J Syst Evol ›› 1981, Vol. 19 ›› Issue (4): 456-461.

• Research Articles •

### Critical notes on the classification of the Liriope muscari complex

Hsu Ping-Sheng, Li Lin-Chu

1. (Department of Biology, Fudan University)
• Online:1981-11-18 Published:1981-11-18

Abstract: The presence of stolons is taxonomically significant in the genus Liriope Linn. However, probably due to a lapse of attention, F. T. Wang and T. Tang failed to recognize Ophiopogon muscari Decne., type of Liriope muscari (Decne.) Bailey, a nonstoloniferous taxon, and erroneously referred it as a synonym to the stoloniferous L. spicata Lour. At the same time, however, they described another non-stoloniferous species-L. platyphylla Wang et Tang (L. muscari Bailey) as new. What, then, is the difference between L. platyphylla Wang et Tang and L. muscari (Decne.) Bailey? A comparison of the type photo of Ophiopogon muscari Decne. with specimens of L. platyphylla Wang et Tang shows that the two forms are much alike, but the latter has longer scapes usually overtopping the foliage, as well as longer spikes and broader leaves. L. H. Bailey must had combined the two forms into one species. Furthermore. there are another two non-stoloniferous forms, both having scapes shorter than their foliage, but differing from L. muscari (Decne.) Bailey in their much narrower leaves. One of them has very short leaves and looks like L. minor Makino. Finally, what are the correlations among the above four forms? By using methods of quantitative analysis, such as pictorialized scatter diagram and histogram, on herbarium material, it has been found that the L. muscari complex can be separated into two parts: 1) muscari (M), and 2) platyphylla (P). But since these two parts display a continuous variation pattern as a whole, it seems advisable to treat both as varieties of the same species, i. e., L. muscari (Decne.) Bailey var. muscari, and L. muscari var. communis (Maxim.) Hsu et L. C. Li. (Ophiopogon spicatus Ker-Cawl. var. communis Maxim.) As to the other two narrow-leaved forms, they can hardly be regarded as sufficient for two distinct infraspecific units, for they are found to be inseparablefrom each other as well as from muscari.

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