Feature Papers in Plant Systematics, Taxonomy, Nomenclature and Classification

A topical collection in Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This collection belongs to the section "Plant Systematics, Taxonomy, Nomenclature and Classification".

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Department of Plant Sciences, University of California Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Interests: angiosperm systematics (taxonomy, evolution, and phylogenetic relationships of flowering plants); diversity and relationships of crop plants and their wild relatives; ethnobotany (study of the direct relationships and interactions between people and plants)

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Departamento de Ciencias Ambientales y Recursos Naturales (dCARN), Universidad de Alicante, ES-03080 Alicante, Spain
Interests: taxonomy and systematics of flowering plants; molecular phylogenetic; plant nomenclature; phytogeography; Asparagales; Brassicales; Caryophyllales
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

As is apparent from the title, this Topical Collection “Feature Papers in Plant Systematics, Taxonomy, Nomenclature and Classification” aims to collect high-quality research articles, short communications, and review articles in all fields about the latest studies and feature papers in plant systematics, taxonomy, nomenclature and classification.

For the selected works of this section on plant systematics, taxonomy, nomenclature and classification, we will focus on plant discovery and identification, description and nomenclature, classification and evolution. Topics covered in this section include, but are not limited to:

  • molecular phylogenetics
  • taxonomy and nomenclature
  • community phylogenetics
  • phylogeography
  • plant domestication 
  • speciation and species concepts
  • historical biogeography
  • character evolution
  • hybridization
  • polyploidy

Prof. Dr. Daniel Potter
Prof. Dr. Manuel B. Crespo 
Collection Editors

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Published Papers (12 papers)

2023

Jump to: 2022, 2021

16 pages, 62725 KiB  
Article
Taxonomic Reinstatement of the Endemic Chinese Species Iris thoroldii (Iridaceae) from I. potaninii and Reassessment of I. zhaoana
by Eugeny V. Boltenkov
Plants 2023, 12(22), 3879; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12223879 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 942
Abstract
Iris thoroldii is a perennial herbaceous plant with yellow, blue, or purple flowers. The species is native to the Tibetan Plateau and adjacent areas. In the literature and databases, I. thoroldii has long been treated in synonymy with I. potaninii. Currently, yellow-flowered [...] Read more.
Iris thoroldii is a perennial herbaceous plant with yellow, blue, or purple flowers. The species is native to the Tibetan Plateau and adjacent areas. In the literature and databases, I. thoroldii has long been treated in synonymy with I. potaninii. Currently, yellow-flowered plants of I. thoroldii are considered I. potanii, and blue-flowered plants are considered I. zhaoana, a replacement name for I. potaninii var. ionantha. This study aimed to clarify the taxonomic identity of I. thoroldii. A critical examination of original material, herbarium specimens, images of living plants, and the literature has shown I. thoroldii to be different from I. potaninii in some previously neglected macromorphological traits and to be conspecific with I. zhaoana. Thus, I. thoroldii is removed here from the synonymy of I. potaninii and accepted as a distinct species. This is endemic to China (central Gansu, Qinghai, and northwestern Sichuan provinces, and also Xinjiang Uygur and Tibet autonomous regions) and reaches the highest elevations compared with all other species in the genus Iris s.l. A revised taxonomy of I. thoroldii is provided, and two color forms, often co-occurring, are accepted: the autonymic yellow-flowered form (including a new synonym I. tigridia var. flavescens for which a lectotype was designated) and a form with blue or purple colors is proposed here, I. thoroldii f. ionantha. In addition, images of type specimens and detailed photographs of living plants for easy identification, along with the list of specimens of I. thoroldii that were examined, and also, comments on its distribution and habitats are provided. Full article
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14 pages, 9018 KiB  
Article
Resolving the Puzzle of Iris maackii (Iridaceae): A Morphological Insight into Its Taxonomy
by Eugeny V. Boltenkov
Plants 2023, 12(19), 3349; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12193349 - 22 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1255
Abstract
Since the early 20th century, Iris maackii (Iridaceae) has been considered a synonym of I. laevigata, a synonym of I. pseudacorus, or an accepted species. The current concept of I. maackii in the literature and databases is often applied to yellow-flowered [...] Read more.
Since the early 20th century, Iris maackii (Iridaceae) has been considered a synonym of I. laevigata, a synonym of I. pseudacorus, or an accepted species. The current concept of I. maackii in the literature and databases is often applied to yellow-flowered plants with prominently veined rosette leaves, which are diagnostic features of I. pseudacorus growing in Northeast Asia. Therefore, the objective was to clarify the taxonomic identity of I. maackii. This study is based on a critical examination of the literature, on the observed morphological characters in the holotype of I. maackii, and on a morphological comparison of I. maackii with living plants of I. laevigata and I. pseudacorus. Additionally, a morphometric comparison of the seed characters was carried out to clarify the morphological distinction among I. maackii, I. laevigata, and I. pseudacorus. A careful study demonstrated that the rosette leaf texture and the morphology of the flowering stem, fruit, and seeds of I. maackii are identical to or within the variation range of I. laevigata. Thus, I. maackii is morphologically non-distinct from I. laevigata and should be recognized as a taxonomic synonym of the latter. An image of the holotype of I. maackii is provided along with detailed illustrations of I. laevigata and I. pseudacorus. Full article
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23 pages, 6038 KiB  
Article
Molecular and Morphometric Update on Italian Salicornia (Chenopodiaceae), with a Focus on the Species S. procumbens s. l.
by Katia Sciuto, Marion A. Wolf, Adriano Sfriso, Lisa Brancaleoni, Mauro Iberite and Duilio Iamonico
Plants 2023, 12(2), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12020375 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1695
Abstract
Salicornia is a highly taxonomically problematic genus due to the reduced morphological observable characters. Ten Eurasian species are currently recognized: S. alpini, S. europaea, S. fruticosa, S. hispanica, S. lagascae, S. perennans, S. perennis, S. persica [...] Read more.
Salicornia is a highly taxonomically problematic genus due to the reduced morphological observable characters. Ten Eurasian species are currently recognized: S. alpini, S. europaea, S. fruticosa, S. hispanica, S. lagascae, S. perennans, S. perennis, S. persica, S. procumbens, and S. pruinosa. In addition, eleven subspecies are accepted, mainly based on their distribution areas. Along the Venetian coasts and in Sardinia, in the past, an endemic species called S. veneta was recognized, but this name was later synonymized with S. procumbens subsp. procumbens. The aim of the present research is investigating different Italian Salicornia populations by a molecular point of view, using the nuclear ribosomal external transcribed spacer ETS and the plastid psbA-trnH intergenic spacer. A particular focus is on the comparison between Venetian (including those occurring in locus classicus of S. veneta) and Sardinian S. procumbens and other Italian populations of this species. The molecular analyses based on the plastid marker highlight that the Italian S. procumbens populations form two well distinct groups. In particular, some of the Venetian (Locus classicus of S. veneta) and all the Sardinian specimens are genetically distinct (=plastid haplotype 1) from the other investigated populations (=plastid haplotype 2). This indicates that the psbA-trnH haplotype 1 glassworts represent a distinct entity, which we suppose to coincide with the former S. veneta. Therefore, we suggest to recognize this taxonomic entity at the subspecies rank, as S. procumbens subsp. veneta comb. and stat. nov. However, contrary to the results found with the plastid psbA-trnH intergenic spacer, the ETS locus does not show a separation into two distinct clades for S. procumbens, probably due to a different evolution of the two loci. Nevertheless, in the ETS phylogenetic reconstruction, the Sardinian specimens (=ribotypes 2 and 3) are placed, together with a Moroccan sample, in a subclade separated from all the other S. procumbens. These results suggest that the Sardinian populations can represent a subspecies/incipient speciation process, probably due to geographic isolation. In the light of this, morphometric analyses (k-means, MANOVA, PCA, DA, and Box-Plot) have been carried out on the Sardinian and Venetian populations to verify if this distinction is detectable also by a morphological point of view. The morphometric analyses highlight the existence of two groups, concerning both the nuclear and plastid trees. Six characters were found to be diagnostic. Full article
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2022

Jump to: 2023, 2021

10 pages, 868 KiB  
Article
Codonoblepharonteae, a New Major Lineage among Orthotrichoideae (Orthotrichaceae, Bryophyta)
by Pablo Aguado-Ramsay, Isabel Draper, Ricardo Garilleti, Maren Flagmeier and Francisco Lara
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3557; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243557 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1382
Abstract
Orthotrichoideae aggregates epiphytic mosses widespread throughout temperate regions and high tropical mountains of the world. Recently, important advances have been made in elucidating its phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary patterns. Fourteen genera are currently recognized within the subfamily, which are spread over two main [...] Read more.
Orthotrichoideae aggregates epiphytic mosses widespread throughout temperate regions and high tropical mountains of the world. Recently, important advances have been made in elucidating its phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary patterns. Fourteen genera are currently recognized within the subfamily, which are spread over two main tribes: Orthotricheae, comprising Orthotrichinae and Lewinskyinae, and Zygodonteae. Despite the progress, some groups have received little attention, as is the case of genus Codonoblepharon. Recent studies have suggested that this genus may represent a separate lineage from Zygodonteae, in which it traditionally has been considered. Although, none of the studies were conclusive as they did not include a representative sampling of the Codonoblepharon species. This work aims to evaluate the taxonomic position of Codonoblepharon and its phylogenetic relationships within Orthotrichoideae. For this purpose, we present an updated phylogenetic tree based on four different loci, one belonging to the nuclear genome (ITS2) and the rest to the plastid genome (rps4, trnG and trnL-F). The phylogenetic reconstruction recovers all samples of Codonoblepharon in a monophyletic group, sister to the rest of the subfamily, constituting a lineage independent of the two currently recognized tribes. For this reason, we propose the new tribe Codonoblepharonteae to accommodate Codonoblepharon. Full article
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22 pages, 1590 KiB  
Review
An Inventory of South African Medicinal Plants Used in the Management of Sexually Transmitted and Related Opportunistic Infections: An Appraisal and Some Scientific Evidence (1990–2020)
by Nkoana I. Mongalo and Maropeng V. Raletsena
Plants 2022, 11(23), 3241; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11233241 - 25 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2202
Abstract
The current work is aimed at generating the first inventory of South African medicinal plants used in the treatment of sexually transmitted and related opportunistic infections associated with HIV-AIDS. This is important in assisting researchers to access a list of plant species to [...] Read more.
The current work is aimed at generating the first inventory of South African medicinal plants used in the treatment of sexually transmitted and related opportunistic infections associated with HIV-AIDS. This is important in assisting researchers to access a list of plant species to evaluate for potential phytocompounds, as this area of research is greatly lagging in South Africa. A total of 335 medicinal plants from 103 families have been documented in the current work. The most represented families are Fabaceae (11.64%) and Asteraceae (6.27%). Herbs constitute 36.53%, trees 32.34%, shrubs 29.04%, climbers 1.80% and parasites 0.30%. It is worrying that on the plant parts used, the roots constitute 47.18%, while leaves and stem bark yield 16.62 and 15.01%, respectively. Catharanthus roseus exhibited the highest number of citations (19), while Peltophorum africanum had 14 and both Carica papaya and Vachelia karoo had 12. In the mode of administration of the reported medicinal plant species, most of the plants are boiled and taken orally (48.22%), while other plant species are used as mouth washes (3.25%). Although there is reasonable in vitro activity of some of the plant species, validating the relevance of use, there is still a need to explore the mode of action of such plant species; isolated compounds and possible derivatives thereof are of paramount importance and need to be explored as well. Furthermore, toxicological aspects of such plant species need to be explored. Full article
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11 pages, 2252 KiB  
Article
Molecular Identification of African Nymphaea Species (Water Lily) Based on ITS, trnT-trnF and rpl16
by Zhi-Hao Qian, Justus Mulinge Munywoki, Qing-Feng Wang, Itambo Malombe, Zhi-Zhong Li and Jin-Ming Chen
Plants 2022, 11(18), 2431; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11182431 - 18 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1780
Abstract
The genus Nymphaea L. (water lily) is the most diverse genus in the family Nymphaeaceae, with more than 50 species worldwide, including 11 species distributed in Africa. The complex and variable morphology of Nymphaea makes it extremely difficult to accurately identify species based [...] Read more.
The genus Nymphaea L. (water lily) is the most diverse genus in the family Nymphaeaceae, with more than 50 species worldwide, including 11 species distributed in Africa. The complex and variable morphology of Nymphaea makes it extremely difficult to accurately identify species based on morphological characteristics alone. DNA barcoding has the potential to identify species accurately. In this study, 158 Nymphaea populations from seven African countries were collected for species identification by ITS, trnT-trnF and rpl16. Additionally, the three candidate DNA barcodes were evaluated for genetic distance and barcoding gap. Based on the comprehensive analysis of sequence similarity, genetic distance method and phylogenetic tree, a total of 137 populations of seven Nymphaea species from African were well-identified, including N. lotus, N. petersiana, N. zenkeri, N. nouchali var. caerulea, N. micrantha and N. guineensis. ITS has more obvious advantages over trnT-trnF, rpl16 and trnT-trnF+rpl16 in the intraspecific and interspecific variation differences and barcoding gap and can identify most species. trnT-trnF and rpl16 can identify some species that cannot be identified by ITS. The results showed that it is more appropriate to apply the combination of ITS and trnT-trnF (or rpl16) as the DNA barcoding of Nymphaea. Additionally, this study further enriches the DNA barcoding database of Nymphaea and provides a reference basis for studying taxonomy, phylogenetics and evolutionary origin of Nymphaea. Full article
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9 pages, 2402 KiB  
Article
Mummified Wood of Juniperus (Cupressaceae) from the Late Miocene of Taman Peninsula, South Russia
by Anna V. Stepanova, Anastasia A. Odintsova, Alena I. Rybkina, Yuliana V. Rostovtseva and Alexei A. Oskolski
Plants 2022, 11(15), 2050; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11152050 - 5 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1852
Abstract
Juniperus L. is the second-largest genus of conifers, having the widest distribution of all conifer genera. Its phytogeographic history is, however, obscure due to its very poor fossil record. We described a wood of Juniperus sp. from the lower Maeotian sediments of the [...] Read more.
Juniperus L. is the second-largest genus of conifers, having the widest distribution of all conifer genera. Its phytogeographic history is, however, obscure due to its very poor fossil record. We described a wood of Juniperus sp. from the lower Maeotian sediments of the Popov Kamen section, Taman Peninsula, South Russia, in order to clarify its taxonomic position shedding light on the phytogeographic history of the genus. This fossil wood was well-preserved by mummification, which allowed for it to be studied by the same methods as used for the anatomical examination of modern woods. The wood from the Popov Kamen section shows the greatest similarity to the extant Mediterranean species J. excelsa, belonging to the section Sabina. This is the first reliable macrofossil evidence of the sect. Sabina from Eurasia convincingly dated to the Miocene. The age of the mummified wood from the Popov Kamen section is consistent with molecular dating of diversification of the lineage comprising juniper species of the sect. Sabina from Europe, Asia and eastern Africa. The wood of Juniperus sp. has not been buried in situ, as it was found in the relatively deep-water marine sediments. The available coeval pollen series and macrofossils of Cupressaceae from the surrounding regions suggest that this wood was likely transferred by sea current from the northwestern side of the Black Sea, which was a part of the Eastern Paratethys. Full article
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9 pages, 1440 KiB  
Article
Typification of Names in Iris (Iridaceae) Described by Victor Janka with Taxonomic Considerations
by Eugeny V. Boltenkov and Attila Mesterházy
Plants 2022, 11(13), 1714; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11131714 - 28 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1583
Abstract
Viktor Janka von Bulcs described five names in Iris, i.e., I. balkana, I. cretensis, I. lorea, I. mellita, and I. sintenisii. These names are typified on specimens deposited at BP, JE, LD, and P, and taxonomical information [...] Read more.
Viktor Janka von Bulcs described five names in Iris, i.e., I. balkana, I. cretensis, I. lorea, I. mellita, and I. sintenisii. These names are typified on specimens deposited at BP, JE, LD, and P, and taxonomical information is provided in the present report. Lectotypes are designated for I. mellita (a taxonomic synonym of I. suaveolens) deposited at Friedrich Schiller University Jena (JE), for I. sintenisii at Lund University (LD), and for I. lorea (a taxonomic synonym of I. sintenisii) at the French National Museum of Natural History (P). A neotype is designated and an image provided for the name I. balkana (a taxonomic synonym of I. reichenbachii) deposited at the Hungarian Natural History Museum (BP). The lectotype for I. cretensis (a taxonomic synonym of I. unguicularis) from JE is corrected. Images of plants of the accepted taxa are provided. Full article
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19 pages, 12440 KiB  
Article
Allium ducissae (A. subgen. Polyprason, Amaryllidaceae) a New Species from the Central Apennines (Italy)
by Fabrizio Bartolucci, Marco Iocchi, Olga De Castro and Fabio Conti
Plants 2022, 11(3), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11030426 - 4 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4966
Abstract
In this paper, Allium ducissae (the LSID for the name Allium ducissae is: 77254606-1) is described as a new species based on morphological and molecular analyses, and its taxonomic relationships are discussed. It grows in crevices on calcareous rocks, rocky slopes and grassy [...] Read more.
In this paper, Allium ducissae (the LSID for the name Allium ducissae is: 77254606-1) is described as a new species based on morphological and molecular analyses, and its taxonomic relationships are discussed. It grows in crevices on calcareous rocks, rocky slopes and grassy ledges in the subalpine belt, within two regional protected areas in the Lazio and Abruzzo administrative regions (Central Apennines, Italy). Previously, these populations were attributed to A. strictum, a species described from Siberia, belonging to A. sect. Reticulatobulbosa. The new species is distinct from A. strictum in the morphology of vegetative and reproductive structures. Indeed, it is close to A. palentinum, an endemic species to Cantabrian Mountains (NW Spain). Both molecular and morphological data support the recognition of the Allium populations coming from the Central Apennines as a new species. Allium ducissae can be clearly distinguished from A. palentinum by longer and wider tepals, longer filaments, tooth of inner filament, flower pedicels, spathe appendage, and smaller seeds. Moreover, seed testa micro-sculptures revealed slight differences between A. ducissae and A. palentinum. Chromosome counts showed that A. ducissae is diploid with 2n = 16 chromosomes, as already known for A. palentinum. Molecular analyses support the affiliation of A. ducissae and A. palentinum to A. sect. Falcatifolia, contrary to what is known for the latter species, usually included in A. sect. Daghestanica. Finally, the IUCN assessment for the newly described species is proposed and briefly discussed. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2023, 2022

19 pages, 13735 KiB  
Article
Metabolomics-Driven Discovery of an Introduced Species and Two Malaysian Piper betle L. Variants
by Muhamad Faris Osman, Soo Yee Lee, Shahrul Razid Sarbini, Siti Munirah Mohd Faudzi, Shamsul Khamis, Badrul Hisyam Zainudin and Khozirah Shaari
Plants 2021, 10(11), 2510; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10112510 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2981
Abstract
The differences in pungency of “sirih” imply the probable occurrence of several variants of Piper betle L. in Malaysia. However, the metabolite profiles underlying the pungency of the different variants remain a subject of further research. The differences in metabolite profiles of selected [...] Read more.
The differences in pungency of “sirih” imply the probable occurrence of several variants of Piper betle L. in Malaysia. However, the metabolite profiles underlying the pungency of the different variants remain a subject of further research. The differences in metabolite profiles of selected Malaysian P. betle variants were thus investigated; specifically, the leaf aqueous methanolic extracts and essential oils were analyzed via 1H-NMR and GC-MS metabolomics, respectively. Principal component analysis (PCA) of the 1H-NMR spectral data showed quantitative differences in the metabolite profiles of “sirih melayu” and “sirih india” and revealed an ambiguous group of samples with low acetic acid content, which was identified as Piper rubro-venosum hort. ex Rodigas based on DNA sequences of the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region. The finding was supported by PCA of two GC-MS datasets of P. betle samples obtained from several states in Peninsular Malaysia, which displayed clustering of the samples into “sirih melayu” and “sirih india” groups. Higher abundance of chavicol acetate was consistently found to be characteristic of “sirih melayu”. The present research has provided preliminary evidence supporting the notion of occurrence of two P. betle variants in Malaysia based on chemical profiles, which may be related to the different genders of P. betle. Full article
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11 pages, 1715 KiB  
Article
Match Algorithms for Scientific Names in FlorItaly, the Portal to the Flora of Italy
by Matteo Conti, Pier Luigi Nimis and Stefano Martellos
Plants 2021, 10(5), 974; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10050974 - 13 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2344
Abstract
Scientific names are not part of everyday language in any modern country, and their input as strings in a query system can be easily associated with typographical errors. While globally unique identifiers univocally address a taxon name, they can hardly be used for [...] Read more.
Scientific names are not part of everyday language in any modern country, and their input as strings in a query system can be easily associated with typographical errors. While globally unique identifiers univocally address a taxon name, they can hardly be used for querying a database manually. Thus, matching algorithms are often used to overcome misspelled names in query systems in several data repositories worldwide. In order to improve users’ experience in the use of FlorItaly, the Portal to the Flora of Italy, a near match algorithm to resolve misspelled scientific names has been integrated in the query systems. In addition, a novel tool in FlorItaly, capable of rapidly aligning any list of names to the nomenclatural backbone provided by the national checklists, has been developed. This manuscript aims at describing the potential of these new tools. Full article
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11 pages, 833 KiB  
Article
Volatile Profiles of Five Variants of Abeliophyllum distichum Flowers Using Headspace Solid-Phase Microextraction Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry (HS-SPME-GC-MS) Analysis
by Yeong-Geun Lee, Won-Sil Choi, Seung-Ok Yang, Jeon Hwang-Bo, Hyoun-Geun Kim, Minzhe Fang, Tae-Hoo Yi, Se Chan Kang, Youn-Hyung Lee and Nam-In Baek
Plants 2021, 10(2), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020224 - 24 Jan 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2592
Abstract
Abeliophyllum distichum (Oleaceae), which is the only species in the monotypic genus and is grown only on the Korean peninsula, has a high scarcity value. Its five variants (white, pink, round, blue, and ivory) have different morphological characteristics in terms of the color [...] Read more.
Abeliophyllum distichum (Oleaceae), which is the only species in the monotypic genus and is grown only on the Korean peninsula, has a high scarcity value. Its five variants (white, pink, round, blue, and ivory) have different morphological characteristics in terms of the color of petals and sepals or shape of the fruits. Despite its high value, there has been no study on variant classification except in terms of their morphological characteristics. Thus, we performed a volatile component analysis of A. distichum flowers and multivariate data analyses to reveal the relationship between fragments emitted from five variants of A. distichum flowers with their morphological characteristics. As a result, 66 volatile components of this plant were identified by headspace solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (HS-SPME-GC-MS), showing unique patterns for each set of morphological characteristics, especially the color of the petals. These results suggest that morphological characteristics of each variant are related to the volatile composition. Full article
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