, Volume 269, Issue 3-4, pp 223-243
Date: 26 Oct 2007

Phylogenetic relationships in Blumea (Asteraceae: Inuleae) as evidenced by molecular and morphological data

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The present study, based on sequences of cpDNA (trnL-F & psbA-trnH) and nrDNA (ITS) and morphology, examined the evolutionary relationships in Blumea and its position among related genera. The results confirmed that the closest relatives of Blumea are Caesulia, Duhaldea and Pentanema p.p., and showed that the monotypic genera Blumeopsis and Merrittia are nested within Blumea. In Blumea s.l., two major, well-supported clades were recognised and a single species, the widespread Blumea balsamifera, that could not be placed with certainty relative to the two main clades. The two main clades differ in habit, ecology and distribution. The Blumea densiflora clade contains shrubs and subshrubs of evergreen forests, distributed from continental Asia to New Guinea and Polynesia, whereas the Blumea lacera clade is a widespread paleotropical group that comprises mostly annual, weedy herbs of open forests and fields.