During field investigations in the Mountains around Palermo, an unusual population of Monotropa sp. was found. After revision of the taxonomic literature and herbarium specimens, it was referred to Monotropa hypophegea Wallr. This species is closely related to M. hypopytis L., and in the past was considered only a variety (Pignatti 1982) or a subspecies (Křisa 1972) ) of it. More recently this entity has been considered an independent taxon deserving the rank of species (Conti et al. 2005). The most important morphological differences between the two taxa are the number of flowers in the raceme and the hairiness of sepals, petals and capsule. The individuals of the observed population have short racemes, with less than 8 flowers, are glabrous in all parts, including the sepals and inside petals and have glabrous, spherical capsules. On the contrary M. hypopytis has denser racemes (generally with 8-11 flowers), flowers hairy in the inner part of petals and in the sepals, and ovoid capsules. According to the literature (Pignatti 1982) M. hyphophegea is typical of deciduous forests, especially beech woods, while M. hypopitys prefers coniferous forests. However, in Sicily M. hipopytis is known only in the beech forests of the Madonie and the Nebrodi Mountains, with the alone exception of one locality in a black pine forest of the Etna Mountain (Giardina et al. 2007). M. hyphophagea, that was unknown in the island (Giardina et al. 2007, Raimondo et al. 2010), was found in an artificial Pinus halepensis, Pinus pinea and Cupressus sempervirens plantation. In particular, the locality where the species was found is in the Casaboli Wood at 790 m a.s.l., in the municipality of Monreale, near Palermo. It is an old reforestation with an high degree of dynamism to the return of natural vegetation, represented by Quercus ilex L. in the form of dense shrubs that constitute a undergrowth below the conifers. This discovery represents a further enrichment for the flora of Sicily. In particular the Mountains around Palermo are one of the richest areas in terms of plant biodiversity in Sicily. This is underlined by the recent description of punctual endemic species such as Silene kemoniana, Brassica trichocarpa, Hieracium busambarense and Sorbus busambarensis (C. Brullo et al. 2012, C. Brullo et al. 2013, Caldarella 2014, Castellano 2012).
|Numero di pagine||1|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2014|