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1 October 2010 Three species accepted in Chortolirion Berger (Xanthorrhoeaceae: Asphodeloideae)
Ben J.M. Zonneveld, Georg P.J. Fritz
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Chortolirion angolense has, in the past, been studied largely from herbarium sheets and limited fieldwork. In recent times it has become obvious that an extensive field-based study was required to account for the different forms/species seen in spring, summer or autumn. These forms/species characterize different Chortolirion populations and they also have distinctive autecologies, as well as showing morphological differences (Craib et al., 2004; Fritz, 2005). Of 16 accessions, genome size (nuclear DNA content) was measured using the fluorescent dye propidium iodide. The common spring-flowering form, C. angolense (Baker) A. Berger from Angola and South Africa, with a nuclear DNA content of 27.2 pg (1 picogram = 10-12 gram), was clearly different from the very rare summer-flowering form, newly described here as C. latifolium Zonn. & Fritz spec. nov., from the Free State, with 30.6 pg. The rare autumn-flowering form C. tenuifolium (Engler) A. Berger, had the same amount of nuclear DNA (27.2 pg) as the spring-flowering form. Morphological dissimilarity was in this case not accompanied with a divergence in genome size. When all these factors were taken into account, it became clear that Chortolirion is best circumscribed as a genus with at least three species.

Ben J.M. Zonneveld and Georg P.J. Fritz "Three species accepted in Chortolirion Berger (Xanthorrhoeaceae: Asphodeloideae)," Bradleya 2010(28), 27-36, (1 October 2010).
Published: 1 October 2010
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