Sunday, January 8, 2017

[Botany • 2014] Allium akirense • A new Allium (section Molium) species (Amaryllidaceae) from Israel

Allium akirense 
 N.Friesen & Fragman 


As part of the phylogenetic revision of the Eurasian representatives of the subgenus Amerallium we have discovered a new Allium species (section Molium) in Israel, related to A. qasyunense. It is described here as Allium akirense, based on living plants and recent herbarium specimens. Independence of the new species is confirmed by morphological and ecological features, and also by molecular ones. To learn more about the phylogenetic relationships within a group of closely related species of section Molium, we used maximum parsimony and Bayesian analyses of combined nuclear (ITS—internal transcribed and ETS—external transcribed spacers of rRNA genes) and chloroplast (rpl32–trnL intergenic spacer) dataset of 7 taxa. Discussion on geographic distribution, conservation status and habitat is provided, as well as an identification key including the closest related species.

Keywords: Allium, Allium akirense, Molium, plant taxonomy, ITS, ETS, rpl32–trnL

Allium akirense N.Friesen & Fragman, sp. nov.
From the closely related Allium qasyunense it differs in white-pinkish perigone, smaller only 3–5 mm long flowers, smaller capsules, included (to equal) stamens, and in a completely different habitat.

Allium (sect. Moliumakirense (AB. photos O. Hochberg).
D. Sandstone hill near Kibbutz Giv’at-Brenner with 
A. akirense (photo N. Friesen). 


Etymology:— The plant is named akirense after the Hebrew Biblical name “Ekron” and the Arabic name “Akir”, both relate to the hills and villages where the species is found. 

Distribution:— Allium akirense was found in 8 neighbouring sites in the southern Coastal Plain of Israel around Kibbutz Giv’at Brenner (Fig. 2). Since the coastal plain of Israel is densely settled, we cannot know the historical full range of the species. We believe it could have been growing in more sites that are now urban.

 Nikolai Friesen and Ori Fragman-Sapir. 2014. A new Allium species from section Molium from Israel: A. akirense (Amaryllidaceae).
  Phytotaxa. 173(2);  140–148. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.173.2.4


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