Panarctic Flora


570103 Viola rupestris subsp. rupestris F.W. Schmidt


Kanin - Pechora: Rare
Shrub Tundra: Rare
Bordering boreal or alpine areas: Scattered


2n= 18 20+0-8B (4x). - Europe (N, C), Siberia. - Numerous reports.

Geography: European - Asian: RUS.

Notes: Tzvelev (2000a) proposed two largely sympatric species of a Viola rupestris group for northwestern European Russia: V. rupestris (incl. V. arenaria) and V. sergievskiae (based on Murbeck's var. glaberrima). The Scandinavian var. glaberrima is indistinguishable in molecular markers from V. rupestris s. str. and also in morphology except for being subglabrous. We consider both Murbeck's name and Tzvelev's nomen novum V. sergievskiae to be synonyms of V. rupestris (subsp. rupestris), as seems to be the case also with De Candolle's name V. arenaria (even if Zuev 1996 considered V. arenaria and V. rupestris two species and only the former to be present in Siberia). Tzvelev (in comment, May 2002) preferred to retain "glaberrima" or "sergievskiae", at least at rank of subspecies (where the name subsp. glaberrima is available).

Western and northwestern European authors have accepted only one species - V. rupestris - but two races have been recognized in Fennoscandia for the last 50 years: subsp. rupestris and the more northernly distributed subsp. relicta (not corresponding to V. sergievskiae). Nordal and Jonsell (1998) and Marcussen and Nordal (unpubl.) showed that subsp. rupestris and subsp. relicta differ morphologically in several characters and in molecular markers. They represent two different lineages within the species, probably spread along different routes northwards from southern refugia after the last glaciation. The subsp. rupestris lineage came from southern and southeastern Europe, in Scandinavia reaching only the central parts but reaching the Arctic in northern European Russia. The subsp. relicta lineage came from southwestern Europe along a very westernly route through the British Isles and along the west coast of Norway to northern Norway but does not reach the Arctic. As two geographically separate lineages with morphological and molecular characteristics, these taxa well fit the concept of subspecies.

Higher Taxa