Journal archives for May 2020

May 17, 2020

Another fine mess

I stumbled on a taxonomic revision reputedly clarifying certain relationships among Mentzelia section Bartonia including what I and most others in Arizona have been identifying as Mentzelia multiflora. It states that the material in Arizona formerly regarded as M. multiflora is one of three varieties of M. longiloba. (M. multiflora remains, limited to New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming.) Much of the Arizona material in SEINet may have originally been identified as M. multiflora var. longiloba (or ssp. longiloba) but carelessly left off the variety (a common occurrence with other taxa). M. multiflora ssp. longiloba is listed as a synonym in the FNA treatment of M. longiloba. (That treatment was provided by one of the authors of the revision.) POWO excludes M. multiflora from Arizona.

One thing that strikes me about the key in the revision is that it relies on some mighty fine details in features and measurements, things that are difficult or impossible to see in iNat photos. SEM photos of the seed coat? Nope, no pocket SEMs, just as there are no pocket PCR and DNA sequencing kits for the field. Maybe someday... So geography is going to have to suffice, at least for M. longiloba.

As there are no iNaturalist observations of M. longiloba in Arizona (beyond a pair of mine that I changed yesterday) I wanted to run this by some of the working botanists in the region before making changes to the numerous M. multiflora observations in Arizona. @danbeckman, @aspidoscelis, @jdmore, @frankiecoburn, any comments on this revision?

Posted on May 17, 2020 12:00 AM by stevejones stevejones | 8 comments | Leave a comment