Re: Characteristics of C.tibeticum?

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Abgeschickt von Holger Perner am 21 Mai, 2003 um 05:31:19

Antwort auf: Re: Characteristics of C.tibeticum? von Anthony Darby am 20 Mai, 2003 um 12:27:39:

Hello Anthony,

How to recognize a Cyp. tibeticum with yellowish or creme base color, strongly overlaid by red (thus resulting in a "plum" colour) and with a small stature from a similar Cyp. calcicolum? Even in the wild it is not always easy. There are many Cyp. tibeticum populations with yellowish base colour (e. g. in Northwest Yunnan: Zhongdian, in Western Sichuan: Wolong nature reserve). In Huanglong our population has a white base colour, thus making it easier to distinguish the two species. The other characteristics that separate calcicolum from tibeticum (but are not always all together present in a very plant) are:

- petals narrow and with a narrow pointed tip
- base of the pouch (where it attaches to the ovary) usually not stained red and with a lot of "windows" (translucent spots)
- pouch orifice never with a white/yellowish rim
- leaves small, often more pointed, and of a lighter (more yellowish) green
- leaves usually standing closer together at the base of the stem, thus the flower with the upper part of the stem is more separated from the leaves (a bit like in Cyp. montanum)
- floral bract usually small

I hope that helps in identifying. All the plants around Cyp. tibeticum / Cyp. macranthos are difficult to separate out of the native habitats, often even in their habitats, when they grow together like tibeticum, calcicolum and franchetii sometimes do in Sichuan. We still consider them different species, what they probably are. Perhaps they are still evolving (it seems macranthos and its alleys are a rather young group, that spread during the last 100 000 years or so. They have not reached America, as it became to
cold and without forests, when they came close enough the Bering sea. Cyp. guttatum did the step, because it can cope with more arctic situations, macranthos cannot. Other types, like the species around calceolus are obviously older and are distributed from Europe over Asia to North America. And even older types, like flavum / reginae and arietinum / plectrochilum are well separated between Asia and North America and make no problems in identification, the "younger ones" are still to variable in their appearance to draw clear lines between them. Still they are not just one single species.




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