Panarctic Flora


361205 Ranunculus gmelinii DC.

Geography: Nearly circumboreal-polar.

Notes: The nearly circumboreal-polar, diploid and tetraploid Ranunculus gmelinii and the North American hexaploid R. purshii may be treated either as parapatric races or as vicariant species (based on differences in morphology and ploidy levels). For a discussion of this species and its relations to R. hyperboreus, see Scott (1974b). A third taxon has been proposed: the North American R. limosus, treated by Scoggan (1978c) as a variety together with var. hookeri (D. Don) L.D. Benson (= subsp. purshii) and var. gmelinii. Its characters are such that might be associated with the reported hybridization between R. gmelinii and R. hyperboreus (Cayouette et al. 1997). Löve and Löve (1975a) assigned diploids to R. gmelinii s. str., tetraploids to R. limosus, and hexaploids to R. purshii, but this seems to be much too simple a solution, not taking the morphology into account and not considering that a large part of the tetraploid counts that should characterize the American R. limosus are from Russia. We enter two subspecies - subsp. gmelinii and subsp. purshii - and R. limosus is tentatively synonymized with subsp. gmelinii.

Higher Taxa