A review of the genus Semele (Ruscaceae) systematics in Madeira.

M. A. A. Pinheiro de Carvalho, Christopher Charles Wilcock

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15 Citations (Scopus)


The present study attempts to review the systematics of Semele (Ruseaceae) in Madeira, based on phenotypic diversity The variation in some vegetative (climbing shoot, second-order branches or 'phylloclades') and sexual (inflorescence and flowers) characters was analysed in 115 plant specimens from 30 field populations, herbaria of the Costa collection and Madeira Botanical Garden (MADJ) and certain gardens. Thirty-one quantitative and qualitative characters have been utilized in the analysis. Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) analysis indicates adequate sampling. Principal component analysis (PCA) reveals that the spatial distribution of individuals has a discontinuous behaviour. Principal coordinate analysis (PCO) utilizing the Gower coefficient on standardized data revealed a significantly discontinuous distribution of individuals, such that two different clusters can be defined. The Student's t-test and Tukey test on separate characters, when individuals were classified according to the Costa classification, confirms the significant differences between grouping accessions. This leads to the recognition of two species within the genus in Madeira. Literature and herbarium studies show that these two taxa are conspecific with Semele androgyna (L.) Kunth sensu stricto (s.s.) and Semele menezesi Costa sensu lato (s.l.). A separated statistical analysis of the S. androgyna cluster shows the possible existence of additional subgroups. Based on field population distribution, ecological behaviour and variation in features, we propose the recognition of two species, S. androgyna (L.) Kunth and S. menezesi (Costa) Pinheiro de Carvalho, and two subspecies S. androgyna (L.) Kunth androgyna Pinheiro de Carvalho and S. androgyna (L.) Kunth pterygophora Pinheiro de Carvalho. (C) 2004 The Linnean Society of London, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2004, 146, 483-497.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-497
Number of pages14
JournalBotanical Journal of the Linnean Society
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • morphological variation
  • Semele androgyna
  • S. menezesi
  • species differentiation


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