Reported in this paper is a karyomorphological study on one natural population of each of eight varieties in the Spiraea japonica complex. The interphase and mitotic prophase can be classified into the simple chromocenter type and the proximal type, respectively. The metaphase karyotypes of the eight varieties were formulated as follows: S. japonica var. japonica: 2n = 18 = 14m 2sm 2st; S. japonica var. acuta: 2n = 18 = 11m 4sm 3st; S. japonica var. incisa: 2n = 18 = 12m 4sm 2st; S. japonica var. stellaris: 2n = 18 = 15m 1sm 2st; S. japonica var. acuminata: 2n = 18 = 14m 2sm 2st; S. japonica var. ovalifolia: 2n = 18 = 10m 2sm 2st 4t; S. japonica var. glabra: 2n = 18 = 10m 4sm 4st; S. japonica var. fortunei: 2n = 36 = 17m 16sm 3st. Karyomorphological study reveals that the chromosome numbers within the complex are stable, and that karyomorphological divergence between the varieties lies mainly in chromosome size and organization. Based on the karyomorphological data and geographical distribution of the complex, the differentiation pattern as well as evolutionary mechanism of the complex is evaluated.
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