Allium kuhrangense Akhavan, Saeidi & R.M. Fritsch, 2014

Akhavan, Azadeh, Saeidi, Hojjatollah & Fritsch, Reinhard M., 2014, Allium kuhrangense (Amaryllidaceae) a new species of Allium sect. Acanthoprason from Iran, Phytotaxa 170 (3), pp. 213-218 : 214-217

publication ID 10.11646/phytotaxa.170.3.7

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Allium kuhrangense Akhavan, Saeidi & R.M. Fritsch

sp. nov.

Allium kuhrangense Akhavan, Saeidi & R.M. Fritsch , sp. nov. ( Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 )

Differt ab A. austroiranico tepalis albis latioribus (non purpureis longioribus), tepalis oblongis usque ellipticis (non lanceolatotriangularibus), ab A. ubipetrense filamentis superne purpureis (non albis), ad omnibus affinibus speciebus spathis in mediano manifeste nigro-nervatis (non simplicibus).

Type: — IRAN. Chaharmahal Bakhtiari: Kuhrang region , NW Chelgerd, 32°32´44.2”N, 50°00´26.8”E, 2800 m, 24 May 2013, Akhavan & Saeidi 19450 (holotype, Herbarium of the University of Isfahan!, isotype GAT!) GoogleMaps .

Bulbs ovoid-globose, 30–35 mm in diameter, outer tunics blackish and irregularly splitting. Leaves two, one usually larger and broader, light green, 6.5–8 cm long and 3–5 cm wide, oblong to ovate, thick and fleshy, hooded at the apex or sometimes obtuse, upper and lower side sulcate; margin finely toothed especially at leaf base, greenish-white. Scape cylindrical, ± flexuous, smooth (sulcate in dry state), 1–2 cm long above soil, ca. 2–3 mm in diameter, widest below inflorescence. Spathe membranous, splitting incompletely into 2 or 3 segments, whitish with distinct black median nerves. Inflorescence semi-globose, dense, many-flowered (50 or more flowers), 4.5–6.5 cm in diameter. Pedicels straight, ± of equal length, up to 30 mm long, greenish to purple in dry state. Flowers widely campanulate to funnelshaped, star-like in fruiting state. Tepals narrowly oblong to elliptic, obtuse at tip, 7–10 mm long, up to 2 mm wide in middle part, white, median vein green (purple in dry state), becoming darker after anthesis. Filaments fleshy, nearly two thirds as long as tepals, base white and dark purple at tip, triangular, basally 1 mm connate to each other and adnate by 1 mm to tepals. Anthers ca. 1.5 mm long, pinkish yellow. Ovary light green, obovoid, 2.5–5 mm long and 3–4 mm wide; style ca. 2 mm long, whitish; stigma undivided. Capsule with three furrows, ca. 5 mm long and 4 mm diam., yellowish to greenish. Seeds one per locule, depressed-obovate, 1.5–2.5 mm long, ca. 1.5 mm wide and 1 mm thick, black.

Chromosome number: —We found the constant chromosome number of 2n = 2x = 16 in all five metaphase plates examined with 6 metacentric and 2 sub-metacentric chromosomes. The basic chromosome number of x = 8 was already known from other species of the section Acanthopraso n ( Akhavan et al. 2014).

Etymology:—The specific epithet “ kuhrangense ” refers to the Kuhrang Mountains in Chaharmahal Bakhtiari province, SW Iran, where type locality is situated.

Distribution:— Allium kuhrangense is a local endemic known from stony slopes at higher elevations west of the Kuhrang Mountains ( Iran). This species has been known only from the type locality ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 ).

Ecology and habitat: — Allium kuhrangense occurs in Zagros Mountains, around Chelgerd in Chaharmahal Bakhtiari Province, SW Iran ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 ). It grows on gravelly and rocky mountain slopes between 2750–2850 m a.s.l. in mountain steps usually inhabited by species of Astragalus Linnaeus (1753: 755) and Daphne Linnaeus (1753: 356) . According to the Chaharmahal Bakhtiari Meteorological Organization annual reports, this region has a cold-temperate climate with dry to semi-dry summer ( koohrang.asp).

Phenology:—Leaf sprouting begins in April; flowering lasts from May to June; fruiting is completed in the end of July.

Conservation status: —According to the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria ( IUCN 2014), A. kuhrangense is here assessed as a Critically Endangered (CR, B1+2ab(iii)) species, because only one small population is known for this species. This population is located in a non-protected area which is intensively grazed by livestock ( Fig. 1B View FIGURE 1 ).

Taxonomic relationships: — Allium kuhrangense is classified within subgenus Melanocrommyum sect. Acanthoprason because it has diagnostic characters of the section such as short scape, narrowly oblong to elliptic tepals and filaments shorter than tepals. Morphological differences between A. kuhrangense and other closely related species such as A. austroiranicum Fritsch (2008: 26) , A. ubipetrense Fritsch (2008: 20) and A. shelkovnikovi Grossheim (1928: 205) are presented in Table 1. The new species shows broad leaves and filaments with purple tips. Morphologically it should belong to the A. austroiranicum alliance differing from that species by whitish, broader, and relatively shorter tepals, and particularly by the conspicuous black median veins of the spathe discussed above. The flowers are also rather similar to A. ubipetrense , but the purple tips of filaments and the character of spathe veining do not fit also to that alliance. We provide a key based on our observations and cited references to facilitate identification of the new species. Iran, especially NW of the country, is considered as a center of diversity and speciation of the section Acanthoprason ( Fritsch and Abbasi 2013) . Species of this section are mostly distributed in the Alborz and Zagros mountain ranges at the higher elevations. Probably there are poorly explored regions in this area and further exploring may result in discovering of new taxa of the section. Many species such as A. breviscapum Stapf (1885: 14) (Alvand Mountains near Hamedan), A. chlorotepalum Fritsch & Jaeger (2010: 18) (mountains at northwestern edge of Isfahan province), A. hamedanense Fritsch (2008: 39) (stony dry limestone slopes in Hamedan province) and A. kurdistanicum Maroofi & Fritsch (2011: 353) (Kurdistan province) are rare and known from few localities.

Vernacular names and ethnobotanic use: —Most of the species from the section Acanthoprason are known as “ valak ” in Iran and are among the fresh vegetables that people use mostly for preparing special soups or a spice for rice. These plants are not cultivated and wild populations are the only source of “ valak ”.