P. V. Bruyns; C. Klak; P. Hanáček: A revised, phylogenetically-based concept of Ceropegia (Apocynaceae). South African Journal of Botany 112: 399-436. 2017

Well, well, well ….

This revision is quite a messy one, and I’m very unhappy with it.

I have to admit that I hoped for a revision so much, but I was suspecting a splitting of the genus Ceropegia into several smaller genera, however, that’s not what this revision has done.

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“Recent phylogenetic reconstructions in the Cerpegieae (Apocynaceae-Asclepiadoideae) show that the 357 species of highly succulent stapeliads and four lineages of the 141 species of Brachystelma R. Br. ex Sims are nested within the 219 species of Ceropegia L.”

Well, that’s right, but, in my opinion doesn’t mean that all of them should now be included in the genus Ceropegia!

The authors present a monophyletic genus Ceropegia, which, in my opinion, is a bit like calling all animals with a head and four legs a dog just because dogs have a head and four legs …. They furthermore present over 400 new combinations of names, [and I’m very, very sure that I’m right] that no one will ever use!

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So why not just splitting the genus Ceropegia?

The authors say that splitting is impractical because the new genera resulting from such a splitting would not be characterizable by external features. Well, that’s a weak reason, I think. In my opinion a splitting would just result in a [small] heap of new genus names for several plants formerly just called Ceropegia, certainly including all the African species. But now this is just an extreme heap of new species names which now are all included in the genus Ceropegia.

For example, Stapelia gigantea N. E. Br., probably a well-known plant, would now need to be called Ceropegia gigantea (N. E. Br.) Bruyns.

Hm, no, thanks.   😦

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References:

[1] P. V. Bruyns; C. Klak; P. Hanáček: A revised, phylogenetically-based concept of Ceropegia (Apocynaceae). South African Journal of Botany 112: 399-436. 2017

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