Over 19 species and numerous infraspecific taxa have been described in the Syringa pubescens Turcz. complex (Oleaceae), and the taxonomy of this complex has been controversial. To provide a rational taxonomic revision of the complex, field observations were undertaken across China and 14 populations were sampled. The principal coordinate and principal components analyses and general statistical analysis evaluate the significance of characters for taxonomy. As a result, one species is recognized, with three subspecies: Syringa pubescens subsp. pubescens Turcz., subspecies microphylla (Diels) M. C. Chang & X. L. Chen, and subspecies patula (Palib.) M. C. Chang & X. L. Chen. Syringa meyeri C. K. Schneid. is treated as a new synonym of S. pubescens subsp. pubescens, and S. julianae C. K. Schneid. and S. meyeri var. spontanea M. C. Chang as new synonyms of S. pubescens subsp. microphylla. Lectotypes for S. microphylla Diels, S. dielsiana C. K. Schneid., and S. venosa Nakai are designated here.
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Vol. 96 • No. 2