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Researchers complete taxonomic revision of Cynanchum plant species in northeastern Asia

Cynanchum species in northeastern Asia revised
Cynanchum thesioides growing in different habitats. Credit: WBG

Cynanchum thesioides (Freyn) K. Schum. is one of the most widespread species of Cynanchum L., a large genus in the family Apocynaceae. It is found in temperate northeastern Asia, from eastern Kazakhstan, Mongolia, northern China to the Korean Peninsula. Its morphological characteristics are highly variable, adapting to a wide range of habitats.

During taxonomic studies on Cynanchum, researchers from the Wuhan Botanical Garden (WBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) found that the distinctions between C. thesioides and C. gobicum Grubov are questionable. The latter is endemic to Mongolia and can be distinguished from C. thesioides by its long and fragrant stem, broader lanceolate leaves and puberulent (as opposed to glabrous in C. thesioides) outer surface of the corolla.

To address this issue, the researchers conducted field surveys, examined numerous plant images and specimens, and reviewed the relevant literature on the species.

Cynanchum species in northeastern Asia revised
External morphological characteristics of Cynanchum thesioides. Credit: WBG

Results showed a continuous variation in the of the C. thesioides, including habit, , leaf size, indumenta on the inner and outer surfaces of the corolla, and the relative lengths of the stigmatic head and corona, which encompass all the characteristics of C. gobicum. Thus, C. gobicum is in synonymous with C. thesioides.

Meanwhile, Vincetoxicum sibiricum f. linearifolium Debeaux is also newly synonymized, a name long neglected since Debeaux described it in 1877 from specimens collected in Shandong, China in 1877.

Cynanchum species in northeastern Asia revised
Floral anatomy and fruit and seeds of Cynanchum thesioides. Credit: WBG

Finally, a thorough revision of this species is provided, including a new description, an updated distribution, and typification of all related names, including new lectotypification of V. sibiricum var. australe Maxim. and V. sibiricum f. linearifolium.

The study, titled "A taxonomic revision of Cynanchum thesioides (Apocynaceae) with two new synonyms," was published in PhytoKeys.

More information: Cai-Fei Zhang et al, A taxonomic revision of Cynanchum thesioides (Apocynaceae) with two new synonyms, PhytoKeys (2023). DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.219.93514

Journal information: PhytoKeys

Citation: Researchers complete taxonomic revision of Cynanchum plant species in northeastern Asia (2023, March 7) retrieved 24 June 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2023-03-taxonomic-cynanchum-species-northeastern-asia.html
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