Panarctic Flora


900103-05 The Valeriana officinalis aggregate V. sambucifolia, V. transjenisensis, V. wolgensis

Geography: European - Asian.

Notes: The Valeriana officinalis aggregate is complicated both in morphology and in ploidy levels. According to our principles for the Checklist, taxa at different ploidy levels should be kept apart at species level if alloploidy is documented or suspected, as here, and if there are consistent morphological differences. The octoploid V. sambucifolia differs in several characters (e.g., leaflet shape an dnumbers and flower size) from V. officinalis and should then be considered a species apart from the diploid V. officinalis and also from plants at intermediate ploidy levels. These plants differ in several characters in basal parts, leaves, and flowers.

The two Russian species entered below are enigmatic. Ockendon (1976) synonymized V. wolgensis with V. officinalis subsp. officinalis but it seems to be tetraploid. The small material inspected morphologically resembles V. sambucifolia s. lat. and differs from V. officinalis s. str. Valeriana transjenisensis is little known but the material we have seen (in the Lena River area in 2004) seems close to V. sambucifolia as we know it from northern Europe. Both species need some additional justification.

Higher Taxa