Re: Acorus

Dear Mike,  The width of leaf is very important in the taxonomy of Acorus. 
However, it can not be used as the only character to name a new species in 
this case.  Yes, the character is somewhat plastic, but it is usually good 
enough to seperate the two species mentioned.  Acorus differs from the 
other by a very short spathe, which is usually less than twice of the 
length of the spadix.  The spathe of Acorus tatarinowii is a lot longer.  
The spathe character is the key to tell these two species.  There are 
three new names have been published in the genus since the publication of 
the Chinese Flora of China.  But I personally think there are only three 
species should be recognized in the genus.   Cheers,  Guanghua

> Date:          Tue, 4 Nov 1997 16:30:56 -0600
> Reply-to:
> From:          Mike Bordelon <BORDELON.MIKE@NMNH.SI.EDU>
> To:            zhu
> Subject:       Acorus

> Thanks to those that checked up on Acorus tatarinowii for
> me.
> Looking in the Flora of China by Hen Li,  A. gramineus has
> leaves less than 6mm and  A. tatarinowii has leaves greater
> than 7mm. Is the width of a leaf a valid justification to name a
> species even if all else is the same?  Growing conditions can
> have a great effect on the size of a plant. 
> Mike Bordelon
> Botany Greenhouse 
> Smithsonian Institution
Guanghua Zhu
Missouri Botanical Garden
P. O. Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166-0299, USA
Phone: (314)577-9454
Fax:   (314)577-9438

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