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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Two architectural patterns can be distinguished among western Mediterranean species of Daphne. Sympodial growth is displayed by D. cneorum, D. oleoides, D. alpina, D. rodriguezii, D. gnidium, and D. mauritanica, while monopodial growth occurs in D. laureola and D. mezereum. Based primarily on specific features related to growth-form, the taxonomic value of several intraspecific taxa frequently recognized within D. laureola and D. oleoides is assessed. The name D. philippi, largely applied to plants from high altitudes in the Pyrenees, is likely to represent a female plant from a gynodioecious population of D. laureola. With the support of a morphometric multivariate analysis, recognition of D. laureola subsp. latifolia from Southern Spain and Northern Africa is also questioned. It is concluded that characters previously proposed as diagnostic for intraspecific taxa within D. Iaureola and D. oleoides are the result of different duration of the growing season. In the absence of sound evidence, the taxonomic value of all the intraspecific names applied to western Mediterranean plants is questioned. Synonymy of the taxa involved is provided.

Affiliations: 1: Real Jardín Botanico, CSIC


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