Morphological diversity of flowers of Pulsatilla halleri (All.) Willd. subsp. taurica (Juz.) K. Krause

E.V. Khaylenko, Yu.V. Plugatar, V.K. Zykova, S.A. Plugatar
Pulsatilla halleri (All.) Willd. subsp. taurica (Juz.) K. Krause is endemic of the mountainous Crimea, a polycarpic summer green grass, aeropedophyte, lithophyte, mesoxerophyte, heliophyte. Conservation status: rare. The plant is highly decorative during the flowering period (February-May) and decorative during the fructification period (May-June). It was introduced into the Nikitsky Botanical Garden in 2002. It is of interest for cultivation in rockeries and rock gardens. A study of the morphological diversity of flowers in places of natural growth has been conducted. Flowers of Pulsatilla halleri subsp. taurica are unisexual; the genus is apokarpic; stamens are numerous. The perianth is simple, actinomorphic, goblet-bell-shaped, consisting of six free large purple, silky-villous on the outside petal-like tepals. Upon examination of natural populations, the plants with abnormal structural variants (teratological changes) of flowers have been discovered. Four groups of anomalies have been identified: the change in the number of tepals (from 4 to 13); the change in the shape and size of tepals (emergence of double and triple divided tepals, tepals with a notched edge, tepals of varying length in one perianth, the change in the tepals' width from 1 to 1.7 cm); petalization of stamens and carpels, as well as a group with combinations of the types considered. The most common combination (37.5% of cases) featured changes in one perianth, both in number and in the form of tepals. As a rule, the emergence of additional tepals of the perianth occurred asymmetrically. The described morphological diversity demonstrates the plasticity of flowers Pulsatilla halleri subsp. taurica, tendency to form double-petalled flowers, and high potential of this plant for ornamental gardening and breeding.
Khaylenko, E.V., Plugatar, Yu.V., Zykova, V.K. and Plugatar, S.A. (2020). Morphological diversity of flowers of Pulsatilla halleri (All.) Willd. subsp. taurica (Juz.) K. Krause. Acta Hortic. 1288, 85-88
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1288.12
endemic species, tepals, teratological changes of a flower, petalization, ornamental horticulture

Acta Horticulturae