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Abstract Detail



Systematics

Horn, Charles [1].

A morphological comparison of Rhododendron calendulaceum and R. cumberlandense (Ericaceae).

Two typically orange-flowered deciduous species of Rhododendron (Ericaceae) of the southern Appalachian Mountains, R. cumberlandense and R. calendulaceum, have long been a challenge to taxonomically separate. When Rhododendron cumberlandense was newly recognized by Braun in 1941, she separated the two species on vegetative (twigs, buds, leaves) and reproductive (time of opening, corolla size, filaments, and capsules) features and it was described as a species of the Cumberland Mountains in eastern Kentucky and Tennessee. More recently, publications have commonly used flowering time in taxonomic keys to distinguish these two taxa. Many collector identifications have shown a preference of identifying high elevation populations as R. cumberlandense. During the flowering periods of 2014-2016 flowers were photographed and specimens collected from populations visited throughout their geographic range. Subsequently, specimen material was used to measure 30 morphological characters. In addition elevation was included to see if a correlation was present with any morphological features. Data was analyzed using Principal Components Analysis (PCA). Segregation of populations weighed most by leaf length (positive correlation), lower leaf surface pubescence (positive), young stem pubescence (negative), elevation (positive), peduncle length (positive) and sepal length (negative). The data analysis did not clearly elucidate ways to separate the two taxa.


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1 - Newberry College, Biology, 2100 College Street, Newberry, SC, 29108, USA

Keywords:
Rhododendron
Ericaceae
Appalachian Mountains
numerical analysis.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: 38005
Abstract ID:409
Candidate for Awards:None


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