Allium vavilovii M. Popov et Vved. and a new Iranian species are the closest among the known relatives of the common onion A. cepa L. (Alliaceae)
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A wild onion species from Karaj valley east of Tehran istaxonomically described as Allium asarense R. M.Fritsch et Matin. Sharing the bubble-like inflated lower scapewith A. vavilovii, the newspecies differs by semi-cylindrical leaves and small flowerswith translucent greenish-yellow tepals from all other knownspecies of Allium sect.Cepa. Molecular data suggest a closerelationship to A. cepa(but to a lesser degree than A.vavilovii) and indicate a still weakerphylogenetic connection of A.oschaninii to the common onion. The questionabout the possible wild ancestor of A.cepa is discussed against this background, and akey for determination of the Oschaninii-alliance of sect.Cepa is presented.
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