Orobanche: one genus or more genera?

The genus Orobanche has been studied from a genetic point of view. From these studies it is shown that at least 4 genera should be recognized:

Old world:

  • Orobanche
  • Phelipanche
  • Boulardia

New world:

  • Aphyllon


These 4 genera are also well distinguished from a morphological point of view.

So, what to do? Would you mantain just one genus or would you rather divide it in 4 genera?

You are also kindly invited to forward this post to all who may be concerned.

@kueda @kevinhintsa @sambiology @grnleaf @alabamaplants @ tiggrx @jasonrgrant @birdgal5 @jrebman @ajwright @loarie @sekihiker @david_lyttle @ lisa_bennett @stevejones @john_barkla @paloma @microm @finrod @catchang @rcurtis @meurkc @silversea_starsong @fabienpiednoir @dgreenberger @tkoffel @damontighe @hfabian @jmaughn @paolapalazzolo @finatic @robberfly @euproserpinus @kevinhintsa @connlindajo @jaykeller @martinbishop @ahospers @jeremybarker

Posted by blue_celery blue_celery, December 26, 2017 16:52



I find the research compelling, and so too does the Jepson Herbarium -- the new treatments have already made their way into the eFlora revisions: http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/supplement_summary.html (scroll down to Revision 5)

Posted by dgreenberger over 2 years ago (Flag)

That's probably partly because the research is being done at UC/JEPS!

I was disappointed to learn that both the Oregon Flora Project Checklist and the Washington Flora Checklist currently still list Orobanche, but I believe that the new PNW flora will recognize Aphyllon; I'll check with them this week. I know that at least one of the two forthcoming treatments in BC certainly will recognize it. (NB that there are some Orobanche sensu stricto in North America as weeds.)

There seems to be broad support for Aphyllon in secondary-source compilers in western North America. And, if Aphyllon is recognized, the others ought to be, too.

Posted by ajwright over 2 years ago (Flag)

It does not seem accepted in northeastern US, but I see Florida and Alabama are using it.

Posted by rcurtis over 2 years ago (Flag)
Posted by rcurtis over 2 years ago (Flag)

The research makes a pretty good case. It's interesting that none of the usual authorities (e.g. ITIS, VASCAN, USDA, NatureServe) have recognized Aphyllos.

This comes down to a debate I seem to be encountering a lot, which is: should iNat follow the taxonomy recognized by the majority of established authorities or should it be a leader in maintaining the most up-to-date taxonomy?

For what it's worth, I support the split into four genera.

Posted by wdvanhem over 2 years ago (Flag)

Looks like a split to me

Posted by dlcarterksu over 2 years ago (Flag)

I actually never cared how did it was treated in the databases used on iNat, such as Euro+Med (the only few ones I dealt with belonged to Orobanche s. s., so this wouldn't have change much...), but I know at least Phelipanche that is regarded as very valuable in most of the litterature I use, with, for these species, Orobanche looking totally obsolete, so, whatever databases tell, I wouldn't be upset if we decided for once to follow this division rather than to stick to the old taxonomy...

Not the first time, again, that we confront to the problem of the obsolescence of the databases (Orchids, among others...). I think that we really need more accurate databases in some fields, and I'm not convinced those databases do exist...

Posted by fabienpiednoir over 2 years ago (Flag)

Yes, I completely concur with the new taxonomy. The genetic research makes sense to this field botanist, with some experience in both the North American and the Eurasian groups. I've changed the names of all appropriate images I've taken to correspond with the new nomenclature, and I support its widespread adoption.

Posted by markegger over 2 years ago (Flag)

I could transfer old world Orobanche to the newly accepted genera following this Index:

Who would like to deal with new world Orobanche that should be transferred to Aphyllon?

Posted by blue_celery almost 2 years ago (Flag)

Just checked POTWO, and Aphyllon is on there [http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:30043811-2]. I can tackle moving them, and I'll tackle the new taxa later.. We will have to go through and add new IDs to enforce the separation of A. purpureum from A. uniflorum.

I'll post a list of the applicable taxon swaps here.

Posted by ajwright almost 2 years ago (Flag)

My progress:

A. arizonicum:
A. californicum: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43284
[spelling updates in children: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43291, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43292, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43293, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43294]
A. chilense: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43295
A. cooperi: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43296
[spelling updates in children: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43299]
A. corymbosum: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43300
[spelling updates in children: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43303]
A. epigalium:
A. fasciculatum: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43304
[Orobanche fasciculata var. franciscana doesn't appear anywhere in the POTWO synonymy, so I'm marking it as inactive and not creating the properly-spelled combination, which may not exist!]
A. ludovicianum: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43306, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43310
[Orobanche ludoviciana var. arenosum is synonymized in POTWO, so I'm marking it as inactive and not creating the properly-spelled combination.]
A. multiflorum: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43311, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43313
[Orobanche multiflora var. pringlei is synonymized in POTWO, so I'm marking it as inactive, spelling needs not change.]
A. parishii: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43314
[spelling updates in children: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43317]
A. pinorum: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43318
A. purpureum: See A. uniflorum
A. riparium: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43319
A. robbinsii:
A. tacnaense:
A. tarapacanum:
A. tuberosum:
A. uniflorum: Sequentially: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43325, [waiting for automatic processes, for second step]
[Orobanche uniflorum var. sedii is synonymized in POTWO under A. uniflorum, so I will mark it as inactive and not creat the combination.]
A. validum: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43322
A. vallicola: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/43320
A. weberbaueri:

Posted by ajwright almost 2 years ago (Flag)

@ajwright thanks!
I have just started to transfer part of Orobanche to Phelipanche.

Posted by blue_celery almost 2 years ago (Flag)

@ajwright How are you dealing with O. uniflora splitting into A. purpureum and A. uniflorum? Especially when they can be sympatric?

Posted by dgreenberger almost 2 years ago (Flag)

@dgreenberger Whoops, got distracted before I finished! I'll update the link soon, but A. uniflorum/purpureum is done. The area of sympatry is relatively small, and I checked that all the currently uploaded observations from there are A. purpureum (which is distinct even in gross morphology), then added the area to the atlas for A. uniflorum after the split.

Posted by ajwright almost 2 years ago (Flag)

Hi folks - happy to wire this up as a deviation from Plants of the World Online (POWO). Reminder that iNat follows POWO, which synonymies Phelipanche with Orobanche http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/?q=Phelipanche. So if we want to not follow POWO the best way to signal to curators to curate in this direction and not to curate in the direction of POWO is to craft a deviation. Here's an example of a deviation thats properly crafted https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_framework_relationships/225107
We'll need a list of mapping for all Orobanche (sensu POWO) that we have in other genera, e.g.
Orobanche androssovii -> Phelipanche androssovii
here's a list of all Orobanche (sensu POWO) for reference and the relevant part of the url e.g. (http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:77187229-1)

Orobanche aconiti-lycoctoni 20010083-1
Orobanche aegyptiaca 662086-1
Orobanche alba 662091-1
Orobanche alsatica 662100-1
Orobanche amethystea 662105-1
Orobanche amoena 662110-1
Orobanche anatolica 662112-1
Orobanche androssovii 662113-1
Orobanche angustelaciniata 662115-1
Orobanche apuana 77147114-1
Orobanche arenaria 662128-1
Orobanche armena 662130-1
Orobanche arpica 77187229-1
Orobanche artemisiae-campestris 662134-1
Orobanche astragali 662138-1
Orobanche auranitica 662143-1
Orobanche australiana 662144-1
Orobanche australis 662145-1
Orobanche ballii 77134124-1
Orobanche ballotae 1001710-1
Orobanche balsensis 77154516-1
Orobanche bartlingii 662154-1
Orobanche baumanniorum 931623-1
Orobanche benkertii 77060238-1
Orobanche boninsimae 662166-1
Orobanche borissovae 662170-1
Orobanche brachypoda 662173-1
Orobanche brassicae 662178-1
Orobanche caesia 662195-1
Orobanche calendulae 662196-1
Orobanche camphorosmae 77136453-1
Orobanche camptolepis 662199-1
Orobanche canescens 662200-1
Orobanche caryophyllacea 662213-1
Orobanche cathae 662219-1
Orobanche caucasica 662220-1
Orobanche cernua 662226-1
Orobanche chironii 662232-1
Orobanche chrysacanthi 662233-1
Orobanche cistanchoides 662237-1
Orobanche clarkei 662240-1
Orobanche clausonis 662241-1
Orobanche coelestis 662245-1
Orobanche coerulescens 662192-1
Orobanche cohenii 60474039-2
Orobanche connata 662268-1
Orobanche crenata 662275-1
Orobanche cumana 662284-1
Orobanche cypria 662290-1
Orobanche cyrenaica 662291-1
Orobanche cyrnea 77067032-1
Orobanche dalmatica 662295-1
Orobanche daninii 77103579-1
Orobanche densiflora 662299-1
Orobanche denudata 662300-1
Orobanche dhofarensis 1002131-1
Orobanche ducellieri 662305-1
Orobanche ebuli 662307-1
Orobanche elatior 662313-1
Orobanche eriophora 662323-1
Orobanche esulae 662328-1
Orobanche flava 662335-1
Orobanche foetida 662342-1
Orobanche fuscovinosa 662355-1
Orobanche gamosepala 662364-1
Orobanche georgii-reuteri 77094205-1
Orobanche glabricaulis 662375-1
Orobanche gracilis 662378-1
Orobanche gratiosa 662386-1
Orobanche grenieri 662389-1
Orobanche grisebachii 662391-1
Orobanche grossheimii 662392-1
Orobanche haenseleri 662395-1
Orobanche hansii 662396-1
Orobanche hederae 662398-1
Orobanche hirtiflora 941806-1
Orobanche humbertii 662416-1
Orobanche hymenocalyx 662420-1
Orobanche hypertomentosa 1002132-1
Orobanche iammonensis 77095367-1
Orobanche iberica 941804-1
Orobanche inexspectata 77134125-1
Orobanche ingens 962308-1
Orobanche inulae 662436-1
Orobanche javakhetica 77186995-1
Orobanche kashmirica 662441-1
Orobanche kelleri 662442-1
Orobanche kochii 662446-1
Orobanche kotschyi 662448-1
Orobanche krylowii 662450-1
Orobanche kurdica 662451-1
Orobanche lainzii 77126335-1
Orobanche laserpitii-sileris 662463-1
Orobanche latisquama 662465-1

Posted by loarie 7 months ago (Flag)

Orobanche lavandulacea 662469-1
Orobanche laxissima 77060239-1
Orobanche leptantha 662475-1
Orobanche libanotica 662480-1
Orobanche litorea 662485-1
Orobanche longibracteata 662488-1
Orobanche lutea 662498-1
Orobanche lycoctoni 60436510-2
Orobanche megalantha 662529-1
Orobanche minor 53607-3
Orobanche mlokosiewiczii 77176579-1
Orobanche montserratii 1012749-1
Orobanche mupinensis 662544-1
Orobanche muteliformis 77063612-1
Orobanche mutelii 662546-1
Orobanche nana 77152374-1
Orobanche nowackiana 662556-1
Orobanche olbiensis 662560-1
Orobanche ombrochares 662561-1
Orobanche orientalis 60458396-2
Orobanche owerinii 662563-1
Orobanche oxyloba 662564-1
Orobanche palaestina 662567-1
Orobanche pancicii 662575-1
Orobanche penduliflora 662589-1
Orobanche perangustata 77063611-1
Orobanche picridis 662596-1
Orobanche portoilicitana 77061528-1
Orobanche pubescens 662622-1
Orobanche purpurea 662628-1
Orobanche pycnostachya 662631-1
Orobanche ramosa 662640-1
Orobanche rapum-genistae 662643-1
Orobanche rechingeri 662644-1
Orobanche resedarum 77136452-1
Orobanche reticulata 662647-1
Orobanche reuteriana 77077560-1
Orobanche rigens 662652-1
Orobanche rosmarina 662656-1
Orobanche rubi 662659-1
Orobanche salviae 662668-1
Orobanche sanguinea 662672-1
Orobanche santolinae 662673-1
Orobanche schelkovnikovii 662685-1
Orobanche schultzii 662687-1
Orobanche schweinfurthii 662688-1
Orobanche septemloba 941805-1
Orobanche sinensis 662701-1
Orobanche singarensis 662702-1
Orobanche sintenisii 662703-1
Orobanche solenanthi 662705-1
Orobanche sordida 662707-1
Orobanche spectabilis 662716-1
Orobanche staehelinae 77146974-1
Orobanche stocksii 662729-1
Orobanche tetuanensis 662743-1
Orobanche teucrii 662744-1
Orobanche thapsoides 662747-1
Orobanche transcaucasica 662759-1
Orobanche tricholoba 77103798-1
Orobanche turcica 77143643-1
Orobanche variegata 662784-1
Orobanche yuennanensis 662810-1
Orobanche zajaciorum 77145897-1
Orobanche zosimii 60455382-2

Posted by loarie 7 months ago (Flag)

Just to make things clearer, for old world taxa current taxonomy of tribe Orobancheae follows this reference which is to date the most comprehensive available:

I am still working to complete the treatment of the taxa of the old world.

Posted by blue_celery 7 months ago (Flag)

ok - I'll wait for the mapping described above - thanks!

Posted by loarie 7 months ago (Flag)

Just to note, our reference POWO does recognize Aphyllon as distinct from Orobanche but not Phelipanche or Boulardia. I Just noticed these flags https://www.inaturalist.org/flags/347514, https://www.inaturalist.org/flags/423723 which advocate following POWO in lumping Phelipanche into Orobanche. Would love to reach a rough consensus here - follow POWO (ie recognize Aphyllon and Orobanche) or what @blue_celery is proposing (ie recognize Aphyllon, Orobanche, Phelipanche and Boulardia)?

Posted by loarie 7 months ago (Flag)

The argument presented in that 347514 thread of stability above all else therefore lump everything is silly and unscientific. (There was recently a kerfuffle regarding this in the conservation world.) However, I am of two minds about whether iNat should attempt to be rigorous - on the one hand it is primarily a database for hobbyists with an overwhelming preponderance of common species, and from which specialists (presumably) have the wherewithal to transform the data to their own purposes, but on the other hand, I worry that there is an emergent property of size and popularity, to not acculture new users to old concepts just because that's what we're comfortable with.

But regardless, I think the argument that can be dealt with seriously is the uncertainty over which segregates to recognize.

This is a common problem, and the common solution seems to be to continue recognizing the paraphyletic genus along with the traditional and/or most salient segregates until more work is done. For example, we know that Sedum MUST be split or lumped - but I think it equally unlikely that people will suffer the glib synonymization of Sempervivum as the recognition of Gormania. Vaccinium and Lobelia are two other examples. However, this usually comes into play when the segregates do not have combinations in the umbrella genus. (Note that this massive undertaking has been accomplished in the hugely expanded genus Veronica, as circumscribed here, as well as a few smaller but high-profile headscratchers.)

So, until we either recognize Hebe or destroy Sempervivum, we must be aware that we do not and cannot claim to have a common standard here. That's a somewhat long-winded way of saying that I have no objection to following POWO, even though my taste as a taxonomist is to recognize the segregate genera. iNat is not for taxonomists, it is for the public.

Posted by ajwright 7 months ago (Flag)

Just FYI, FNA Vol. 17 mentions the Aphyllon question as current but, in my view very sadly, they decided to stick with the old treatment, so the New World group are still placed in Orobanche in that publication. Though I'm not a specialist in this assemblage, the split makes sense to me, and I'd lobby for using Aphyllon.

Posted by markegger 7 months ago (Flag)

Add a Comment

Sign In or Sign Up to add comments