Abstract Detail

Floristics & Taxonomy

Ballard Jr, Harvey [1].

Violets (Violaceae) of the Great Plains and eastern North America: An overview, and a new website.

State and provincial treatments of Violaceae in North America north of Mexico are reasonably numerous, while treatments covering larger geographic areas have been few. Brainerd’s “Violets of North America” in 1921 and its companion volume “The natural violet hybrids of North America” in 1924 comprise the first relatively comprehensive treatment of the genus Viola for the continent. Brainerd Baird’s 1942 “Wild violets of North America” largely copied Brainerd’s taxonomy. Russell’s 1965 “Violets (Viola) of the central and eastern United States: An introductory survey” provided more detailed information while synonymizing some previously recognized taxa. Floristic treatments for the northeastern region by Fernald in 1950 and Alexander in 1963 closely followed Brainerd’s taxonomy, but Gleason and Cronquist’s 1990 treatment of the Northeast synonymized many Viola taxa. Scoggan’s 1978 treatment of violets in Canada and that of Haines et al. in 2012 for New England violets followed Russell’s taxonomy. McKinney and Russell’s 2002 treatment of Violaceae for the southeastern U.S. presented a much-reduced number of taxa compared to treatments of Brainerd and Russell. The Great Plains Flora Association treatment in 1986 followed Russell’s taxonomy quite closely. Until recently, the taxonomy of the western violets has largely remained in stasis from the research accomplished by Brainerd, Baker and Clausen. The latest comprehensive continental treatment of the Violaceae was produced by Little and McKinney in 2015, a heroic achievement through the “Flora of North America” series. In considering the violet flora of the Great Plains and eastern North America, Brainerd recognized 58 species and one infraspecific taxon in Viola; Russell recognized 47 species and four infraspecific taxa in Viola; and Little and McKinney recognized 44 species and six infraspecific taxa in Viola (plus four species of Hybanthus). Since 2012, the author and students have been executing a new integrative taxonomic program with application of the Unified Species Concept to reevaluate the violets of the Great Plains and eastern North America. To date, we have accumulated compelling evidence to recognize 74 species and species complexes (including five new species and many resurrected names) and four infraspecific taxa, as well as 12 “variants” in the species complexes requiring further study (plus one species of Cubelium and three species of Pombalia). A new website will be introduced, with keys, taxon pages, synonymy, types, geographic distributions, and other information highlighting the evolving taxonomy of violets in our region.

Related Links:
Blog by Dr. L. Dwayne Estes with Two Posts Pertaining to Clematis subgenus Viorna

1 - Ohio University, ENVIR & PLANT BIOLOGY-PORTER H, 315 Porter Hall, Athens, OH, 45701, United States

regional treatments
integrative taxonomy

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: FT2, Floristics & Taxonomy II
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2020
Time: 2:00 PM
Number: FT2002
Abstract ID:757
Candidate for Awards:None

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