Two new Achillea L. (Asteraceae) species from Turkey Zeki aytaç*, Hayri duman, Murat ekiCİ

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Turkish Journal of Botany

Turk J Bot

(2016) 40: 373-379



Two new Achillea L. (Asteraceae) species from Turkey

Zeki AYTAÇ*, Hayri DUMAN, Murat EKİCİ

Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Gazi University, Teknikokullar, Ankara, Turkey

* Correspondence:

1. Introduction

Compositae (Asteraceae) has about 23,000 species, 1620 

genera, 30 tribes, and 5 subfamilies throughout the world 

(Kubitzki, 2007). Achillea is included in the Anthemideae 

Cass. tribe and is represented by about 115 taxa in the 

world. According to the latest studies, Achillea has 6 

sections and 58 taxa, and 53% (31) of these are endemic 

to Turkey (Arabacı, 2012). All sections, except for sect. 

Arthrolepis Boiss. and sect. Santolinoidea DC., have more 

than 10 capitula on their inflorescence (Huber-Morath, 

1975, 1986). Although the members of this genus are 

usually distributed in inner, eastern, and southeastern 

Anatolia,  A. cretica L., A. nobilis L. subsp. densissima 

(O.Schwarz ex Bässler) Hub.-Mor., and A. grandifolia Friv. 

grow in the southwestern parts of Anatolia.

Unusual specimens belonging to Achillea were collected 

from Babadağ during a project supported by the Ministry 

of the Environment and Forestry in southern Anatolia (C2, 

Fethiye district, Muğla Province) and during a floristic 

expedition in the Aladağlar Mountains (Niğde Province). 

All samples were compared with many other Achillea 

specimens collected from different localities and deposited 

in various herbaria in Turkey such as ANK, GAZI, 

HUB, and KYN (see Appendix on the journal’s website). 

Furthermore, all the relevant literature was checked 

(Huber-Morath, 1975 and 1986; Richardson, 1976; Valant-

Vetschera, 1996 and 2000; Duman, 2000; Arabacı and 

Yıldız, 2006a and 2006b). After close examination of the 

specimens, we concluded that they belonged to hitherto 

undescribed species of sect. Santolinoidea and were closely 

related to A. sintenisii Hub.-Mor., A. sipikorensis Hausskn. 

& Bornm., A. milliana H.Duman, and A. armenorum 

Boiss. & Hausskn. 

2. Materials and methods

The morphological data used in the description of the 

new species were directly obtained from the authors’ 

collections from Muğla and Niğde and by using a binocular 

stereoscopic microscope when necessary.

The pollen and seed morphologies of these species 

were examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) at 

GAZI. The pollen was treated with 70% alcohol and then 

dried before mounting on stubs with gold for the SEM 

study. The SEM photomicrographs were taken with a JEOL 

JSM 6060 SEM at Gazi University. Names of the plants were 

checked using the IPNI database (2012) and terminologies 

for pollen morphology were used in accordance with Punt 

et al.  (2007). The author names of plants were checked 

using Brummit and Powell (1992).

3. Results

Achillea adenii Aytaç & M.Ekici sp. nov. (Figure 1)

Type: Turkey, C2 Muğla, Fethiye, Babadağ, calcareous 

rocks, 1600–1650 m, 23.07.2011, Aytaç 10429 & M. Ekici 

( holotype: GAZI; isotypes: ANK, HUB, and Yıldırımlı).

Paratype: Turkey, C2 Muğla, Fethiye, Babadağ, 

calcareous rocks, 1500–1600 m, 14.06.1993, Koyuncu 

10427 & H. Duman (AEF).

Abstract: Two new Achillea species, Achillea adenii Aytaç & M.Ekici and Achillea baltai H.Duman & Aytaç sp. nov. of sect. Santolinoidea 

DC. (Asteraceae), are described and illustrated as new species. A. adenii grows at Babadağ in Muğla Province (southwestern Anatolia), 

while A. baltai grows at Aladağlar in Niğde Province. Diagnostic morphological characters, which are useful in discriminating the two 

new species from their close relatives, A. sintenisii Hub.-Mor., A. sipikorensis Hausskn. & Bornm., and A. armenorum Boiss. & Hausskn., 

are presented. Some notes on the ecology, pollen and seed morphology, conservation status, and distributions of the new species and a 

key to related species are also given.

Key words: Anatolia, Compositae, new species, Santolinoidea

Received: 15.04.2015               Accepted/Published Online: 09.09.2015               Final Version: 07.06.2016

Research Article

AYTAÇ et al. / 

Turk J Bot


Figure 1. Achillea adenii. A- Habitus, B- stem leaf, C- cross-section of leaves, D- outer phyllaries, E- inner phyllaries, 

F- palea, G- ray flowers, H- tubular flowers, I- achene (Aytaç 9779 et al.).

AYTAÇ et al. / 

Turk J Bot


Diagnosis: Achillea adenii is related to A. sintenisii but 

it differs by its longer stem (30–40 cm, not 10–25 cm); 

stem leaf segments always simple and ovate-lanceolate 

(not undivided or 3-lobed and orbicular); peduncle 5–7 

cm (not 3–5 cm), single capitulum (not 1–4); only outer 

phyllaries pannose on middle veins, others glabrous 

(not tomentose to glabrescent), phyllaries with scarious 

margins (not scarious); ligules 10–12 mm (not 3–5.5 

mm). It is similar to A. sipikorensis with its always solitary 

capitulum, but the ligules are 6–8 and 10–12 mm long (not 

8–10(–15) and 6–8 mm long).

Description: Perennial herb with woody rootstocks. 

Stems procumbent, numerous, 30–40 cm long, with 

short sterile shoots, unbranched, terete, obtusely four-

angled, adpressed to subadpressed tomentose. Leaves 

homomorphic, wooly-tomentose, linear, median cauline 

ones 7–16 × 1–2 mm, pinnatisect, with ovate lanceolate, 

1–3-denticulate, apiculate segments 0.5–1 mm, undivided. 

Peduncles 5–7 cm. Capitula 1(–2) per stem, globose to 

hemispherical and depressed, 10–12 × 8–10 mm, broadly 

rounded at base. Phyllaries in 3–4 series, outer ones 10–12 

mm, ovate-oblong, median ones oblong-orbicular, inner 

ones lanceolate, all phyllaries scarious-margined, outers 

ones pannose on middle vein. Receptacle paleaceous; 

palea 5–6 mm, linear-lanceolate, membranaceous. Ligules 

6–8, white, 10–12 mm long, with three lobes; tube 3–4 

mm, lobes 7–8 mm, oblanceolate; anthers yellow, slightly 

exerted from tube. Disc flowers cream, 50–70, 3.5–4 mm, 

slightly exerted from involucres; style brownish, 1–2 mm, 

stigma two-partite as long as style. Cypselae oblong, 2–3 

mm, compressed dorsally. Papus absent.

Fl & fr. 5–6, steppe, calcareous slopes, 1500–1650 m.

Pollen structure: Pollen grains of A. adenii are oblate-

spheroidal, tricolporate. P = (17.28) 19.66 ± 1.21, E = 

(19.2) 21.8 ± 1.18 (23.28). Ornamentation is echinate to 

perforate (Figures 2A and 2B).

Achene structure: Cypselae oblong, 2–3 mm, 

compressed dorsally. Ornamentation is reticulate (Figures 

3A and 3B).

Figure 2. Pollen micrographs of A. adenii. A- Equatorial view, B- ornamentation (Aytaç 10429 & M. Ekici).

Figure 3. Achene micrographs of A. adenii. A- General appearance, B- ornamentation of seed coat surface (Aytaç 10429 & M. Ekici).

AYTAÇ et al. / 

Turk J Bot


Etymology: This species is named in honor of the 

granddaughter of the first author.  

Conservational status: The specimens were collected 

in C2 Muğla (Fethiye) Province, where the species seems 

to be rare in its habitat. It is known from two different 

localities. The range of this local endemic species is 

restricted to a single location (IUCN Criteria B1a). 

Populations are pure, with an area of occupancy smaller 

than 10 km


, and according to field observations, it is 

estimated that the total number of individuals of this 

endemic species does not exceed 70–80 in its single 

locality (criteria B2a). Therefore, we suggest that Achillea 

adenii should be evaluated as Critically Endangered (CR) 

according to the IUCN (2011). 

Achillea baltai H.Duman & Aytaç sp. nov. (Figure 4)

Type: Turkey, C6 Niğde: Pozantı Dağı, Sivri tepe, 2050–

2100 m, 08.06.2013, calcareous rocks, Duman 10321 & T. 

Balta, holotype: GAZI; isotypes: ANK, HUB, Yıldırımlı.

Diagnosis: Achillea baltai is related to A. armenorum 

but differs by its narrower leaves (7–15 × 1–1.5 mm, not 

5–20 × 1.5–4); longer peduncle 10–20 (not 5–10(–20) mm; 

phyllaries 3(–4) (not 4); ray flowers white (not reddish-

purple between lamina and tube); disc flowers completely 

white (not tube reddish-purple, lobes white). Ligule 6–8 

and 5–6 mm long (not 8–10 and 1.5–2.5 mm long).

Description: Perennial herb with woody rootstocks. 

Stems procumbent, numerous, 15–20 cm long, with 

short sterile shoots, unbranched, terete, longitudinally 

striped, densely wooly-tomentose. Leaves densely wooly-

tomentose, oblong-linear, 7–15 × 1–1.5 mm, pinnatilobate, 

segments imbricate, minute, undivided, ovate-triangular, 

acuminate to denticulate; median cauline and upper leaves 

3–10 × 1–2 mm, pinnatisect, segments densely imbricate, 

to 3-lobed, with orbicular, 1-denticulate lobes 0.3–5 mm. 

Peduncles 1–2 cm. Capitula 3–9, corymbose, 2–3 cm 

broad, involucre hemispherical to globose, 5–8 × 4–8 mm. 

Figure 4. Achillea baltai. A- Habitus, B- stem leaf, C- cross-section of leaves, D- capitulum, E- outer phyllaries, 

F- inner phyllaries, G- palea, H- ray flowers, I- tubular flowers, J- achene (Duman 10321).

AYTAÇ et al. / 

Turk J Bot


Phyllaries in 3(–4) series, outer ones 2.5–3 × 1–2 mm 

ovate-lanceolate, median ones oblong-lanceolate, (2–)3 

× 1–1.5 mm, inner ones as long as median, ±linear, all 

phyllaries with scarious brownish margins, white and hairy. 

Receptacle paleaceous, palea 2.5–3 mm, linear-lanceolate, 

densely long white and hairy. Ligules 6–8, white, reddish-

purple base of limb and tube, 5–6 mm, with 3 lobes; tube 

2–3 mm, lobes 2–3 mm; anthers yellowish, exerted from 

tube. Disc flowers reddish-purple above, 15–20, 2.5–3 

mm, exerted from involucre; style brownish, 1–2 mm, 

stigma 2-partite, as long as style. Cypselae oblong, 1.5–2 

(immature) mm, compressed dorsally. Pappus absent.

Fl & fr. 5–6, steppe, calcareous slopes, 2050–2100 m.

Pollen structure: Pollen grains of A. baltai are oblate-

spheroidal, tricolporate. P = (16.32) 19.49 ± 1.35, E = 

(19.2) 21.73 ± 1.18 (24.00). Ornamentation is echinate to 

perforate (Figures 5A and 5B).

Etymology: This species is named in honor of Tolga 

Balta, who was one of the collectors and supporters of this 

field trip.

Conservational status: The specimens were collected 

at C6 Niğde, Pozantı Dağı (Niğde Province), where 

the species seems to be very local. It is known from the 

type collections. The range of this local endemic species 

is restricted to a single location (IUCN Criteria B1a). 

Populations are pure, with an area of occupancy smaller 

than 10 km


, and according to field observations, it is 

estimated that the total number of individuals of this 

endemic species does not exceed 70–80 in its single locality 

(Criteria B2a). Therefore, we suggest that A. baltai should 

be evaluated as Critically Endangered (CR) according to 

the IUCN (2011). 

Distribution:  A. adenii is currently known only 

from the type locality in southern Anatolia, an E. Medit. 

element, endemic. A. baltai is known only from the type 

locality in central Anatolia, an Irano-Turanian element, 

endemic (Figure 6).

4. Discussion

While many members of the genus Achillea have more 

than one capitula on their stems, some members of sect. 

Artholepis  and sect. Santolinoidea have 1–4 capitula 

on their stems. Only A. sipikorensis has one capitulum, 

while  A. sintenisii, A. monocephala Boiss. & Balansa, 

A. brachyphylla Boiss. & Hausskn., A. membranacea 

(Labill.) DC., A. oligocephala DC., A. gypsicola Hub.-Mor., 

A. sivasica Çelik & Akpulat, A. ketenoglui Duman, A. 

armenorum Boiss. & Hausskn., A milliana H.Duman, and 

A hamzaoglui Arabacı & Budak have 1–10 and sometimes 

more than 10. All species mentioned above grow within 

the Irano-Turanian phytogeographic region. 

A. adenii is an E. Mediterranean element and is close 

to A. sipikorensis by having one capitulum. It is also close 

to  A. sintenisii by having a number of capitula and ray 

flowers.  While  A. sipikorensis and A. sintenisii grow in 

serpentine or gypsum soil and on calcareous substrates or 

gypsum, respectively, in the eastern parts of Anatolia, A. 

adenii grows in calcareous soil in the southwestern parts 

of Anatolia. This new species is different from its related 

species in its geographic distribution and ecological 

properties. The comparison of A. adenii,  A. sipikorensis, 

and A. sintenisii is given in Table 1.

Achillea baltai is very close to A. armenorum, but all 

other  Achillea species that grow in Turkey have white, 

cream, or yellow ligules and disc flowers, while only A. 

armenorum has reddish-purple disc flowers. Moreover, the 

leaves of A. baltai are narrower and are distinctly imbricate. 

It is also closely related to A. milliana H.Duman, but disc 

flowers are 15–20 (not 40–50) and capitula more than 5.

Achillea baltai grows on calcareous rocks and in 

high steppe regions in the Irano-Turanian region. The 

comparison of A. armenorum and A. milliana is given in 

Table 2.

The pollen grains of these two species are oblate-

spheroidal, like other Achillea species. According to 

Figure 5. Pollen micrographs of A. baltai. A- Equatorial view, B. ornamentation (Duman 10321 & T. Balta).

AYTAÇ et al. / 

Turk J Bot


Figure 6. Distribution of Achillea species: A. adenii ■, A. baltai ▲, A. sintenisii ○, A. armenorum □, A. sipikorensis ∆, 

A. milliana ♦, city centers ●.

Table 1. Comparison of Achillea adenii with 2 morphologically related Achillea species.



A. adenii

A. sipikorensis

A. sintenisii


30–40 cm

10–20 cm

10–25 cm


5–7 cm

(1.5–)3–8 cm

(1–)3–5 cm


Always solitary, 10–12 × 8–10 mm

Always solitary, 6–10 × 7–20 mm

1–4, 4–5 × (5–)6–10 mm

Ray flowers

6–8, 10–12 mm

8–10(–15), 6–8 mm

6–8, 3.5–5 mm

Outer phyllaries

Scarious margins, glabrous

Scarious brownish margins, puberulent

to glabrescent

Scarious brownish margins, 

tomentose to glabrescent


Oblong, 2–3 mm

Linear-oblanceolate, 2.5-3 mm

Oblong, 2 mm


Calcareous slopes

Gypsum and serpentine

Calcareous rocks and gypsum hills

Table 2. Comparison of morphological characters between Achillea baltai and A. armenorum.


A. baltai

A. armenorum          

A. milliana


7–15 × 1–1.5 mm, strongly imbricate

5–20 × 1.5–4 mm, ±imbricate

5–10 × 1–1.5 mm, densely imbricate


10–20 mm

5–10(–20) mm

5–20 mm


6–8, 5–6 mm, white

8–10, 1.5–2.5 mm, white

6–8, 4–4.5 mm, white

Disc flowers

White to cream, 2.5–3 mm long

Reddish-purple, 3-4 mm long

White, 2–2.5 mm long


Linear-lanceolate densely long pilose, 

whitish above

Lanceolate, with spreading pilose, 

brownish above

Lanceolate, with spreading pilose, 

brownish above


(Immature) oblong



AYTAÇ et al. / 

Turk J Bot


previous studies (Akyalçın et al., 2011; Akyalçin et al., 

2014), the pollen ornamentations are echinate in light 

microscopy and echinate-microperforate and echinate-

rugulate microperforate in SEM. In conclusion, the 

species examined showed substantial variation in pollen 

characteristics at both the interspecific and intraspecific 


Key to A. adenii, A. sipikorensis, A. sintenisii,  A. 

armenorum, A. milliana, and A. baltai

1-  Capitula solitary (–2)

2-  Ligules 8–10(–15); capitula 6–10 – 7–20 mm..………

…………….......................................……..A. sipikorensis

2-  Ligules 6–8; capitula 10–12 × 8–10 mm……...A. adenii

1-  Capitula more than one

3-  Leaves linear; ligules 6–8; disc and ligules completely 


4-  Capitula (1–)2–5(–6); disc flowers 40–60

5-  Peduncles (1–)3–5 cm; palea glabrous……..A. sintenisii

5-  Peduncles 0.5–2 cm; palea pilose……....…..A. milliana 

4-  Capitula 5–10; disc flowers 15–20…….…..…..A. baltai

3-  Leaves linear-oblong; ligules 8–10; tube of disc flowers 

and between limb and tube of ligules reddish to 

reddish-purple……….....………………A. armenorum


We want to thank Semra Sert for the illustration and Ahter 

Vişne for comments on pollen and achene structure. 

A. adenii was collected from Fethiye district during the 

“Determination of Biodiversity Project for the Fethiye 

County, Muğla Province and Special Environmental 

Protection Area”. A. baltai was collected during one of the 

field trips supported by Tolga Balta, who is the general 

director of ENCON (Environmental Consultancy Co.). 


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Specimens examined: Achillea sipikorensis: B6 Kayseri: Kırklar geçidi, 2000–2250 m, 28.06.2009, Aytaç 8602 GAZI; Sivas, 

Gürün 3 km E Ulaş, 06.06.1990, 1360 m, Nydegger 45652 GAZI; Sivas: Gürün, Akpınar, 15.06.1992, 1650 m, Nydegger 4628 

GAZI. Sivas around airport, Çebiler köyü, 1310 m, step, 19.07.2008, Güner et al. 14910, GAZI; B7 Sivas: Yıldızeli, Çırçır 

village, 1300 m, steppe, 30.07.1996, Dönmez 5337 HUB; Kangal, Hanyeri Bridge, 1577 m, steppe, 31.06.2011, Özüdoğru 

3160, HUB. A. sintenisii: A6 Sivas: Cebiler köyü, 1310 m, jipsli step, 19.07.2008, Güner 14790 et al. GAZI; ibid. Tepeönü 

köyü, 1350 m, 08.07.2008 Aytaç 9012 et al. GAZI; Kangal, Mescitli–Kavak, 1660–1670 m, kireçli yamaçlar, 11.07.2007, 

Aytaç 9096 et al. GAZI; Hafik, Topçu Yeniköy, 1375 m, 01.06.2003, Aytaç 8488, GAZI; Hafik, Tavşanlı köyü, Tepeli mevkii, 

jipsli topraklar, 27.07.1991, Hamzaoğlu 3914 & Aydoğdu, capitula (1–2) usually 3, GAZI; Kayseri–Sivas 11 km, Kayadibi, 

1340 m, 13.07.1992, Nydegger 46258, GAZI.

Achillea armenorum: B6 Kahramanmaraş, Göksun, Çardak, Ericek village, Berit Dağı, Arpaçukuru yaylası, 2600 m, 

kayalıklar, 24.07.1992, Aytaç 5516 & Duman, GAZI, type locality; ibid. 25.07.1992, Aytaç 5532 & Duman GAZI.

Achillea milliana: C6 Adana, Düziçi, Düldül dağ, 2200 m, limestone rocks, 21.VII.1995, H. Duman 5894 & K.H.C. 

Baser & A. Altıntaş (holo. GAZI).

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