Crocus pestalozzae subsp. violaceus Yüzb. & N.Özhatay,

Yüzbaşioğlu, Sirri & Özhatay, Neriman, 2014, A new subspecies of Crocus pestalozzae (Iridaceae) from Turkey, Phytotaxa 174 (5), pp. 279-284: 279-284

publication ID 10.11646/phytotaxa.174.5.4

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scientific name

Crocus pestalozzae subsp. violaceus Yüzb. & N.Özhatay

subsp. nov.

Crocus pestalozzae subsp. violaceus Yüzb. & N.Özhatay  subsp. nov. ( Fig. 1View FIGURE 1).

Crocus pestalozzae subsp. violaceus  is related to C. pestalozzae subsp. pestalozzae  , from which it differs mainly in its wholly violet-blue flowers (not white), tepals 21–31 mm but usually 25 mm long (not 12–24 mm but usually 13–18 mm long), leaves 1.5–2.5 mm wide (not 0.5–1.5 mm), style usually exceeded by the anthers (not exceeding the anthers), karyotype formula 2n = 28 = 18m + 6sm + 4st (not 2n = 28 = 10m + 12sm + 6st).

Type:— TURKEY. A2 ( A) Yalova: Çınarcık, Delmece plateau, 700 m, moist meadows, 28 March 2004, Yüzbaşıoğlu 2466 (holotype, ISTE 96939View Materials!, isotypes: ANK!, NGBB!)  .

Corm globose, c. 15 mm in diameter; tunics membranous or coriaceous, splitting longitudinally, with untoothed rings at base. Cataphylls 4–5, apices of the inner ones green and closely sheathing the aerial shoot. Leaves (3.0–)5.7(–8.0), synanthous, shorter than flowers at the start of anthesis then extending and becoming much longer, 1.5–2.5 mm wide, green, ciliate, 2 ribs in each of the grooves on lower surface, width of white stripe approximately 1/3 of leaf diameter. Flowers (1.0–)2.5(–4.0), wholly violet–blue ( RHS Colour Chart 91 A); throat yellow, sparsely pubescent. Prophyll absent. Bract and bracteole subequal, white and greenish at the apex, with age brownish. Perianth tube 5–8 cm long, violet near the apex, further down whitish; segments between 21 and 31 mm but usually 25 mm long and between 6 and 11 mm usually 8 mm wide, elliptic, obtuse or subacute. Filaments 7.0–10.0 mm on average 8.5 mm long, yellow, stained blackish at the base, scabrid–pubescent in the lower half; anthers 7.3–10.8 mm on average 9.4 mm long, yellow. Styles orange, divided into 3 branches that are expanded towards the tip; branches 4.2–5.7 mm on average 5.1 mm long, scabrid to papillose; the styles are usually shorter than the stamens. Capsule oblong, 10.0– 12.5 mm long, 5.0–6.0 mm wide; seeds brown, subglobose, 1.5–1.7 mm diameter, with a pointed caruncle and indistinct raphe.

Ecology, distribution and proposed conservation status: — Growing in moist meadows at 700 m elevation. The new subspecies was collected from in Çınarcık District in Yalova Province in northwestern Anatolia ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 2). Within this area, the new subspecies is associated with plants such as Juncus effusus  L., Ornithogalum umbellatum  L., Ornithogalum oligophyllum E.D.Clarke  , Ornithogalum wiedemannii Boiss.  , Crocus flavus Weston subsp. flavus  , Crocus pulchellus Herb.  , Muscari armeniacum Leicht. ex Baker  , Leucojum aestivum  L., Galanthus plicatus M.Bieb. subsp. byzantinus (Baker) D.A.Webb  , Anacamptis laxiflora (Lam.) R.M.Bateman, Pridgeon & M.W.Chase subsp. laxiflora  , Helleborus orientalis Lam.  , Primula vulgaris Huds. subsp. sibthorpii (Hoffmanns.) W.W.Sm. & Forrest  , Corydalis caucasica DC. subsp. abantensis Lidén  , Scilla bifolia  L., Bellis perennis  L., Ficaria verna subsp. ficariiformis (Rouy & Foucaud) B.Walln.  , Ranunculus constantinopolitanus (DC.) Urv.  , Verbascum bugulifolium Lam.  , Creategus microphylla C.Koch  , Lathyrus undulatus Boiss.  , Hypericum cerastoides (Spach) Robson  , and Centaurea hermannii Hermann. 

This subspecies is currently known only from the type locality and the estimated area of occupancy is less than 10 km 2. Its population and habitat are endangered by human pressure (recreational activities) and overgrazing. Therefore, it is suggested that this new subspecies should be placed in World Conservation Union ( IUCN) threat category “Critically Endangered” ( CR), [ B1 ab(i, ii, iii, v) + 2ab(i, ii, iii, v)], ( IUCN, 2001)  .

Phenology: —In the wild, flowering from March–April; fruiting May–June.

Karyology: —The chromosome number 2n = 28 ( Brighton & al. 1973) has been reported for C. pestalozzae  ( C. pestalozzae  “caerulescens ”, a name that has never been published) from material of horticultural origin. The morphology of the karyotype, karyotype formula and idiogram have not been published. In this study, root-tips were obtained from cultivated corms, which had been collected in the wild. The chromosome number is reported for C. pestalozzae subsp. violaceus  and C. pestalozzae subsp. pestalozzae  as 2n = 28 ( Fig. 3View FIGURE 3). Crocus pestalozzae subsp. violaceus  (examined specimens: from type locality, ISTE 96940): the karyotype formula is 2n = 2x = 28 = 18m + 6 smsat + 4st. Metaphase chromosome length ranges from 0.73 to 2.79 µm. Intrachromosomal asymmetry (M CA) is 23.2 and interchromosomal asymmetry index (CV CL) is 44.002.

Crocus pestalozzae subsp. pestalozzae  (examined specimens: from İstanbul, ISTE 101760): the karyotype formula is 2n = 2x = 28= 10m + 12sm + 6st. Metaphase chromosome length ranges from 0.63 to 2.69 µm. Intrachromosomal asymmetry (M CA) is 32.78, and the interchromosomal asymmetry index (CV CL) is 46.078.

Additional specimens examined of C. pestalozzae subsp. violaceus  (paratypes):— TURKEY. A2 ( A): Yalova, Çınarcık, Delmece plateau, 700 m, moist meadows, 11 March 2001, Yüzbaşıoğlu 1038 ( ISTE 96938View Materials); ibidem, 21 February 2009, Yüzbaşıoğlu ( ISTE 101761View Materials); ibidem, 23 April 2012, Yüzbaşıoğlu 3364 ( ISTE 96940View Materials); ibidem, 27 May 2012, Yüzbaşıoğlu 3637a (only capsule & seeds present)  .

Specimens examined of Crocus pestalozzae subsp. pestalozzae  ):— TURKEY. A1 ( E)  Kırklareli: Saray–Kıyıköy road, 2 km from Saray , 180 m, 20 March 1974, Baytop & Tuzlacı ( ISTE 27246View Materials)  ; A2 ( E)    İstanbul: Levent , golf course, 18 March 1976, Leep ( ISTE 34955View Materials)  ; A2 ( A)    İstanbul: Yakacık-Samandıra road, 20 March 1983, Baytop & Baytop ( ISTE 50003View Materials)  ; Yakacık-Samandıra road, 06 March 1974, Baytop ( ISTE 27210View Materials)  ; Maltepe–Başıbüyük , 03 March 1974, Baytop ( ISTE 27209View Materials)  ; Pendik , south of Harmandere , 100 m, 26 February 1995, Byfield ( ISTE 68753View Materials)  ; Pendik-Kurtköy, Harmandere, Çatal mountain , 26 February 1995, Byfield ( ISTE 68758View Materials)  ; Sultanbeyli, north of Keltepe , 26 February 1995, Byfield ( ISTE 68758View Materials)  ; Yakacık, Aydos mountain , 300 m, 19 January 2003, Yüzbaşıoğlu 2074 ( ISTE 101757View Materials)  ; ibidem, 7 February 2004, Yüzbaşıoğlu 2381 ( ISTE 101758View Materials)  ; ibidem, 6 March 2012, Yüzbaşıoğlu 3240 ( ISTE 101760View Materials)  ; ibidem, 28 April 2012, Yüzbaşıoğlu 3407a (capsule & seeds); Maltepe, Başıbüyük , 19 March 2005, Yüzbaşıoğlu 2557 & Keskin ( ISTE 101759View Materials)  ; A2 ( A)    Kocaeli: Gebze, Koca Tepesi, 4 km north of Gebze , 5 March 1994, Byfield ( ISTE 66257View Materials)  .

Taxonomic relationships: — The blue-flowered variant of C. pestalozzae  was already known by Mathew (1982), but little was known about its distribution and if the blue forms occur occasionally in “normal” populations or are allopatric. All wild plants seen by us around İstanbul are white-flowered; at most, in some populations a violet-blue coloration has rarely been seen on the apices of the segments. Hence , no wholly violet-blue individuals have been observed in these populations either by us or Mathew (1982). All specimens identified here as the new subspecies have violet-blue flowers and were found in the Armutlu Peninsula. The presence or absence of rib(s) in each of the grooves on the lower surface of the leaves has some value in distinguishing between Crocus  taxa ( Mathew, 1982). In cross sections of leaves of C. pestalozzae subsp. violaceus  , two ribs in each of the grooves on the lower surface of the leaves were observed. Kandemir (2009, 2011) investigated leaf anatomy of C. pestalozzae  , but she did not note a rib(s) on the lower surface of the leaves. Indeed , this feature is not detectable in the figures published by this author ( Kandemir 2009, Fig. 4a; 2011, Fig. 1lView FIGURE 1). On the other hand, distinct ribs were observed by us in cross sections of the leaf samples of C. pestalozzae  that were collected around İstanbul. The type specimen of C. pestalozzae  was collected by Pestalozza from the district of Bolu but without precise details. This species has not been re-collected from the type locality. Crocus pestalozzae subsp. pestalozzae  is now known only from Kırklareli, İstanbul and Kocaeli Provinces ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 2)  .


Harvard University - Arnold Arboretum


Ankara Üniversitesi


Nezahat Gokyigit Botanik Bahcesi


Plant Pathology, The Royal Horticultural Society


Museo Nacional de Costa Rica


Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh