Turkish Journal of Botany






The taxonomic history of Capsella Medik., one of the genera with the highest phenotypic plasticity, and thus the highest synonym number relative to the recognized species number, was reviewed. The current systematics of the genus was discussed and the exact number of taxa was determined. In light of the molecular and nomenclatural data, it was decided that the genus was represented around the world by five species and one hybrid. Considering the molecular studies that have been conducted over the 30 years it was concluded that the species of this genus are typical examples of the concept of cryptic species. The classification and nomenclature of such genetically different, morphologically similar species should be one of the most current discussion topics of modern systematic science. Capsella is one of the best examples to examine this situation; hence, this feature was discussed herein. It was decided that C. thracica and C. × abortiva are conspecific and the correct naming should be C. abortiva (pro hybr.). Lectotype assignments were performed for the names of 5 taxa, mainly C. rubella, C. × abortiva, and C. thracica. Also, the missing type specimen of the Turkish endemic C. lycia was found, the lectotype was assigned and it was determined to be a synonym of C. bursa-pastoris. Various errors in the type sample references, especially in the holotype of C. grandiflora, were thus corrected. Their distribution around the world was checked and then corrected, and an identification key is given for the taxa of the genus.


Capsella, lectotypification, cryptic species, ICBN, nomenclature

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