J Syst Evol ›› 1987, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (3): 189-203.

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

On Circumscription of the Genus Prenanthes L. and Notoseris Shih — A New Genus of Compositae from China

Shih Chu   

  1.  (lnstitute of Botany, Academia Sinica, Beijing)
  • Published:1987-06-18

Abstract: After having examined all specimens of the genus Prenanthes L. of Compositae in the Herbarium of Institute of Botany, Academia Sinica, I find that the classic concept on the genus Prenanthes established by G. Bentham in 1873 has not been held exactly by some of European, American, Japanese and Chinese botanists. For example, W. B. Hemsley, S. T. Dunn, A. Franchet, S. Kitamura and C. C. Chang placed plants from China which belong to other groups into the genus; I also find that the classic concept of the genus is not clear. The present paper makes a revision not only on the classic concept of the genus, but also on its concept assumed by the above-mentionded botanists. With the combination of numerous (25-35), white or yellow ligular florets, numerous ribs of achenes, Prenanthes alba L. (Nabalus albus (L.) Shih, comb. nov.) is distinctly different from Prenanthes purpurea L., which has the combination of purple, few (5-15) ligular florests and few ribs of achenes. Nabalus Cass., as a genus established early (1825) by H. Cassini, should be restored. It is not reasonable to treat Nabalus as a subgenus (E. B. Babcock et al. 1947) or a section (S. Kitamura, 1956) or as a synonym (G. Bentham, 1983) of the genus Preanathes L. The present author recognizes seven species in the new revised genus Prenanthes L. in China, 4 of which are described as new. In the genus Nabalus Cass. only one species, N. ochroleuca Maxim., is distributed in Northeast China. As Lactuca melanantha Franch. (1895), Prenanthes henryi Dunn (1903), P. glandulosa Dunn (1903), Lactuca triflora Hemsl. (1888) (it was transferred to Prenanthes L. by C. C. Chang in 1934), Prenanthes formosana Kitam. (1934) and P. wilsoni Chang (1934) all have campanulate involucres, purple phyllaries, purple dorsi-ventrally compressed achenes, longitudinal rids 6-9 on each side of achene truncate and beakless at its apex and pilose tubes of corollae, they should be placed neither into the genus Prenanthes with obtusely tri-or pentagonous, subterete achenes and glabrous tubes of corollae, nor into the genus Lactuca with beak achenes. Besides the above-mentioned species misnamed by some of foreign and Chinese botanists, 6 other species also have the same structure in achenes and corollae. Evidently, they fall into a new genus with the name Notoseris Shih. The new genus Notoseris Shih of the tribe Lactuceae of Compositae seems to be more reminiscent of Lactuca L. than of Prenanthes L. emend. All the 12 species of the genus Notoseris Shih are endemic to China and distributed in the area of south of Yantze River. Of them 6 are new combinations and 6 are described as new.

Key words: Prenanthes, Taxonomical circumscription, Notoseris, Nabalus