Trifolium multistriatum W.D.J.Koch, Syn. Fl. Germ. Helv., ed. 2. 190. 1843 [19-21 Jun 1843]

Scoppola, Anna, Lattanzi, Edda & Bernardo, Liliana, 2016, Distribution and taxonomy of the Italian clovers belonging to Trifolium sect. Vesicastrum subsect. Mystillus (Fabaceae), Italian Botanist 2, pp. 7-27: 9-12

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Trifolium multistriatum W.D.J.Koch, Syn. Fl. Germ. Helv., ed. 2. 190. 1843 [19-21 Jun 1843]


Trifolium multistriatum W.D.J.Koch, Syn. Fl. Germ. Helv., ed. 2. 190. 1843 [19-21 Jun 1843]  


(holotype indicated by Scoppola and Lattanzi 2016: 276). S. Andrea bey Triest, August 1840, Tommasini (L).


Heads large; fruiting calyx ovoid with thick, longitudinal nerves all along, closed-spaced, transverse veins slightly visible; corolla > than twice as long as the calyx tube, seeds ovoid, light brown and dark mottled ( Figures 1 View Figure 1 , 2B View Figure 2 and 3 View Figure 3 ).

Updated geographical distribution.

Friuli Venezia-Giulia: 0A, Liguria: 0A, Campania: + (new), Basilicata: + (new), Calabria: + (new), Sicily: - (new).


The identity and autonomy of the name Trifolium multistriatum   compared to the other species with whom it is closely related is discussed by Scoppola and Lattanzi (2016). The original material (L!) was recorded in northern Italy during the second half of the nineteenth century and later disappeared. Its occurrence might be due to the transport of seeds by ship solid ballasts collected at the port of departure during the commercial activities of the Austrian Lloyd shipping company in the mid- to late-1800s ( Mack 2004). In BEOU, FI, PAD and TSM, there is evidence of the presence of the species at that time also in Dalmatia, Albania and Montenegro ( Visiani 1852, Nyman 1878). Specimens at MPU were collected in 1831, 1851 and 1858 at Port-Juvénal, Hérault (southern France), where Trifolium multistriatum   (under the name Trifolium vesiculosum var. rumelicum   Griseb.) is considered as a historical alien species ( Coulot and Rabaute 2013) as in Austria and Switzerland ( Gams 1923, Zohary and Heller 1984). Even Fiori (1925) lists the species for Liguria as sub Trifolium vesiculosum var. multistriatum   W.D.J.Koch, writing: “È stato osservato avvent. … in Lig. ma a quanto pare vi è scomparso". According to the above, the report appears plausible.

The delimitation, status and distribution of Trifolium multistriatum   , with respect to Trifolium setiferum   and to Trifolium vesiculosum var. rumelicum   , is still under debate (see also Greuter et al. 1989, Euro+Med 2006, Scoppola and Lattanzi 2015, 2016). Here we confirm the historical populations of Basilicata and Calabria ( Fiori 1925, Gavioli 1948) and add a new locality in Campania. The presence in Campania at the foothills of the Vesuvius ( RO!) was not confirmed either by Ricciardi et al. (1986) nor by our own research. However, the discovery in 2015 of a native population of the species in the Ofanto valley (Aquilonia, Avellino) has confirmed its occurrence in Campania. Gavioli (1948) collected the species in Basilicata in 1939 in the historical locality of Mt. Vulture, already known to Fiori ( FI!). We also found it around the lakes of Monticchio and at San Michele (Rionero in Vulture), even at the edges of resting fields. We cannot exclude the presence of transitional forms towards Trifolium vesiculosum   , already assumed by Gibelli and Belli (1892) in this area ( Figure 3 View Figure 3 ). We also confirm the Calabrian historical localities where the species is locally abundant; some populations, still under study, show longitudinal calyx nerves that are more prominent and often in greater number and a less swollen calyx ( Figure 2B View Figure 2 '), which are not typical for Trifolium multistriatum   ( Boissier 1872, Gibelli and Belli 1892, Hossain 1961, Zohary and Heller 1984). We also found transitional forms towards Trifolium mutabile var. gussoneanum   Gibelli & Belli, a variety already known for Sicily ( Giardina et al. 2007; La Rosa 2011) and confirmed by our study in Calabria, that deserves further investigation.

The sole report of this species from Sicily (provisionally treated as Trifolium setiferum   by Greuter et al. 1989, Conti et al. 2005 and Giardina et al. 2007) is based on an old record "Castellammare, Todaro (sine indicatione nominis ac loci typici) ….” in Lojacono (1909). Giardina et al. 2007 do not confirm its autonomy; in addition, Todaro’s alleged sample, who reports the location Castellana, and not Castellammare ( PAL!), is undoubtedly to be referred to Trifolium mutabile var. gussoneanum   . In the absence of clear references and specimens, we prefer not to confirm the presence of this species in Sicily.

Collected specimens.

Italy. Campania: Aquilonia, nei pressi del Fiume Ofanto, 40.963606°N. 15.557549°E, 339 m, 22 June 2016, A. Scoppola and E. Lattanzi ( UTV); Basilicata: Rionero in Vulture, Laghi di Monticchio presso le rovine, 40.933504°N 15.610037°E, 670 m, 4 June 2016, M. Pellegrino ( UTV); ibidem, nei pressi dell’Abbazia di S. Michele, 40.936284°N 15.615824°E, 740 m, 21 June 2016, A. Scoppola ( UTV); ibidem, lungo la SS167 al km 12, 40.937079°N 15.593855°E, 708 m, 21 June 2016, A. Scoppola and E. Lattanzi ( UTV). Calabria: Zagarise, SP Cuccuma-Mortilla nei pressi del ponte sul Torrente Ucria, 38.961982°E 16.709727°N, 24 June 2015, L. Bernardo and P. Rizzo ( CLU); Tarsia, prov. Cosenza, poco oltre la diga, sulla strada che sale per Quercia tonda e Masseria Conte Giannone, 39.618701°N 16.314887°E, 100 m, 9 June 2016, L. Bernardo and G. Maiorca ( CLU); Fiumefreddo Bruzio, prov. Cosenza, lungo la SP 45 nei pressi di Contrada Santa Serra, 39.229793°N 16.072064°E, 350 m, 20 June 2016, A. Scoppola, L. Bernardo and E. Lattanzi ( CLU, UTV); ibidem, lungo la SP 45, fra le contrade Santa Serra e San Biase, 39.227341°N 16.076843°E, 410 m, 20 June 2016, A. Scoppola, L. Bernardo and E. Lattanzi ( CLU, UTV); San Giovanni in Fiore, prov. Cosenza, Contrada Pietramela, lungo la SS108 per Savelli, 39.273356°N 16.720064°E, 958 m, 21 June 2016, A. Scoppola, L. Bernardo and E. Lattanzi ( CLU, UTV); ibidem, Contrada Appendicane, lungo la SS108 per Savelli, 39.292576°N 16.744233°E, 803 m, 20 June 2016, A. Scoppola, L. Bernardo and E. Lattanzi ( CLU, UTV); Varco San Mauro, prov. Cosenza, lungo la SS279, Rose, 39.419186°N 16.378297°E, 1221 m, 21 June 2016, A. Scoppola, L. Bernardo and E. Lattanzi ( CLU, UTV); Seminara, prov. Reggio Calabria, lungo il sentiero Tracciolino poco più in basso dei Piani della Corona, 38.323697°N 15.837171°E, 450 m, 1 June 2016, L. Bernardo and G. Maiorca ( CLU).