: G-BOIS! [G00544631]; isolectotypes: JE! [JE00013446, JE00013447]; [Iran/Iraq] In apricis calcaries m. Schahu et Avroman Kurdistaniæ, 6000', H.K. Haussknecht 192 (syntypes: JE! [JE00013444, JE00013445]).

= Silene cassia Boiss., Diagn. Pl. Orient. 8: 78. 1849. - Type: [Syria], Hab. in sylvaticis jugi Cassii ubi exemplaria pauca, [May-July] 1846, P.E. Boissier s.n. (lectotype, designated here: G-BOIS! [G00544654]; isolectotypes: G! [G00226837], LE! [LE01051366])


[Turkey] Prope Süveydiye, ad Orontis, K.G.T. Kotschy s.n. (no specimen cited).


15.0-70.0 cm tall, erect or spreading. Stem pubescent in lower part, scabrous, glabrous but with sessile glands in upper part; with 8-12(-20) distinct internodes, the uppermost internode (3.0-)4.0-6.0(-7.0) cm long and obviously longer than the next upper internode. Basal leaves linear or oblanceolate 1.0-4.0 × 1.0-4.0 mm, pubescent. Cauline leaves linear 10.0-30.0 × 1.0-3.0 mm, pubescent. Calyx 9.0-14.0 mm long, campanulate at anthesis and clavate in fruit, pubescent; teeth unequal; shorter ones 2.0-3.0 mm, lanceolate, acuminate; longer ones 2.0-4.0 mm, lanceolate, acuminate; marginal hairs long (longer than 0.5 mm), dense. Inflorescence non-divaricate, branch axile (much) less than 90°. Petal claws 4.0-7.5 mm long, ciliate; limbs 5.0-6.5 mm long, bifid, upper-surface white or pink, lobes oblong, petal limbs cleft to middle or more; coronal scales 0.8-1.4 mm long, ovate, apex dentate or erose. Anthophore 3.0-5.0 mm long, densely puberulent. Anthers exserted; filaments 6.0-9.0 mm long, sometimes pubescent. Styles exserted. First pedicel 1.0-3.0 cm in flower, 1.0-4.0 cm in fruit, erect, glabrous, apex antrorse. Capsule 6.0-7.0 mm long, oblong, fragile, opaque. Seeds 0.6-1.0 mm wide, 0.4-0.8 mm high, testa smooth or papillate.


South Central Turkey, W and N Syria (Fig. 7 View Figure 7 ). Specimens from near the border between Iraq and Iran with ciliate petal claws but in other characteristics resembling S. chaetodonta have been suggested to be of hybrid origin ( Melzheimer 1988) and deserve closer investigation.


The stem often has a larger number of internodes than other taxa in the section, sometimes as many as 20, although more often up to 12 clearly separated, distinct stem internodes. The middle internodes are shorter than or up to two (three) times the length of the subtending pair of leaves (the basalmost nodes are very short for all species). This gives this taxon a “leafy” appearance, reinforced by many branches and leafy shoots in leaf axils. The uppermost axillary branches are often opposite. This taxon is very variable, but is recognized by the many internodes, the ciliate petal claws and the small mamillae on the seeds.

Silene cassia is the name used for white flowered variants according to Coode and Cullen (1967). It is possible that the name S. ehrenbergiana Rohrb. [in Bot. Zeitung (Berlin) 25: 83. 1867. - Type: "Bei Fakra (?) in Syrien im Juni" Ehrenberg, B destroyed?] is associated with this taxon, but we have not been able to confirm this.

Nomenclatural notes.

Many authors have used the name S. kotschyi Boiss. for this species (e.g. Boissier 1867, Williams 1896, Post 1932, Chowdhuri 1957, Mouterde 1966, Coode and Cullen 1967, Meikle 1977). Melzheimer (1988) treated S. kotschyi Boiss. as a synonym of S. microsperma Fenzl. We have not been able to find any type specimen of S. microsperma . Fenzl noted specimen unicum in the protologue, so it is possible that the only type material has been destroyed during the Second World War bombings of Berlin. The description made by Fenzl is short and unspecific and fits any species in S. sect. Arenosae . However, Rohrbach (1868) used the name S. microsperma Fenzl and listed S. kotschyi Boiss. as a synonym, and it is likely that he had seen the specimen cited by Fenzl. Burtt and Lewis (1952) use the name S. kotschyi Boiss., but they cited the publication year as 1842, the same as for S. microsperma Fenzl. Stafleu and Cowan (1976) stated 1843 as the true publication year for the first part of Boissier’s Diagnoses plantarum Orientalum novarum. Burtt and Lewis (1952) pointed out that Rohrbach described S. microsperma as having glabrous petal claws, not ciliate as the taxon dealt with here. The type specimen for S. microsperma Fenzl was collected in an area that nowadays belongs to Turkey, at the mouth of the river Nahr al-Asi (also known as Orontis/Orontes), probably near Samandagi (old name Süveydiye, probably the same as Svedie). There are collections from this area (Haradjian 3069 in G, Pabot s.n. in G, Mouterde V 58 in G, Haradjian 1480 in E, Davis, Dodds & Cetik 19551 in C) that clearly belong to this taxon. The type locality for S. cassia Boiss. is also found in this area. We therefore follow Melzheimer (1988) and use the name S. microsperma Fenzl for this taxon.

The S. microsperma subsp. microsperma accessions form a subclade in the S. microsperma clade in the RPB2 phylogeny (PP = 0.96, Fig. 5 View Figure 5 ).














Silene microsperma subsp. microsperma.

Eggens, Frida, Jafari, Farzaneh, Thollesson, Mikael, Crameri, Simon, Zarre, Shahin & Oxelman, Bengt 2020

Silene cassia

Boiss 1849

Silene kotschyi

Boiss 1843