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On the occurrence of two taxa of the Setaria verticillata complex in
Israel and the Sinai

Danin, A. & Scholz, H.: On the occurrence of two taxa of the Setaria verticillata complex inIsrael and the Sinai. − Willdenowia 27: 177-179. 1997. ISSN 0511−9618.
Two taxa of the Setaria verticillata complex can be readily distinguished in Israel: the diploidpantropical S. adhaerens (usually referred to as S. verticillata) is common as a weed, thepolyploid temperate actual S. verticillata s.str. is a rare adventitious taxon, reported from Israelfor the first time.
Basically two different views exist about treating the taxonomically problematic Setaria ver-ticillata complex. Braun (1871), Henrard (1940), Romiger (1962), and Belo-Correia & Costa(1986, 1989), e.g., recognize within this complex, at least, two clearly distinguishable taxa, onebeing a pantropical diploid with glabrous leaf sheath margins, the other a temperate polyploid(tetra- or hexaploid) weed with ciliate leaf sheath margins. There has been some confusionabout the correct names for the two taxa, but, as has been clarified by Henrard (1940) andVeldkamp (1994), the pantropical diploid is correctly named S. adhaerens (Forssk.) Chiov. (≡Panicum adhaerens Forssk., lectotype (designated by Veldkamp 1994: 383): Forsskål in herb.
Retzius (LD)), while the temperate polyploid is S. verticillata (L.) P. Beauv. s.str. (≡ Panicumverticillatum L., lectotype (see Belo-Correia & Costa 1986): Herb. Linnaeus 80.7 (LINN)).
In contrast, Stapf (1930), Clayton & Renvoize (1982), e.g., hold the view that the complex includes only one polymorphic species, S. verticillata, and the latter authors state (but do notdemonstrate) that the two taxa delimited within this complex represent †only two of a numberof intergrading populations‡ rather than being separated by clear morphological discontinuities.
When the first author, who has studied the flora and vegetation of Israel in the field for the past 35 years, noticed and collected there plants belonging to the S. verticillata complex andclearly deviating from the common taxon he is used to observe in moist secondary habitats insummer, the second author investigated their delimitation.
The investigations revealed, that also in Israel two taxa of the S. verticillata complex can bereadily and consistently distinguished due to clear morphological discontinuities. The taxon thatis a common weed in Israel for many decades and usually named as S. verticillata (Post 1933,Eig & al. 1931, 1948, Feinbrun-Dothan 1986, Feinbrun-Dothan & Danin 1991, Täckholm 1956,Bor 1968, Chaudhary 1989, Cope & Hosni 1991) was found actually to represent the pantropi-cal S. adhaerens. The taxon that was recently discovered in Israel by the first author, on theother hand, could clearly be identified with the temperate S. verticillata s.str. This latter taxonwas introduced to the country probably twice, in the 1960’s and 1990’s, it never became Two taxa of the Setaria verticillata widespread there and is still a rare plant at present, having not been reported so far from the†Flora Palaestina‡ area.
These two taxa of the Setaria verticillata complex can be keyed out as follows: 1. Plant ascending with a narrow, compact inflorescence; free margins of leaf sheaths hairy, blades glabrous; spikelets 1.8−2.2 mm long; bristles retrosely barbed with soft teeth hardlyclinging to clothing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . S. verticilllata (L.) P. Beauv.
− Plant prostrate with a loose wide untidily lobed short inflorescence; free margins of leaf sheaths glabrous, blades more or less loosely hairy; spikelets 1.5−2.0 mm long; bristlesretrosely barbed with tough teeth clinging tenaciously to clothing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . S. adhaerens (Forssk.) Chiov.
Selected specimens seen (from the herbarium of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, HUJ):S. verticillata (L.) P. Beauv. s.str.: Israel: Esderaelon Plain, Sha’ar Ha’Amaqim, 1.6.1963,Zohary; Judean Mts, Kiryat Anavim, 6.7.1996, Danin; Jerusalem, 15.7.1996, Danin. Setaria adhaerens (Forssk.) Chiov.: Israel: Judean Mts, Jerusalem, 28.8.1911, Meyers 5176;Jerusalem, 4.7.1996, Danin; Sharon, Tel Aviv, 29.9.1923, Naftolksy; Kinnrot Valley, coast ofKinneret, 23.7.1923, Eig & Factorovsky; Upper Galilee, Wadi Tawahin, 6.6.1926, Eig & Zo-hary; Dead Sea Valley, Ein Gedi, 24.3.1926, Eig, Zohary & Feinbrun; Arava Valley, Eilat,2.9.1982, Liston; Negev Highlands, Sde Boqer, 8.2.1982, Danin & Liston. — Egypt: Sinai:Holit, 23.7.1981, Danin, Weinstein & Karschon; Sadot, 23.7.1981, Danin, Weinstein & Kar-schon; Neviot, 14.7.1981, Danin; 7 km SW of St Catherine Monastery, Wadi Gibal, 12.10.1968,Shmida. In the light of the above outlined controversy it may, of course, be debatable whether the twotaxa actually deserve species rank. We think, however, that a decision about the appropriateranking of the taxa should be preceded by careful studies of the corresponding Setaria materialin other countries, in order to better understand the two taxa and their variation, and it is theintention of this short note to stimulate such studies. We may also remind that Veldkamp (1994)stated the existence of undescribed taxa of the Setaria verticillata complex in, e.g., SE Asia.
Bela-Correia, A. L. & Costa, M. F. 1986: Setaria verticillata (L.) P. Beauv. e Setaria adhaerens (Forssk.) Chiov. 1. − Revista Biol. (Lisbon) 13: 117−143.
— & — 1989: Setaria verticillata (L.) P.Beauv. e Setaria adhaerens (Forssk.) Chiov. I. Ad- ditamento. − Bol. Soc. Brot., Sér. 2, 62: 289−290.
Bor, N. L. 1968: Graminae. − In: Townsend, C. C., Guest, E. & Al-Rawi, A. (ed.), Flora of Iraq 9.
Braun, A. 1871: Panicum (Setaria) adhaerens. − Pp. 5−8 in: Appendix plantarum novarum vel minus cognitarum quae in horto regio botanico berolinensi coluntur. − Index Seminum
(Berlin) 1871.
Chaudhary, S. A. 1989: Grasses of Saudi Arabia. − Riyadh.
Clayton, W. D. & Renvoize, S. A. 1982: Graminea (part 3). − In: Polhill, R. M. (ed.), Flora of Tropical East Africa. − Rotterdam.
Cope, T. A. & Hosni, H. A. 1991: A key to Egyptian grasses. − Kew & London.
Eig, A., Zohary, M. & Feinbrun, N. 1931: The plants of Palestine, an analytical key. − Jerusalem.
— , — & — 1948: Analytical flora of Palestine, ed. 2. − Jerusalem.
Feinbrun-Dothan, N. 1986: Flora Palaestina 4. − Jerusalem.
— & Danin, A. 1991: Analytical flora of Eretz Israel. − Jerusalem.
Henrard, J. Th. 1940: Notes on the nomenclature of some grasses. − Blumea 3: 411−480.
Post, G. E. (ed. Dinsmore, J. E.) 1933: Flora of Syria, Palestine and Sinai, ed. 2. − Beirut.
Rominger, J. M. 1962: Taxonomy of Setaria (Gramineae) in N America. − Illinois Biol. Mo-
nogr. 29.
Stapf, O. 1930: Setaria. − Pp. 768−866 in: Prain, D. (ed.), Flora of Tropical Africa 9. − Ashford.
Täckholm, V. 1956: Students flora of Egypt. − Cairo.
Veldkamp, J. F. 1994: Miscellaneous notes on southeast Asian Gramineae. IX. Setaria and
Paspalum. − Blumea 39: 373−384.
Addresses of the authors:Prof. Dr A. Danin, Department of Evolution, Systematics, and Ecology, The A. Silberman Institutefor Life Science, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel 91904; e-mail: [email protected].
Prof. Dr H. Scholz, Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Freie Univer-sität Berlin, Königin-Luise-Str. 6−8, D-14191 Berlin.


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