56(2): 229-240. 2001
morisii sp. nov. (Paeoniaceae), a new species from Sardinia
Cesca, L. Bernardo e N.G. Passalacqua
Botanico dell'Universita della Calabria, Arcavacata di Rende, 87036
il 9 Febbraio 2001 Accettata il 20 Giugno 2001
morisii sp. nov., a new species from Sardinia. A new
species oi Paeonia from Sardinia is described. It differs
morphologically, ecologically and karyologically from P. mascula
subsp. russoi from Sicily, with which it was so far
confused, as well as from other peonies of the P. mascula group.
words. Corse, Paeonia, Paeoniaceae, Sardinia, taxonomy.
to actual Floras indications, Sardinian populations of Paeonia are
referable to Paeonia mascula Mill, subsp. russoi (Biv.)
Cullen & Heywood, which is a subspecies occurring in Sicily and
Greece. The record of P. coriacea Boiss. from Sardinia seems
to be due to a past error in picking up and arranging herbarium
materials (Cullen & Heywood, 1964).
since the first look, all the populations we studied appeared as
homogenic among themselves and different from those observed in
Sicily. The diversity founded upon either morphological (size,
consistence and colour of leaves and stalk; number and shape of
leaflets; shape and hairiness of fruits) or ecological characters.
comparative morphological and karyological study revealed sufficient
to separate Sicilian populations from Sardinian ones, and to propose
the taxonomic acknowledgement as new species for the latter.
morisii Cesca, Bernardo & Passalacqua, sp. nov.
Planta perennis, erbacea, simplex, 25 - 60 cm alia. Caulis
erectus, teres, subangulatus, glaber, paullo vel omnino purpurascens.
Folia 4 - 7, alterna, inferiors 18 - 30 x 16 - 28 cm, biternata,
segmentis (8-) 9 (-10) (raro 7 - 20), summa gradatim reducta dein
segmentis 3 (-1); foliola coriacea, elliptico-ovata, 3 -12 x 2 - 9
cm, apiculata, basi inequilatera, breviter angustata, supra lucida,
glabra, obscure viridia, subtus glauca, sparse pilosa usque lanosa,
pilis longis crispatis- petiolis supra vel ambo latere
purpurascentibus, superne saepe reductis. Flos plerumque unicus (raro
2 - 3), terminalis; calix zygomorphus, in fructu reflexus, sepalis 3,
viridibus saepe purpurascentibus, extra pubescentibus; petala (5-) 6
- 8 (-9), obovata, purpurea, rosea vel albido- variegata (raro).
Folliculi 3 - 5 (raro 2 - 7), irregulares, e medio ad apicem
angustati, in stigmatem stylo tenui suffultum desinentes, suberecti,
maturitate leviter reclinati, virides vel purpurascentes, tomento
A P. mascula (L.)
Mill, et P. russoi Biv. pilis crispatis, foliis coriaceis et
follicolis maturis minoribus superne angustioribus differt; a P.
coriacea Boiss. et P. cambessedeii (Willk.) Willk. folliculis glabris
"Monte D'Iscudu (Gennargentu, Nuoro, Sardegna), gariga a
Genista Corsica e Rosa serafini ,1300 m, su calcare, 22. VI. 1996, L.
Bernardo et N.G. Passalacqua s. n.", holotypus (CLU);
Isotypi in Fi, PAL, SS
Species Magistro G. G. Moris. (1796 - 1869), florae sardae
perspicaci investigatori, grata memoria dicata.
P. corallina var. pubescens Moris (Moris, 1837);
P corallina var. pubescens f. hypoleuca Briq.
Plant herbaceous, perennial, monocaulis, 25-60 cm (rarely
less) high, generally bearing a solitary flower. Root tapering,
fleshy, simple or branched (1 or 2 branches). Stem erect, cylindrical
or sub-angular, glabrous or sub-glabrous, with few sheaths more or
less expanded at the base; the color may be varying from green and
becoming purplish only in the lower parts (rarely completely green)
to totally purplish. Leaves 4-7, alternate, cordate, coriaceous;
lower leaves 18-30x 16-28 cm, biternate, with 9 leaflets (rarely
7-20); upper leaves progressively reduce till 3(1); leaflets vary
from elliptic to ovate, 3-12 x 2-9 cm long, acuminate, usually
asymmetrical and decurrent at the base; upper face deep green,
glabrous and bright; lower face blue-green, more or less covered with
long rippled hair. Leaf-stalk 1-10 cm, sub-glabrous, more or less
purplish on the upper face, sometimes totally purplish; leaf-stalk of
leaflets usually present in lower leaves, sometimes reducing (even
lacking) in the middle ones, very reduced or absent in the upper
leaves. Flower generally 1 (rarely 2 or 3), terminal, with 1 (3)
bract similar to the leaflets of the upper leave. Calyx zygomorphic,
covering the petals at the blossom, reflexed at the fructification;
sepals 3, green (sometimes purplish) with outer face more or less
tomentouse. Corolla spirocyclic with (5)6-8(9) ovate petals, pinkish
mauve or white-striped, falling precociously. Stamens with yellow
anthers and white to red filaments. Carpels (2-)3-5, tomentouse by
white to whitish thick and short hair; stigma red, flattened and
recurving. Follicles 3-5, irregularly shaped, tapering in the upper
half and ending with the stigma carried by a thin style, sub-erect,
curved backward when mature, from green to red and covered with
Moris (1: 64, t. 4. 1837); Camarda. et al. (1992, sub P.
mascula (L.) Mill, subsp. russoi (Biv.) Cullen &
form Rhizomatous geophyte. flowering March-
number 2n=10; these plants are characterized by a
diploid chromosomical number (cfr. figs. 1,
2, 3 ; tab.
study of karyotype showed a prevalence
of m (metacentric) chromosomes, with sm (sub metacentric) and st (sub
telocentric) chromosomes too. Satellites have been observed on the
short arm of sm and st; on the contrary, there is no evidence of
satellites on metacentric chromosomes. We did not notice M (perfectly
median centromere) chromosomes and t (telocentric) chromosomes: in
fact, we consider the presence of an M chromosome in the plate of
2 not to be significative.
Metaphase plates from root rip (x 1800 ca.).
table 1 Mean
values of measurement (micro-m) based on eight plates. BL = long arm;
BC = short arm; L% = percentage length; i - centromeric index
Levan's formula we elaborate on available plates is
2tt-10=6m+2sm°+2st°. The values of aploid idiogram are
reported in tab. 1 and fig. 4.
4 Haploid idiogram.
Paeonia morisii grows in different kind of woods (more
or less clear) but even in meadowlands, in stony grounds and among
bushes above 400 m. It can be found on every type of geological
substrate (either on calcareous or siliceous rocks, sedimentary and
magmatic, metamorphic or not), and it grows also on a very poor soil,
even if it prefers deep, rich and wet soils.
Our description is based on Sardinian populations, the richest
of the species; the observation of herbarium specimens shows that the
species is present in Corse too, where either Paeonia mascula
Mill, subsp. russoi (Biv.) Cullen & Heywood or P.
corallina Retz. var. pubescens Moris. have been recorded.
Sardegna: Gennargentu -----1984 (VER) Sardinia provincia
di Sassari: ---- (FI, PAD,
PT, RO) In silvis montanis ex Sardinia, 1826, Moris (BOLO)
Montagna di Atla dei Sarda, 13-14. VI.1898, Martelli (PI)
Insula Sardinia, Reg centr. or. in Monte Oliena,., 12.V.1884,
C. Forsyth (PI) In pratis montanis editis prope Pulam
Sardinia,, IV, U I. Maller (FI) Gennargentu a Girgini,
2.VI.1896, Martelli (FI) In insula Tavolara rupestribus
calcareis rocce della Madonna, s. Coll.,25.V.1885 (FI)
Italia, Sardaigne, prov. Nuoro, Gennargentu, ---- (FI)
Arrondissement de Tempio. Monte Limbardo, maquis detouverts sur
granit, 16.V et 14 VII.1882, E. Reverchon (FI) Mti
d'Aritzo, s. coll., VII. 1859 (GAG) Monti Urtinu (CAG)
Gennargentu Arcu D'Iscova, 21.IV. 1948, Martinoli (GAG)
22.V.1975, G. Milia et I. Camarda (CAG) Desulo, Su Au,
IV.1983, Goi A. (CAG), Saramini (Villagrande Strisalis), 18.V.
1983, Floreddu (CAG) Mte Linas, 1984, Chiappini et
Angiolino (CAG) Acquafrida,, 20.1V.1986, M. G. Biagini
(CAG) Mte Tonneri-Semi, VI. 1987, M. Micro (CAG)
Punt a Sebbera, Domus De Maria (Cagliari), IV.1988, A R. Cottu
(CAG) Talasaggia, Tonara (Nuoro), V.1990, Fogu C. (CAG)
Bosco lungo la strada nel vallone Rio Arpfu (Fonni, Nuoro,
Sardegna), Bosco di leccio c roverella, 1100 m, 22.VI.1996, L
Bernardo et N.G Passalacqua (CLU) Serra Edele-Bosco
di Ghivine (Cala Gonone, Nuoro, Sardegna), lecceta aperta, in radure,
540 m, su calcare, 23.VI.1996, L. Bernardo et N.G. Passalacqua
(CLUI Monte Bruncu Spina (Gennargentu, Nuoro, Sardegna),
piccolo bosco ripario ad Alnus glutinasa, 1600 m, su calcare,
22.VI.1996, L. Bernardo et N.G. Passalacqua (CLU) Monte
Albo (Lula, Nuoro, Sardegna), bosco di leccio, 1000m ca. su calcare,
21.VI.1996, L. Bernardo et N.G. Passalacqua (CLU).
Corsica: Serra di Scopamene, prés Sarthène
(Corse), 4.VI. 1879, E. Reverchon (FI), Pointe de
Golfi-doni et Monte Fornello, versante est, maquis, silice, Briquet,
are characterized by a particularly plastic phenotype, thus it is not
simple to identify single morphological characters for distinguishing
clearly two entities. It is more useful to refer to the variability
range of a character and to the way the different characters join
together in individuals, than to refer to a single character.
Sardinian populations are a lot less variable than those of Sicily
and Peninsular Italy, which can be assigned to P. mascula s.
l. This element takes part in our taxonomic valuation together with
the next part of the work, we put in evidence the morphological,
karyological and ecological characters we consider significant for
the differentiation from P. mascula Mill, subsp. mascula
and subsp. russoi (Biv.) Cullen & Heywood, which
actually are the reference taxa for Sardinian population, since they
are the most alike.
we want to specify that we were not able to find the typus of P.
mascula subsp. russoi (Biv.) Cullen & Heywood, so
that we had to base the comparison with this taxon on bibliographical
data and on observations of Sicilian material (locus classicus
order to obtain an appropriate comparison, we examined also the
Italian herbarium specimens of Sicilian P. mascula subsp.
russoi (in BO, CLU, FI, NA, PAL, PI, RO, VE) and of peninsular
Italian P. mascula subsp. mascula (in BO, CLU, FI, PI,
Sardinian individuals are usually less high and voluminous than
Paeonia mascula s. l. They rarely branch out at the base, and
leaves do not come off much from the stalk (fig. 5).
5 P. morisii in
6 P. morisii. lower
surface of leaflet.
7 Fruits of P. morisii.
The new species is characterized by an evidently purplish
and coriaceous stem (figs. 6, 7), while the consistence is less tough
in both the subspecies of P. mascula; moreover, the red
stripes are absent or present mostly at the base.
The number of leaflets is always very unsteady in both the subspecies
of P. mascula: there are from 3 to 27 segments in middle and
lower leaves, with an average of 12-15. Sardinian Paeonia shows
a variability from 7 to 20 in middle and lower leaves and from 1 to 4
in the upper, but the number is almost always 9 in middle and lower
leaves, and 3 in the upper. As regards the shape and the size of
segments, the new species is characterized by a less marked
variability than that of the two P. mascula subspecies, and
the segments are usually smaller. The leaves are thicker in the new
species, and the upper surface is brighter.
The hairiness is one
of the most significant characters of Sardinian populations; in fact,
it distinguishes for quantity and quality from that of the two
subspecies of P. mascula. P. morisii has ever long and
crinkled hairs, which are twisted and irregularly bent on different
levels; it is abundantly placed on lower surface of foliar leaflets,
even if some individuals can occasionally show a smaller or bigger
reduction of hairiness. On the other hand, P. mascula Mill,
subsp. mascula is always glabrous or subglabrous, and the
subsp. russoi (Biv.) Cullen & Heywood has leaves, which
can vary from subglabrous to tomentouse, with either long or short
hair, but always right and quite regularly arranged (figs. 8-11).
8-11 SEM view of hairs oflower surface of leaflets: P.
8-9) and P. mascula subsp. russoi (figs.
In P. mascula s. l. follicles are never purplish,
more regular and bigger than in P. morisii; moreover, they
show a rounded apex and curve more backward.
is easy to discriminate the new species from P. coriacea Boiss.
and P. cambessedesii (Willk.) Willk., because in the last two
follicles are glabrous, whereas in P. morisii they are densely
covered by short hairs (cf. fig. 7).
plants are characterized by a 2n=10 chromosomical number; this
distinguishes them well from material of P. mascula s.l.
(2n=20) analysed until now, both from Sicily (Raimondo et al.,
1983) and peninsular Italy (Bernardo et al., 1995; L. Peruzzi, pers.
com.). Many literary dates are difficultly interpretable, since
they are apparently contradictory: Barber (1941) and Stern et al.
(1944) indicated a 2n=20 for Sicilian, Sardinian and Corse P.
russoi, without specifying which material was examined; the same
for Cullen & Heywood (1964), which indicated a 2n=20 for
P. russoi of Western Mediterranean Islands; Tzanoudakis (1983)
indicated a 2n=10 for Greek P. russoi and 2n=20
for Greek P. mascula; at last, Sopova (1971) in Macedonia and
Koeva & Sarcova (1993) in Bulgaria indicated 2n=10 for P.
morisii shows a wide ecological plasticity, from woody habitat to
occasional open ground, unlike both the subspecies of P. mascula
that occurs nearly exclusively in woods.
wish to thank Directors and Keepers of mentioned Herbaria who have
kindly provided us with the exiccata of studied species; moreover, we
are grateful to Prof. Ignazio Camarda and Dr. Vincenzo Satta for the
informations and the useful suggestions they have given us; finally
our thanks to Jessica Barbieri for the translation help.
G., 1818. A monograph of the genus Paeonia. Transactions
of Linnean Society of London 12: 248-290.
H. N., 1941. Evolution of the genus Paeonia. Nature
L., Bruno F., Cesca G. & Passalacqua N.G., 1995 Specie
critiche delta flora calabra: problemi sistematici
e nuove segnalazioni. Boll. Soc. Sarda Sci. Nat. JO: 435-445.
J., 1910. Prodrome de la Flore Corse. 1: 580-581, 651,
Geneva & Basel.
I, Corrias B., Diana S. & Valsecchi F., 1992. Piante di
Sardegna. Ed. Chiarella, Sassari.
J. & Heywood V. Notes on the European Species of Paeonia
Feddes Repertorium 69: 32-35.
E., 1891. Monographie der Gattung Paeonia. Botanische
Jahrbücher für Systematie 14: 258-276.
J. & Sarcova S., 1997. Karyological study of three
species of Paeonia (Paeoniaceae) in Bulgaria. Bocconea J:
G. G., 1837. Flora Sardoa 1:64 t.4. Torino.
F. M., Rossitto M & Ottonello D., 1983. Numeri
cromosomici per la Flora Italiana: 984. Inform. Bot. It. 15:180.
M., 1971. The cytological study of two Paeonia species from
Macedonia Fragm. Balk Mus Macedon.Sci. Nat. 8(16): 137-142.
W. T. & Davis P. H., 1984. Peonies of Greece. The
Goulandris Natural History Museum, Kifissia.
F. C., 1944. Geographical distribution of the genus
Paeonia. Proc. Lin. Soc. London 13:16-80.
F. C., 1946. A study of the genus Paeonia. London.
D., 1983. Karyotypes of four wild Paeonia species from
Greece Nord. J. Bot 3:307- 318.