Plant Diversity ›› 2024, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (01): 3-27.DOI: 10.1016/j.pld.2023.06.009

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Flower morphology of Allium (Amaryllidaceae) and its systematic significance

Ju Eun Janga,b, Shukherdorj Baasanmunkha, Nudkhuu Nyamgerela, Seung-Yoon Oha, Jun-Ho Songc, Ziyoviddin Yusupovd, Komijlon Tojibaevd, Hyeok Jae Choia   

  1. a. Department of Biology and Chemistry, Changwon National University, Changwon, 51140, Republic of Korea;
    b. Department of Forest Biodiversity and Herbarium, Korea National Arboretum, Pocheon, 11186, Republic of Korea;
    c. Department of Biology, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, 28644, Republic of Korea;
    d. International Joint Lab for Molecular Phylogeny and Biogeography, Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, 100125, Uzbekistan
  • Received:2022-12-18 Revised:2023-06-18 Online:2024-01-25 Published:2024-03-02
  • Contact: Hyeok Jae Choi,
  • Supported by:
    Our study was supported by research grants from the Korea National Arboretum (Grant No. KNA1-1-26, 20-1) and the Mid-level professor Financial Program at Changwon National University in 2023. We would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers for valuable comments and further suggestions which have considerably improved the study.

Abstract: Allium is a complicated genus that includes approximately 1000 species. Although its morphology is well studied, the taxonomic importance of many morphological traits, including floral traits, are poorly understood. Here, we examined and measured the floral characteristics of 87 accessions of 74 Allium taxa (belonging to 30 sections and nine subgenera) from Central to Eastern Asian countries. We then examined the taxonomic relationships between select flower characteristics and a phylogenetic tree based on ITS sequences. Our results confirm that floral morphology provides key taxonomic information to assess species delimitation in Allium. We found that perianth color is an important characteristic within the subg. Melanocrommyum, Polyprason, and Reticulatobulbosa. In subg. Allium, Cepa, and Rhizirideum, significant characteristics include ovary shape, perianth shape, and inner tepal apex. For species in subg. Angunium, the key taxonomic character is ovule number (only one ovule in per locule). In the subg. Allium, Cepa, Polyprason, and Reticulatobulbosa, which belong to the third evolutionary line of Allium, hood-like appendages occur in the ovary, although these do not occur in subg. Rhizirideum. Our results also indicated that the flower morphology of several species in some sections are not clearly distinguished, e.g., sect. Sacculiferum (subg. Cepa) and sect. Tenuissima (subg. Rhizirideum). This study provides detailed photographs and descriptions of floral characteristics and information on general distributions, habitats, and phenology of the studied taxa.

Key words: Allium, Flower morphology, Pistil character, Statistical analysis, Significant characteristic, Species level