, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 248–260 | Cite as

An analysis of hybridization in Liatris

  • Donald A. Levin


Liatris aspera andL. spicata are remotely related species, and rarely have an opportunity to hybridize because of different flowering periods and ecological tolerances. Seasonal and ecological barriers have been surmounted in a population in southern Cook County, Illinois, which has resulted in extensive hybridization. The population was characterized on the basis of morphological and chemical features, pollen fertility, and chromosome pairing relationships. Plants considered to be F1 hybrids on the basis of morphology typically displayed the phenolic markers of both parental species, reduced fertility, and meiotic irregularities in the form of univalents and translocation figures. Plants judged to be backcrosses toL. aspera contained some of the phenolics ofL. spicata; however, backcrosses toL. spicata invariably lacked the phenolics ofL. aspera. The species-species phenolics ofL. aspera were inherited as a block, i.e., a hybrid had all or none of these compounds. The complex pattern of gene exchange within the population reflects the weakness of crossing and fertility barriers to hybridization.


Pollen Fertility Corolla Tube Advanced Generation Backcross Hybrid Extensive Hybridization 
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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald A. Levin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IllinoisChicago

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