Research Paper

A synopsis of the genus Chamaelirium (Melanthiaceae) with a new infrageneric classification including Chionographis

Noriyuki Tanaka

Published on: 03 May 2017

DOI: 10.6165/tai.2017.62.157

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2017 vol.62 no.2 pp.157-167


Two closely allied genera Chamaelirium Willd. and Chionographis Maxim. distributed disjunctively in eastern North America and eastern Asia are taxonomically reexamined, and a new classification is presented. Chionographis is included in Chamaelirium, and the latter comprises two sections Chamaelirium and Chionographis (Maxim.) N. Tanaka (comb. nov.). The former is monotypic (C. luteum), while the latter is subdivided into two subsections Chionographis and Cathayana N. Tanaka (subsect. nov.). The former subsection comprises four species indigenous to Japan and Korea, and the latter has four species native to Vietnam, Laos and China. A total of 14 new combinations at or below the rank of species (eight at specific, three at subspecific, and three at varietal rank) are circumscribed. Sect. Stenotepalon F. Maek. is reduced to a synonym of sect. Chionographis. Chamaelirium luteum Miq. f. gracilis Miq. is also reduced to a synonym of Chamaelirium japonicum (Willd.) N. Tanaka. Chamaelirium (s.l.) and its infrageneric taxa (two sections and two subsections) are regarded respectively as monophyletic on the basis of morphological and phenological data.

Keyword: Chamaelirium, Chionographis, Diversity, Melanthiaceae, Monophyly, Phylogeny, Taxonomic revision