Do we have infraspecific taxa of Salvia multicaulis Vahl. (Lamiaceae) in Iran?

Seyed Mehdi Talebi, Reza Rezakhanlou, A V. Matsyura


Salvia multicaulis is a widespread species of Lamiaceae family in Iran. There are many discussions about its infraspecific variations. Although some varieties were definite for this species in various parts of the world, no infraspecific taxon was reported in Iran and all samples of this species were named as S. multicaulis. In this study, morphological characteristics of S. multicaulis populations, naturally growing in Iran, was examined. Twenty-two traits were examined in 94 individuals of this species to
identify their phenotypic difference. Most of the investigated features were showing a high degree of variability, but it was highly pronounced for some characteristics such as basal leaf shape, basal leaf width, basal leaf length/ width ratio and basal petiole length. Significant positive/negative correlations were observed between some morphological variables. Furthermore, significant negative correlations were found between the eastern distribution of populations with basal leaf petiole length and basal leaf length/ width ratio. Based on the UPGMA cluster analysis, populations were divided into two main branches. The first branch contained four populations, while the second branch was bigger and clustered in two sub-branches. In one of them,
three populations and in another one the rest populations arranged in two groups. CA joined plot confirmed that each of studied populations or group of populations had distinct morphological trait(s), which were useful in identification of them. Our findings supported population no. 13 had unique morphological traits such as the largest bracts and basal leaf petiole, highest flower number of each inflorescence cycle, widest and largest calyx. The conservation of the highly diverse populations of
Iranian S. multicaulis is recommended.


morphology; population; Salvia multicaulis; infraspecific

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