Mukdenia

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Moyles
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Joined: 2010-12-23

I stand corrected ... and yes, to all of your above ... just an innocent ref to a Mukdenia review in the Plantsman!  Ah well ....

Bill Moyles
Oakland, California

McGregorUS
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Joined: 2009-12-18

Been busy with other things and only just come across this discussion but I can add something. Takedana is a great example of a nationalistic botanist. He named some 4300 taxa (mainly species) many from Korea. Many are good species which have stood the test of time but many seem to have either been aberrant specimens or over-interpreted small populations. Takedana was naming species from around 1918 into the 1940s and there was great kudos attached to the assertion of species as endemic to Japan or Korea. This is a process not unknown in other countries - the Soviet Union was very prone to such, and more recently Spanish botany has gone through the same process in the last twenty years. It seems probable that Mukdenia rossii is a pretty variable species (along with the Irregulares Saxifraga species such as Sax. fortunei). Bergenia have gone through a process of being split and later being lumped together.

The process of creating larger scale flora help make this variability clear. So the Flora of China has far greater scope than Takedana's much narrower approach based on populations in Korea. It seems likely (unfortunately I haven't managed to see the paper) that Nakai's M. acanthifolia (1941) is what is being referred to as Mukdenia rossii (Oliv.) Koidz. f. multiloba (Nakai ) W.Lee (1996) in Lineamenta Florae Koreae p.450.

Hope this helps - it certainly makes it look likely that the concept of Mukdenia as monotypic is probably a sensible one.

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Malcolm, thanks for weighing in on this subject.  When looking for information and photos, I did come across the M. rossii f. multilobum combination, but couldn't find a description for it that tells us what features distinguish it from regular M. rossii.  Of course, the name "multiloba" gives obvious impressions of leaves with multiple lobes, but M. rossii as we know it already has multiple lobes, so it makes one wonder.

I found the following link with lots of excellent photos of the plant identified as Mukdenia rossii for. multiloba (Nakai) W.T.Lee
Scroll down half way and there is a combined photo showing leaf diversity, a strikingly divided leaf on the left, on the right a more normal rounded leaf with the usual amount of bold lobing.
http://blog.naver.com/PostView.nhn?blogId=ssgb3&logNo=135923158&redirect...

It would be interesting to see if there is a connection linking Nakai's M. acanthifolia (1941) to what is being referred to as Mukdenia rossii (Oliv.) Koidz. f. multiloba (Nakai ) W.Lee, but since "acanthifolia" has rounded entire leaves without lobes, could it be that M. acanthifolia represents M. rossii in the unlobed leaf phase, and those with lobes are f. multiloba?  Either that, or M. acanthifolia ia a good species that has entire unlobed leaves.  It would be fun to find a latin description of originl M. rossii and M. acanthifolia.

This discussion runs in parallel with that of Kirengeshoma, with merely two "species" in the same geographical area (China, Korea, Japan), without as clear a species delineation as one would like... is it a monotypic genus with just one species having more variation than ascribed, or truely a 2-species genus?

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

McGregorUS
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Joined: 2009-12-18

Hi Mark

It certainly does run in parallel since the second Kirengeshoma species (K. koreana) is again a species described by Nakai this time in 1935. References vary as to whether this should be incorporated within K. palmata (named by Yatabe in 1890) but again it may be a result of a narrower definition of a what constitutes a species.

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

McGregor wrote:

Hi Mark

It certainly does run in parallel since the second Kirengeshoma species (K. koreana) is again a species described by Nakai this time in 1935. References vary as to whether this should be incorporated within K. palmata (named by Yatabe in 1890) but again it may be a result of a narrower definition of a what constitutes a species.

What a species is, is what it is by definition! The best way, as I see it, is to use DNA. But then somebody has to do the job and make the decision where to split and where to lump together. The result wont always turn out like you anticipated anyway.
Even when we get an easy access to the barcoding of life it will always be uncertainties.

PS. I would love to grow a whole specter of different Mukdenias (and Kirengeshomas) regardless of the formal status ;)

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

Bob Nold made the point earlier on that when wild plants are grown from seed there is often considerable variation (he showed an example of a cactus). I have also found this with some plants grown on the nursery from wild collected seed, and it suggests that this should be a feature of determining the natural variation found within a 'species' (though I suppose this is often evident looking at populations within the wild). I wonder how much variation occurs within Mukdenia if grown from wild seed? From a gardening perspective we tend to 'split' plants because of the fascinating variation that occurs, but as Trond and Malcolm say this can also become very subjective and linked to particular botanists. I remember (tongue in cheek) suggesting to Jim Archibald that some plants, such as paeonies, be classified by Map reference, because of the extent to which small populations received different names!

Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Yes, lots of conjecture and ways to use this case as a taxonomic example, but at the root of the issue, we need to know what is the original published descriptions of M. rossii, M. rossii f. multiloba, and M. acanthifolia, to make sense of it all.  If anyone finds original published descriptions, please post them here.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

You are right of course Mark - there is always the need to have type specimens and descriptions as a base from which to work, but gardeners are probably much more aware of natural variation within plants than are many botanists (and also add greatly to it!).

Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.
 

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

This is the oldest reference I find regarding Mukdenia/Aceriphyllum/Saxifraga rossii:
http://www.tropicos.org/Name/29102266
but i have no access to that journal!

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Afloden
Title: Guest
Joined: 2012-01-15

Hoy, from your Tropicos link click on the little BHL symbol next to the name which will take you to the cited publication! which also happens to take you to the Biodiversity Heritage Library that contains an immense amount of literature.

So, is the plant in question, A acanthifolia, really in cultivation and is it truly what was described by Nakai? Not sure since I cannot get the protologue for that species, but I'll offer my two cents. Sadly, I grow this plant and rossii, but I have not flowered the former yet. I also have an identical plant by foliage as Oresitrophe rupifraga which looks like A. acanthifolia. See http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=10800#KEY-1-22. I cannot find any decent closeups of flowers of the cordate, entire leaved plant called acanthifolia except the Kew material which seems to be the same judging by picture taken later in anthesis. Lobed leaves and the number of stamens seems to be the defining features delimiting the two genera. One can see pictures of Oresitrophe at http://www.bjkepu.gov.cn/shtp/Flora2009/10/10.htm, even pink flowered ones! Maybe acanthifolia is truly an Aceriphyllum with more divided leaves. The variation in leaf lobing and serration varies a lot in the species and maybe some of these deserve taxonomic recognition.

But, I also don't see why Mukdenia has priority over Aceriphyllum. Here is the paper naming Mukdenia, http://ci.nii.ac.jp/vol_issue/nels/AN00118019/ISS0000223435_en.html (2nd to last link from bottom, pg 120). Koidzumi clearly knew what A. rossi was because he transferred that species to his new genus for an already monotypic genus, formerly described in Saxifraga as S. rossii. Here is Engler's description of the new genus, Aceriphyllum, described to accommodate S. rossii which is clearly distinct from Saxifraga, http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/32127912#page/60/mode/1up.

So, why is Mukdenia given priority over the nicer sounding and much earlier Aceriphyllum? Koidzumi mentions nothing in his paper creating Mukdenia. I cannot find any reference to why this is yet and I am still tracking down the M. acanthifolia issue. Will pay attention to my own plants this spring and hopefully all will flower.

And, last for now, the eastern North American Boykinia aconitifolia is nearly identical in leaf to Aceriphyllum rossii if a little smaller in stature. Their habitat is identical also; shaded rocky stream sides just above the flood zone.   

Aaron

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