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Phytotaxa 399 (2): 109–118 ISSN 1179-3155 (print edition)

https://www.mapress.com/j/pt/
Article PHYTOTAXA
Copyright © 2019 Magnolia Press ISSN 1179-3163 (online edition)

https://doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.399.2.1

Muscari tauricum (Asparagaceae, Scilloideae), a new species from Turkey


SERPİL DEMİRCİ KAYIRAN1*, NERİMAN ÖZHATAY2 & ERDAL KAYA3
1
Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, Faculty of Pharmacy, Cukurova University, 01330, Adana, Turkey. E-mail: sdemirci@cu.edu.tr
2
Eastern Mediterranean University, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, Gazimağusa, North Cyprus, Turkey.
3
Atatürk Central Horticultural Research Institute, Yalova, Turkey.
*Author for correspondence

Abstract

In this paper, a new species, Muscari tauricum sp. nov. is described and illustrated from Southern Turkey. It has similar mor-
phological characters to M. aucheri and M. bourgaei except for its broad and several leaves, pyramidal raceme, patent and
longer pedicels, small fertile flowers, and early flowering time that distinguish the new species from other Muscari species.
A complete morphological description and illustration are given, including comments on karyotypes. The morphological
differences among the new species and related species are also discussed.

Key words: Muscari, new species, chromosome count, Botryanthus, Asparagaceae, taxonomy, Turkey

Introduction

The genus Muscari Miller (1754: 926) is represented by 72 species worldwide (WCSP 2018). The members of the
genus are distributed in the whole Mediterranean basin as far as the Caucasus, temperate Europe, North Africa and
South West Asia (Jafari et al. 2008). According to the last classifications based on molecular data, 50 Muscari species
are recognized (Dizkirici et al. 2018). The genus Muscari includes four subgenera (sensu Garbari & Greuter 1970;
Speta 1998): M. subg. Muscari, M. subg. Leopoldia (Parlatore 1845: 440) Rouy (1910:435) and M. subg. Muscarimia
Kostel. ex Losinskaya (1935: 412) and M. subg. Pseudomuscari (Losinskaya 1935: 412) Stuart (1970: 189). However,
Govaerts (2016) divided Muscari into three genera; Muscari s.str., Leopoldia (Parlatore 1845: 440), and Pseudomuscari
Garbari & Greuter (1970: 329).
Muscari is traditionally divided in three subgenera in the Flora of Turkey and the East Aegean Islands (Davis &
Stuart, 1984): subgen. Muscari, subgen. Leopoldia and subgen. Botryanthus (Kunth 1843: 313) Rouy (1910: 435).
Davis & Stuart (1984) declared that the current classification system is not enough to identify the Pseudomuscari
species, and further studies are needed to correctly classify these species.
Subgen. Botryanthus is characterized by having dense racemes often becoming lax in fruit; pedicels at anthesis
usually deflexed or recurved, sometimes horizontal or ascending; fertile flowers blue, violet or blackish with concolorous
or whitish lobes (teeth), but lacking slender bluish fascia on the perigone tube and lobes; narrowed perigone throat;
sterile flowers small, few or absent; capsule trigonous, membranous and dehiscent (Davis & Stuart 1984).
The genus Muscari was revised by Davis & Stuart (1984) for the ‘Flora of Turkey and the East Aegean Islands’,
accepting 20 species. After this study, 10 further new species have been described from Turkey (Karlén 1987, Tan
1988, Speta 1989, Cowley et al. 1994, Güner & Duman 1999, Yıldırımlı & Selvi 2002, Uysal et al. 2007, Eker &
Koyuncu 2008, Doğu & Bağcı 2009, Yıldırımlı 2010).
In 2012, 30 Muscari species were registered in the book of “Türkiye Bitkileri Listesi” by Eker (2012). After this
study, 6 new species and 3 new records have been reported from Turkey (Demirci et al. 2013, Kaya 2014, Pirhan et al.
2014, Yıldırım 2015, 2016, Pınar et al. 2018). Muscari sirnakense Yıldırımlı (2010: 105) was transferred to the genus
Bellevalia Lapeyrouse (1808: 425) (Çilden & Yıldırımlı 2017). The total number of Muscari species in Turkey has
increased to 38 in the last two decades, being 26 of them endemic, with a high endemism percentage of about 60%. The
number of Muscari subgen. Botryanthus species in Turkey reaches 18 including the species described in this work.

Accepted by Mario Martínez-Azorín: 16 Mar. 2019; published: 26 Mar. 2019 109


In 2011, Erdal Kaya collected some unidentified Muscari specimens in an expedition for the project entitled “the
cultivation of Turkey’s geophytes” which are here described as a new species named Muscari tauricum, which has
been incorporated in a bulb collection for further studies.

Material and Methods

Taxonomic studies were undertaken on fresh plants and herbarium material. The specimens of M. tauricum were
collected at the type locality (Mersin, Southern Turkey) in April 2011 and flowered ex hort. in March 2018 in the
Geophyte Garden at Yalova Research Institution (Fig. 1). The herbarium specimens of the species were prepared
and kept at Istanbul University, Faculty of Pharmacy Herbarium (ISTE 94347) and Cukurova University, Faculty of
Pharmacy Herbarium (CUEF 1634).

FIGURE 1. Diagnostic characters of Muscari tauricum (A–D) and related species (E–F). A: Clump of individuals in cultivation; B:
Bulbs; C: Inflorescence; D: Muscari tauricum in habitat; E: Clump of individuals in cultivation of Muscari aucheri; F: Muscari bourgaei.
Photographs: by E. Kaya.

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Fresh material of all investigated species have been used for morphological studies combined with data obtained
from numerous herbarium specimens. The studied specimens were compared with other related taxa of subgen.
Botryanthus, including herbarium material, such as M. bourgaei Baker (1871: 349) and M. aucheri (Boissier 1882: 298)
Baker (1871: 349) kept at ISTE (Istanbul University, Faculty of Pharmacy Herbarium) and G (Geneva Herbarium), as
well as Floras, and literature (Boissier 1882, Post & Dinsmore 1933, Stuart 1970, Zahariadi 1980, Davis & Stuart 1984,
Feinbrun 1986, Davis et al. 1988, Özhatay 2000). The morphological characters of the new species were compared
with plants ex hort., all under the same conditions in the Geophyte Garden of Muscari aucheri from Turkey, Giresun,
20 June 2011, E. Kaya 2574 (ISTE 99355); Turkey, Ankara, 30 March 2011, E. Kaya 1806 (ISTE 95490); Turkey,
Mersin, 14 April 2011, E. Kaya 1918 (ISTE 94347); and M. bourgaei from Turkey, Bayburt, 22 June 2011, E. Kaya
2621 (ISTE 99356). Karyological and metaphase plates were investigated for ten different bulbs of each studied
species. Chromosome of somatic metaphases were counted by using a standard squash technique (Demirci et al.
2013). A Leica DM750 light microscope with a digital camera and Cameram program were used for the analyses.
Photographs of the fresh material were taken by a digital camera.
The seeds and pollen material were mounted on aluminum stubs and sputter-coated palladium to obtain electron
microscope (SEM) images (FEI Quanta 650 Field Emission SEM).

Results

A summary of the morphological differences among M. tauricum and the morphologically related species are presented
in Table 1, and photographs of the new species and related taxa are given in Figure 1. The distribution ranges of related
species are presented in Figure 4, and somatic chromosomes of the new species are given in Figure 5.

TABLE 1. Comparison of the morphological characters of M. tauricum and those of the morphologically related M. bourgaei,
M. aucheri.
Characters M. tauricum M. aucheri M. bourgaei

Bulb length 2–2.5 cm 1–3 cm 1–2.5 cm

Leaves 2–6, linear-lanceolate, 10–14 cm × 2–4, ob1anceo1ate, 5–20 cm × 3–6, linear, suboblanceolate,
5–10 mm. 2–10 mm. 5–15 cm × 2–2.5 mm.
Scape length 11–14 cm 5–30 cm. 4-10 cm.

Raceme length 2.5–3 cm, pyramidal. 1–2 cm, cylindrical. 2–3 cm, cylindrical.

Fertile flowers 2.5–3 mm × 1.5–2 mm, violet–blue, 3–5 × 2.3–5 mm, bright sky blue, 4–4.5 × 2.5–3 mm, bright blue or
not schoulders. schoulders. violet–blue, schoulders.
Pedicel of fertile Patent, 2–5 mm long. Patent to ± deflexed, 1–2.5 mm Deflexed, 1–3 mm long.
flowers long.
Lobes White to pale violet, 1 mm long. White or pale White or pale
blue, 0.5–0.75 mm long. bluish, 1 mm long.
Stamens Biseriate Biseriate Subuniseriate

Chromosome 18 18, 36 18
number
Habitat Pinus brutia open forest, wet rift Stony slopes and limestone scree, Mountain pastures, stony slopes, on
valley, with Ornithogalum sp., mountain calcareous and igneous
Tulipa sp. species. pastures, flushes, sometimes with substrata.
Pinus sylvestris or Juniperus
communis subsp.
nana.
Elevation 1140–1430 m. 1000–3000 m. 1500–3000 m.

Flowering time March–May. April–June. May–June.

MUSCARI TAURICUM Phytotaxa 399 (2) © 2019 Magnolia Press • 111


Description of the new species

Muscari tauricum S.Demirci, N.Özhatay & E.Kaya, sp. nov. (Figs. 1–3).
Type:―TURKEY. C4 Mersin: Tarsus-Çamlıyayla, 18 km of Çamlıyayla, wet rift valley, 1140 m of elevation, 14 April 2011, E. Kaya
1918 (holotype ISTE 94347!)

FIGURE 2. Muscari tauricum. A: Habit; B: perigone tube; C1: inner stamen; C2: outer stamen; D: gynoecium; E: longitudinal section of
perigone tube with stamens; F: cross section of leaf (drawn by Deniz Bozok).

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FIGURE 3. Additional diagnostic characters of Muscari tauricum—A: Seed; B: close-up of seed surface; C: pollen grains; D: close up of
pollen surface. Photographs by Deniz Kadir Takcı.

Muscari tauricum is distinguished from related Muscari species (s.l., including Botryanthus) in its flowering time,
longer raceme, broader leaves, smaller flower size and pedicels of fertile flowers. M. tauricum is closely related to M.
aucheri, but the former has longer and pyramidal racemes; longer pedicels (elongating in fruit 6–7 mm); a different
perigone shape; smaller fertile flowers (2.5–3 mm long); numerous, flat, broad, subcucullate leaves. M. tauricum is
also similar to M. bourgaei, but the fomer differs by perigone tube shape; small fertile flowers; longer and patent
pedicels; and broad leaves (5–10 mm wide), lacking a white line on the upper surface of leaves.
Geophyte. Bulb ovoid to subglobose, 20–25 × 18–20 mm, always without bulbils; tunics bright brownish cream.
Leaves 2–6, linear–lanceolate, flat, channelled, 10–14 cm × 5–10 mm, erect-patent, entire, glabrous, subcucullate,
apex acute. Scape solitary, 11–14 cm long, not distinctly elongating in fruit. Raceme compact, consistently pyramidal,
2.5–3 cm long; pedicels of fertile flowers patent at anthesis, 2–5 mm long, elongating in fruit 6–7 mm long; fertile
flowers urceolate, 2.5–3 × 1.5–2 mm, not shouldered, violet-blue; lobes white to pale violet, slightly recurved, ca. 1
mm long. Pedicels of sterile flowers horizontal to patent, 1.5–2.5 mm long. Sterile flowers 7–12, narrowly obovate-
oblong, 2–2.5 × 1–2 mm, pale purplish-blue to ice-blue. Bracts 0.8–1 mm long. Stamens biseriate, with filaments
adnate along the basal half of the perigone tube; outer filaments 0.5–0.6 mm long; inner filaments 0.7–0.8 mm long;
anthers purplish-black, 0.7–0.8 mm long. Pollen grains pale yellow, monosulcate, elliptic in equatorial, longitudinal
and transversal views, elliptic in polar view, axis 20–23 μm long, equatorial diameter 26–30 μm; shape oblate; exine
pattern ornamentation macroreticulate, reticulum heterobrochate. Ovary yellowish-cream, pyriform, 1–1.3 mm long,
style whitish, 1.2–1.5 mm long, stigma punctate. Fruit a capsule, dehiscing by 3 valves. Seeds black, globose, with
wrinkled surface.
Etymology:—Muscari tauricum is named after the geographical area where the new species grows in the Taurus
mountains.
Ecology:—It grows in open pine forest and wet rift valley at the elevation of 1140–1430 m (Fig. 4). Flowering
time March-May.

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Distribution:—Muscari tauricum is endemic to Southern Turkey which is included in the Mediterranean
phytogeographical region.
Karyology:—Taxa of subgen. Botryanthus has three pairs of long, strongly heterobrachial chromosomes, clearly
differentiated from six pairs of medium sized chromosomes which may show differences, remaining three pairs of
small chromosomes. Turkish species of subgen. Botryanthus are diploid (Stuart 1970; Karlén 1984; Dalgıç 1990;
Johnson 1994; Özhatay & Johnson 1996; Johnson & Brandham 1997; Demirci & Özhatay 2017), triploid, tetraploid,
pentaploid or hexaploid (Johnson 1994; Özhatay & Johnson 1996; Johnson & Brandham 1997; Demirci & Özhatay
2017) (Table 2). Muscari tauricum, M. aucheri and M. bourgaei have diploid chromosome number (Fig. 5).

TABLE 2. List of species of Subgen. Botryanthus and their chromosome accounts in Turkey.
Species Chromosome number (2n)
1. M. anatolicum Cowley & Özhatay in Cowley et al. (1994: 18, 36 (Johnson 1994); 27 (Demirci & Özhatay 2017)
481) (endemic) 36 (Johnson & Brandham 1997).
2. M. armeniacum Leichtlin ex Baker (1878: 798) 18 (Dalgıç 1990); 27 (Demirci & Özhatay 2017).

3. M. artvinense Demirci & Kaya in Demirci et al. (2014: 543) –


(endemic)
4. M. attilae Yıldırım (2015: 291) (endemic) –

5. M. aucheri (Boisser 1882: 298) Baker (1871: 418) (endemic) 18, 36 (Özhatay & Johnson 1996; Demirci & Özhatay 2017).

6. M. botryoides (Linnaeus 1753: 1200) Miller (1768: 1300) 36 (Garbari 1984).

7. M. bourgaei Baker (1871: 416) (endemic) 18 (Özhatay & Johnson 1996).

8. M. commutatum Gussone (1826: 125) –

9. M. discolor Boiss. & Hausskn. ex Boissier (1882: 300) 18 (Johnson 1994).

10. M. kerkis Karlén (1984: 89) 18 (Karlén 1984).

11. M. latifolium Kirk (1860: 28) (endemic) 18, 18+1B (Johnson & Brandham 1997).

12. M. microstomum Davis & Stuart (1966: 123) 18 (Stuart 1970).

13. M. neglectum Gussone (1826: 125) 18 (Stuart 1970; Dalgıç 1990); 18, 36, 45, 54 (Demirci &
Özhatay 2017).
14. M. parviflorum Desfontaines (1798: 309) 36 (Demirci & Özhatay 2017).

15. M. sandrasicum Karlén (1987: 25) (endemic) 18 (Karlén 1987) (Özhatay & Johnson 1996).

16. M. serpentinicum Yıldırım, Altıoglu & Pirhan in Pirhan et –


al. (2014: 1) (endemic)
17. M. sivrihisardaghlarensis Yıldırımlı & Selvi. (2002: 7) –
(endemic)
18. M. tauricum S.Demirci, N.Özhatay & E.Kaya sp. nov. 18
(endemic)

Taxonomic relationships:—M. tauricum is closely related to M. aucheri and M. bourgaei in several morphological
features. However, the new species differs from those species in the earlier flowering time, longer raceme, broader
leaves, smaller flower size (only 2.5–3 mm long) and pedicels of fertile flowers (reaching 5 mm long), whilst the other
species always produce shorter racemes, narrower leaves, longer fertile flowers (3–5 mm long) and smaller pedicels
of fertile flowers (1–3 mm long) (Table 1). Among these species, the closest appears to be M. aucheri in general

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appearance, color of fertile flowers, scape length, biseriate stamens, habit and distribution, but M. tauricum produces
longer and pyramidal racemes; longer pedicels; a different perigone shape with slightly recurved lobes of 1 mm long;
smaller fertile flowers; numerous, broad, flat, subcucullate leaves (Table 1). M. tauricum also resembles M. bourgaei
in scape length, bulb size, leaves number, and fertile flowers color, but the former differs by its perigone tube shape;
small fertile flowers; longer and patent pedicels (elongating in fruit 6–7 mm); and broad leaves (Table 1), lacking a
white line on the upper surface of leaves.

FIGURE 4. Distribution map of Muscari tauricum (■), M. aucheri (●) and M. bourgaei (★) in Turkey.

FIGURE 5. Somatic chromosomes of Muscari tauricum (A), M. aucheri (B) (― scale bar 10 μm) and karyotypes of M. tauricum (C) and
M. aucheri (D).

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In 2014, within the recent project “the cultivation of Turkey’s geophytes and contributing new species and cultivars
to the relevant industries”, Muscari artvinense Demirci & Kaya (2014: 544) was described from Artvin (Northern
Turkey). M. artvinense is also morphologically related to M. aucheri, M. bourgaei and M. tauricum, but the former
differs from M. tauricum in its color and shape of fertile flowers, scape length, dense raceme (40–60 flowered), large
(20–30 cm long), broad (2–4 cm) and numerous (6–10) leaves (Demirci et al. 2014).
Some specimens were collected by Davis on 21 April 1956 from Pozantı, Adana, Turkey (Pozantı Bürücek to
Pozantı, 1000 m of elevation, 21 April 1956, D. 26135 (2n = 36) K!). In Davis’ “Flora of Turkey and East Aegean
Islands”, the chromosome number of the species was remarked as 2n= 36 and was determined as M. aucheri (Davis &
Stuart 1984). It was noticed by the authors that some specimens belonging to the M. aucheri differed in several features
from other known specimens, they were examined in detail using the herbarium material; for instance, M. aucheri
kept in K herbarium, where specimens collected from Turkey. At the Pozantı locality, specimens of M. aucheri are not
found, but they are seen in the wild at elevations below 1000 m, where M. aucheri is always present. According to the
observations of E. Kaya, M. tauricum and M. aucheri are allopatric. Due to the fact that the type locality is located at
the intersection of three different phytogeographic regions, it is in an ideal location for speciation.
Other examined specimens (paratype):―C5 Adana: between Saimbeyli-Tufanbeyli, 1430 m, 15 April 2013,
Erdal Kaya 4389, cult. fl. 27 March 2018, E. Kaya 4389 (CUEF 1634).

Dichotomic key of the new species and related taxa in Turkey

1. Raceme lax, leaves with a median white line on the adaxial side, flowers bright-blue or violet-blue ............................ M. bourgaei
- Raceme dense, leaves lacking a white line on the adaxial side, flowers bright sky blue, violet blue ................................................2
2. Raceme 15–40 flowered, leaves 2–20 mm width ...............................................................................................................................3
- Raceme 40–60 flowered, leaves 20–40 mm width .........................................................................................................M. artvinense
3. Leaves 2–4, elliptic–linear, fertile flowers 3–5 mm long, pedicel of fertile flowers 1–2.5 mm long ................................ M. aucheri
- Leaves 2–6, linear–lanceolate, fertile flowers 2.5–3 mm long, pedicel of fertile flowers 2–5 mm long .........................M. tauricum

Acknowledgements

The new species and related taxa have been collected during field work for the project “the cultivation of Turkey’s
geophytes and contributing new species and cultivars to the relevant industries; it is financially supported by TUBITAK/
KAMAG-110G007. The project has continued under the coordination of Erdal Kaya in Yalova Atatürk Research
Institution. We would like to thank Director of Yalova Atatürk Research Institution and finally Ministry of Agriculture.
We would like to thank Dr. Deniz Kadir Takcı for SEM photographs and Deniz Bozok for illustration. We also would
like thank E, G, ISTE, K, and CUEF for their kind support.

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