Panarctic Flora


343401 X Pucciphippsia vacillans (Th. Fr.) Tzvelev


Svalbard - Franz Joseph Land: Scattered
Polar Ural - Novaya Zemlya: Scattered
Central Canada: Rare
Ellesmere Island: Rare
Eastern Greenland: Rare
Polar desert: Rare
Northern arctic Tundra: Scattered
Mid Arctic Tundra: Scattered
Southern Arcti Tundra: Presence uncertain


2n= 21 (3x). - Europe (N), Canada. - Hedberg (1962); Steen et al. (2004).

Geography: North American (N) - amphi-Atlantic: NOR RUS CAN GRL.

Notes: Steen and Elven: The plant often named Colpodium vacillans has since Hedberg (1962) been accepted to be a triploid hybrid between diploid Puccinellia (Colpodium) vahliana and tetraploid Phippsia algida. Tzvelev (1971) drew the conclusion and described the hybrid genus X Pucciphippsia with x P. vacillans as its type. The species has been accepted in the floras and accounts for the relevant areas (e.g., Polunin 1940 as Phippsia algida f. vestita (Holmb.) Polunin; Rønning 1963b etc.; Tzvelev 1964c; Scoggan 1978b; Halliday and Hughes 1980; Elven 1994; Elven and Elvebakk 1996; Elven et al. 2005).

X Pucciphippsia vacillans was described from Svalbard where both Phippsia algida and P. concinna are frequent, also in the Liefdefjord area from where X Pucciphippsia vacillans was described. Whereas there has been agreement on the Puccinellia parent, the Phippsia parent has been disputed. The investigations of Steen et al. (2004) supported Hedberg's hypothesis of an origin from Puccinellia vahliana and Phippsia algida. X Pucciphippsia vacillans has an additive pattern in isoenzymes from Puccinellia vahliana and Phippsia (the two Phippsia species were identical). It has characters in most of its morphological features from Puccinellia vahliana but is closer to Phippsia algida than to P. concinna in the relevant features. We therefore accept Phippsia algida to be the Phippsia parent.

X Pucciphippsia vacillans in Svalbard is triploid and both anthers and ovaries abort at an early stage (Steen et al. 2004). No pollen or ovules are produced, neither sexually nor (for ovules) apomictically. It is without any known means of vegetative reproduction but still forms significant populations. Its 'reproduction' and survival is therefore a mystery, but we must at present assume that the 'populations' are results of (old) primary hybridizations and long-time growth and fragmentation of tussocks. Therefore, it may not be an acceptable hybridogeneous species according to our guidelines. See. however, the next species.

Higher Taxa