, Volume 250, Issue 3-4, pp 243-257
Date: 31 Jan 2005

Asplenium ×lucrosum nothosp. nov.: a sterile hybrid widely and erroneously cultivated as “Asplenium bulbiferum

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Abstract.

A widely cultivated fern with dimorphic sterile and fertile pinnae, abundant production of vegetative bulbils, and aborted spores is described as Asplenium ×lucrosum Perrie et Brownsey nothosp. nov. It has previously been confused with A. bulbiferum, with which it shares the production of bulbils. Evidence from chloroplast DNA sequences and morphology is presented for the origin of A. ×lucrosum, probably in cultivation, as a hybrid between the New Zealand endemic A. bulbiferum and the Norfolk Island endemic A. dimorphum. The confusion of A. bulbiferum with A. ×lucrosum has led to the latter being used inadvertently in revegetation projects in New Zealand where it is has become a ‘casual’ adventive through its vegetative bulbil propagation.

We would like to thank Barbara Parris for generously providing material from her cultivated plants of Asplenium difforme and A. dimorphum; Annette Wilson for her examination of specimens in K and BM on our behalf; Peter Bostock for the Latin diagnosis; Jeff Fox for discussion concerning Allan Cunningham; Norman Heke for imaging the fronds and pinnae; the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, and in particular Peter Lockhart, Trish McLenachan and David Lambert, for the use of their laboratory facilities; Pauline Ladiges and two anonymous reviewers for comments on the manuscript; and the staff of Otari-Wilton’s Bush and the AK, CHR, and WELT herbaria. This work was funded by the New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (contract MNZX0201).