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Sanvitalia speciosa in the horticultural trade: Unknown origin, uncertain identity but no Sanvitalia

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Abstract

Sanvitalia speciosa is a widespread but apparently invalid name used in the horticultural trade for a delicate plant of unknown origin which was introduced to cultivation nineteen years ago. A number of morphological characters on this is uncommon in the subtribe Zinniinae and suggest that the plant really belongs to the genus Melampodium. In the genus Melampodium, the cultivated plants obviously belongs to the section Rhizomaria, but their identity remain uncertain: the plants seem to be close to M. montanum BENTH. but a number of characters that are unusual in this species has been recorded.
339
ACTA UNIVERSITATIS AGRICULTURAE ET SILVICULTURAE MENDELIANAE BRUNENSIS
Volume LX 42 Number 6, 2012
SANVITALIA SPECIOSA IN THE
HORTICULTURAL TRADE: UNKNOWN ORIGIN,
UNCERTAIN IDENTITY BUT NO SANVITALIA
J. Uher
Received: January 26, 2012
Abstract
UHER, J.: Sanvitalia speciosa in the horticultural trade: uknown origin, uncertain identity but no Sanvitalia. Acta
univ. agric. et silvic. Mendel. Brun., 2012, LX, No. 6, pp. 339–342
Sanvitalia speciosa is a widespread but apparently invalid name used in the horticultural trade for
a delicate plant of unknown origin which was introduced to cultivation nineteen years ago. A number
of morphological characters on this is uncommon in the subtribe Zinniinae and suggest that the plant
really belongs to the genus Melampodium. In the genus Melampodium, the cultivated plants obviously
belongs to the section Rhizomaria, but their identity remain uncertain: the plants seem to be close to
M. montanum BENTH. but a number of characters that are unusual in this species has been recorded.
Melampodium, Sanvitalia of gardens, varieties, taxonomy
The mesoamerican genus Sanvitalia LAM.
comprises perennial and annual herbs that are
characterised, along with other genera in the subtribe
Zinniinae, by persistent and almost tubeless ray
orets (KARIS and RYDING, 1994), but probably
only fi ve of the seven species accepted by TORRES
(1964) form a monophyletic group. Especially
Sanvitalia procumbens LAM. is well established under
cultivation, and has been developed into varieties
with deep purple disc fl orets and yellow, orange, or
whitish ray fl orets. In the last few years, Sanvitalias
have become economically important in the fl ower
trade, being ranked 26th among the bedding plants
at the Dutch fl ower auctions in 2004. Since then,
turnover has dropped by 18 per cent to € 640,000
in 2008 but this still represents sales of nearly 1.3
million plants. However, more than half of this
amount is represented by a delicate plant with
a number of rather small yellow heads, introduced
nineteen years ago as Sanvitalia Aztekengold
(WICKI-FREIDL, 1993). Later, as a result of the
registration of new cultivars, it was named S.
speciosa, or S. hybrida (U.S. Plant Patents 14.140 P2,
14.799 P3, 15.210 P2, 15.881 P2, 15.954 P3, 17.869
P2, and 12.297 P2, for example) in horticultural
practice. However, the names S. speciosa and S.
hybrida seem never to have been validly published
and, furthermore, the plants in circulation
conspicuously diff er from other members of the
genus Sanvitalia by the non-persistent ray fl orets,
the dimorphic and biseriate involucral bracts in
two rows, and the absence of a pappus – that are
characters that suggest a rather close affi nity to
members of subtribe Melampodiinae (KARIS and
RYDING, 1994). Some additional characters as the
ray fl orets with the corolla attached on adaxial side
of the ovary apex, and the inner bracts surrounding
each ray-fl oret cypsela (a compound head with
unifl orate female capitula? – as described by
MANILAL, 1975) indicate that the plants actually
belong to the neotropical genus Melampodium L.
However, it proved to be diffi cult to decide what
is the infrageneric position of plants being sold
incorrectly under the name “Sanvitalia“, as they
set up some characters to combinations which are
unusual in the particular taxonomic groups.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
The varieties ‘Aztec Gold’ (Ernst Benary
Samenzucht GmbH), ‘Sandeal’ Cuzco Ideal,
‘Santasol’ Cuzco Trailing Yellow and ‘Santanis’
Cuzco Compact Yellow (Syngenta Seeds GmbH),
‘Dittsun’ Sunbini (Dittmar Hugo Samen &
340 J. Uher
Pfl anzen), ‘Wessacomp’ Ariba, ‘Wessastar’ Sunny
Star, and ‘Wessateq’ Tequilla (Westhof Vertriebs
GmbH), all available under the name Sanvitalia
in the horticultural trade, were investigated,
compared with herbarium specimens of the
selected Melampodium taxa (see bellow) which can
be commutable in their similarity, and discussed
with relevant literature (STUESSY, 1972; STUESSY,
1979). Except to ‘Aztec Gold’ that is propagated by
seed, all the others varieties were propagated by
cuttings and, consequently, more uniform.
Specimens examined: NY 215027, M. mayfi eldii
TURNER, Belize: Cayo, MAYFIELD 1993; NY
215034, M. pilosum STUESSY, Mexico: Guerrero,
HINTON 1937; NY 215026, M. longipilum ROB.,
Mexico: San Luis Potosí, PRINGLE 1893; NY
215035, M. sericeum LAG., Mexico: Jalisco, PALMER
1886; NY 215036, M. sericeum LAG., Mexico: Jalisco,
PALMER 1886; NY 215029, M. montanum BENTH.,
Mexico: Chiapas, KING 1960 (var. viridulum isotype);
DS 444246, M. americanum L., Mexico: Chiapas,
KING 1960; DS 515541, M. montanum BENTH.,
Mexico: Chiapas, BREEDLOVE 1965; DS 584591, M.
montanum BENTH., Mexico: Chiapas, LAUGHLIN
1966; DS 622625, M. montanum BENTH., Mexico:
Chiapas, CLARKE 1967; DS 585861, M. sericeum LAG.,
Mexico: Chiapas, BREEDLOVE 1965; DS 645590,
M. sericeum LAG., Mexico: Chiapas, BREEDLOVE
1974; MO 2010844, M. montanum BENTH., Mexico:
Chiapas, GHIESBREGHT 1864; MO 2010712, M.
aureum BRANDEG., Mexico: Puebla, PURPUS 1909
(isotype); MO 2010826, M. americanum L., Mexico:
Jalisco, PALMER 1886; TEX 185206, M. montanum
BENTH., Mexico: Chiapas, KING 1960 (var. viridulum
isotype); F 1880113, M . microcephalum LESS., Mexico:
Veracruz, ORTÍZ 1978; F 2120617, M. sericeum LAG.,
Mexico: Michoacan, ESCOBADO 1991; F 1759940,
M. montanum BENTH., Guatemala: Huehuetenango,
MOLINA 1971; GBH 12871, M. americanum L.,
Mexico: Michoacán, HINTON 1939; GBH 22144, M.
montanum BENTH., Mexico: Nuevo León, HINTON
1992; GBH 22449, M. montanum BENTH., Mexico:
Nuevo León, HINTON 1992; GBH 23089, M.
montanum BENTH., Mexico: Nuevo León, HINTON
1993; GBH 23207, M. montanum BENTH., Mexico:
Nuevo León, HINTON 1993; GBH 22908, M.
montanum BENTH., Mexico: Nuevo León, HINTON
1993; GBH 26677, M. montanum BENTH., Mexico:
Oaxaca, HINTON 1996; GBH 27266, M. montanum
BENTH., Mexico: Nuevo León, HINTON 1998; GBH
23449, M. montanum BENTH., Mexico: Nuevo León,
HINTON 1993; GBH 24819, M. montanum BENTH.,
Mexico: Hidalgo, HINTON 1994; GBH 26032, M.
montanum BENTH., Mexico: Oaxaca, HINTON 1995;
GBH 26175, M. montanum BENTH., Mexico: Oaxaca,
HINTON 1995; GBH 26388, M. montanum BENTH.,
Mexico: Oaxaca, HINTON 1995; GBH 26544, M.
montanum BENTH., Mexico: Oaxaca HINTON 1996;
GBH 26189, M. montanum BENTH., Mexico: Oaxaca,
HINTON 1996.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The names S. speciosa and S. hybrida seems never
to have been validly published and, as has been
mentioned above, the plants cultivated under this
names are not sanvitalias but really belongs to the
genus Melampodium. Among the 37 Melampodium
species accepted by STUESSY (1972), only
a compact strain of the widely spread neotropical
weedy plant M. divaricatum (RICHARD) DC. is
common in cultivation (usually as M. paludosum
H.B.& K.). However, this is a very distinct erect herb
of the section Serratura STUESSY, with large and
long petiolate leaves, heads that reach up to 30 mm
in diameter and with outer involucral bracts connate
to one third of their length.
The new Melampodium plants in cultivation
were introduced to the horticultural trade by
H. DITTMAR of Deitingen, Switzerland, but
nothing more is known about their origin. They
has become a very popular garden plants in the
last decade and perhaps more than thirty cultivars
have been registered, although they have all been
distributed incorrectly under the name “Sanvitalia“.
They are slender, decumbent to ascending herbs
which are apparently perennial, though they are
typically cultivated as annuals propagated usually by
cuttings (however, seeds are available on the market
for the ’Aztekengold’ and ’Million Suns’ varieties).
Their heads consist of 12–14 yellow, narrowly
elliptic to almost linear rays, sometimes with purple
veins beneath, and disc fl orets that are numerous
(usually more than 60), yellow-green, with abortive
ovaries. Ray cypselas are smooth and relatively small
(approximately 1.5 mm long), without a hood. These
characters seem to indicate that the “Sanvitalia“ on
sale is most closely allied to Melampodium montanum
BENTH., a delicate species of the section Rhizomaria
STUESSY. All varieties under observation
approached to features of this species closely,
showing some variances in the head size (12 mm or
slightly more in ‘Dittsun’, ‘Santanis’ and ‘Santasol’
varieties, but to 20 mm in ‘ Wessastar’), the ray fl orets
size and colour shade (Tab. II), the stem colour (RHS
green 144B in ‘Wessastar’ to purple 187A-199C in
‘Sandeal’, ‘Santasol’, and ‘Wessacomp’), the leaf size
and colour (Tab. I), and the length of internodes
and compactness – but there also seems to show
some character combinations which are new to
the genus Melampodium. The leaves on the wire-
like stems are sessile, narrowly ovate to oblong,
sparsely strigilose above but glabrous beneath.
The outer involucre consists of fi ve ovate, at the
base only slightly connate bracts, glabrous on both
surfaces, and with scarious margins. In contrast, M.
montanum has somewhat villous stems and leaves
strigose on both surfaces, the outer involucral
bracts are connate for more than a fi h of their
length and villous with hairs to 1 mm long on the
abaxial surface. Melampodium aureum BRANDEG.,
the second species of the section Rhizomaria, is
similar having the outer involucral bracts villous
Sanvitalia speciosa in the horticultural trade: unknown origin, uncertain identity but no Sanvitalia 341
and connate for a fi h of their length, but its heads
are signifi cantly larger. Slightly connate bracts on
the outer involucrum, glabrous on both surfaces,
are characteristic of Melampodium glabribracteatum
STUESSY (section Melampodium), but this species
diff ers markedly by having small heads with 6–8 ray
orets only, and no more than 30 yellow disk fl orets.
The wire-like purple stems and outer involucral
bracts that are only slightly connate resemble
those of Melampodium americanum L. (section
Melampodium) with its similar habit, but its phyllaries
are characterized by herbaceous margins and
strigose hairs near the apex, its leaves are sericeous
beneath and occasionally lobed, the disc fl orets are
yellow-orange with non-abortive ovaries, and the
cypselas are considerably larger. In the mountain
pine-oak forests of Oaxaca, in Mexico, their ranges
overlap at elevations of 1 800–2 400 m, where the
very widespread M. americanum can be encountered
with M. montanum. However, even though STUESSY
(1979) regards the taxa of section Rhizomaria to be
closely allied to section Melampodium, the molecular
phylogenetic analysis employing both nuclear (ITS)
and plastid (matK) DNA sequences (BLÖCH et al.,
2009) did not support such conclusions and natural
hybridization seems to be rather improbable, as the
taxa of both sections possess a diff erent caryotype
(TURNER and KING, 1962; STUESSY, 1971).
Therefore, in all probability, the cultivated plants
currently being sold as “Sanvitalia“ are not of hybrid
origin. Finally, they may well represent a somewhat
anomalous strain of Melampodium montanum, as
this species is exceptionally variable containing
the populations of very diff erent leaf shape (MO
2010844, F 1759940, GBH 22449, and GBH23449,
for comparison of the most extreme genotypes – if
each of these really belong to this species), clothing
and growth pattern. There are populations that
diff er by possesing or lacking anthokyans (var.
montanum versus var. viridulum). However, if the
latter were recognized in the quality of distinct
variety (STUESSY, 1972), then a query arise whether
the unique features of involucral bracts, that are
unusual for both of species ranked into the section
Rhizomaria, can to justify a determination of new
distinct taxon either at subspecifi c or specifi c level
– to decide this, further investigations are necessary.
1: Melampodium (sect. Rhizomaria) ‘Aztec Gold’ (“Sanvitalia” of
gardens)
2: a) Sanvitalia procumbens ‘Yellow Sprite’; b) Melampodium (sect.
Rhizomaria) ‘Aztec Gold’; c) Melampodium divaricatum ‘Medaillon
SUMMARY
Sanvitalia speciosa is undoubtedly invalid but currently used name for a delicate perennial plant of
unknown origin in the horticultural trade, introduced to cultivation nineteen years ago. However,
it is cultivated as annual and analogously to the sanvitalias, that plants are developing a number of
little yellow heads untiringly – a number of morphological traits such as the dimorphic involucral
342 J. Uher
bracts in two rows (of whom, the bracts in the inner row are surrounding each ray-fl oret cypsella),
the ray fl orets that are dorsally attached to the ovary apex, and the homomorphic cypsella without
a pappus, are rather uncommon in the subtribe Zinniinae and suggest that the plant really belongs
to the genus Melampodium. In the genus Melampodium, the cultivated plants undoubtedly belongs to
the section Rhizomaria, but their identity remain uncertain. Apparently, the plants seem to be close to
M. montanum BENTH. but a number of characters that are unusual in this species has been recorded.
However, as the M. montanum specimens under observation seems to be exceptionally variable
containing the populations of very diff erent leaf shape, clothing and growth pattern, a study of
their characters dissimilarities needs further observations before the conclusion if the plants under
cultivation include to M. montanum, or if emplacement the new taxon would be preferable.
Acknowledgment
I would like to thank to Tod F. Stuessy (W) for manuscript review, his critical comments and providing
the additional information. Thanks also to Malcolm Russell for English grammar corrections and
suggestions. I am also grateful to curators of the MO, NY, DS, TEX and F herbaria for making their
collections available for study.
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Address
doc. Ing. Jiří Uher, Ph.D., Ústav zelinářství a květinářství, Mendelova univerzita v Brně, Lednice, Valtická 337,
691 44 Lednice, Česká republika, e-mail: uher@zf.mendelu.cz
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The genus Melampodium contains 37 species which are distributed throughout Mexico and Central America. Although several evolutionary studies already have been completed on the genus, none has synthesized detailed morphological relationships. A cladistic technique combining features of that of Whiffin and Bierner (1972) and Wagner (1961) is used to construct cladograms. To determine primitive states of 18 qualitative and quantitative characters, four assumptions have been used. A primitive character state: (1) is found in a majority of phenetic groups within the genus (a modification of the "common is primitive" criterion); (2) is found also in the related genus Acanthospermum (out-group comparison); (3) represents a beginning condition of an evolutionary trend that has occurred frequently in parallel within the Compositae; and (4) is a common morphological condition for the family in which the contrasting state is very atypical and obviously derived. The cladograms indicate that numerous parallelisms in the evolution of morphological features have occurred in Melampodium. These trends correspond well with the known chromosomal lines of x = 9, 10, 11, and 12. Distributional data also reflect a pattern of parallel evolutionary development. Taxa of Melampodium are regarded as advanced distributionally if they: (1) are weedy (being defined as having the broadest distributions); (2) are found on the periphery of the range of the genus; and (3) are found in recently derived habitats, chiefly deserts. Species advanced on distributional grounds are found in all four of the chromosomal lines of the genus. Based on all data, section Melampodium (x = 10) is regarded as most primitive within the genus. Considerable evolutionary development also has occurred within this evolutionary line, however, leading to the highly advanced white-rayed complex (series Leucantha).
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The involucre of each female ray floret of Melampodium, as revealed by its anatomy, is found to be formed by the fusion of two bracts. The inflorescence in this genus is, therefore, actually a compound head with several uniflorate female capitula surrounding a central multiflorate male capitulum. It is not a simple head as is usually described.
Article
Chromosome evolution (including polyploidy, dysploidy, and structural changes) as well as hybridization and introgression are recognized as important aspects in plant speciation. A suitable group for investigating the evolutionary role of chromosome number changes and reticulation is the medium-sized genus Melampodium (Millerieae, Asteraceae), which contains several chromosome base numbers (x=9, 10, 11, 12, 14) and a number of polyploid species, including putative allopolyploids. A molecular phylogenetic analysis employing both nuclear (ITS) and plastid (matK) DNA sequences, and including all species of the genus, suggests that chromosome base numbers are predictive of evolutionary lineages within Melampodium. Dysploidy, therefore, has clearly been important during evolution of the group. Reticulate evolution is evident with allopolyploids, which prevail over autopolyploids and several of which are confirmed here for the first time, and also (but less often) on the diploid level. Within sect. Melampodium, the complex pattern of bifurcating phylogenetic structure among diploid taxa overlain by reticulate relationships from allopolyploids has non-trivial implications for intrasectional classification.
Aztekengold' für Beet und Balkon: eine neue Sanvitalia-Sorte mit besondere Eigenscha en
  • P Wicki-Freidl
WICKI-FREIDL, P., 1993: 'Aztekengold' für Beet und Balkon: eine neue Sanvitalia-Sorte mit besondere Eigenscha en. Der Gartenbau 114 (1): 24-25.
Ústav zelinářství a květinářství, Mendelova univerzita v Brně
  • Address Ing
Address doc. Ing. Jiří Uher, Ph.D., Ústav zelinářství a květinářství, Mendelova univerzita v Brně, Lednice, Valtická 337, 691 44 Lednice, Česká republika, e-mail: uher@zf.mendelu.cz
Tribe Heliantheae Asteraceae cladistics & classifi cation
  • P O Ryding
KARIS, P. O., RYDING, O., 1994: Tribe Heliantheae. In: BREMER K. (ed.): Asteraceae cladistics & classifi cation. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon: 559-624.