[Taxacom] Melilotus albus and officinalis

Alan S. Weakley weakley at unc.edu
Mon Jun 15 20:48:12 CDT 2009

These are universally regarded as good species in all European and American
publications of which I am aware, except John Kartesz's 1999 Synthesis,
which was the original basis for the USDA Plants taxonomy.

There is no publication (that I am aware of) explaining the rationale for
synonymizing them.  John told me that he synonymized them because flower
color appeared to be the only difference.    

Alan Weakley, Curator and Adjunct Assistant Professor
University of North Carolina Herbarium (NCU), North Carolina Botanical
Department of Biology and Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology
UNC-Chapel Hill
Campus Box 3280, 419 Coker Hall
Chapel Hill NC 27599-3280

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Alec McClay
Sent: Monday, June 15, 2009 5:54 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [Taxacom] Melilotus albus and officinalis

Melilotus albus Medik. is listed as a synonym of Melilotus officinalis (L.)
Lam. in the USDA Plants database, but most other listings that I can find
(e.g. ILDIS and the Flora Europaea) maintain them as separate species. I
can't find any publication that officially synonymized these species. Does
anyone know why PLANTS would have synonymized them, or if there is any
biological justification for doing so?

Alec McClay, Ph.D.

McClay Ecoscience
15 Greenbriar Crescent
Sherwood Park, Alberta
Canada T8H 1H8

Phone (780) 464-4962
Mobile (780) 953-4077
Fax       (780) 410-0496
Skype alec.mcclay
Email <mailto:alec.mcclay at shaw.ca>alec.mcclay at shaw.ca or
<mailto:biocontrol at mcclay-ecoscience.com>biocontrol at mcclay-ecoscience.com

Biological control, invasive species, insect-plant ecology

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