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Systematics of the genus Cyclopia Vent. (Fabaceae, Podalyrieae)


Cyclopia is a papilionaceous genus endemic to the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces of South Africa. The 23 species recognized within the genus have rather subtle differences, but characters of the leaves, bracts and calyces, as well as the adaptations to survive recurrent fires, are useful to distinguish between the species. Variations in morphological, cytological and chemical characters are discussed. A phylogenetic analysis of 21 characters by means of cladistic methodology produced a cladogram with five distinct groups. These are described as sections in the taxonomic part of the paper. One new species, Cyclopia alopecuroides A.L. Schutte, is described. The nomenclature, synonymy and typification of the taxa are presented, as well as full descriptions, illustrations and distribution maps.

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A. M. De Nysschen B-E. Van Wyk , F. R. Van Heerden & A. L. Schutte (1996). The major phenolic compounds in the leaves of Cyclopia species (honeybush tea). Biochem. Syst. Ecol 24: 243246.

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A. L. Schutte & B-E. Van Wyk (1994). A reappraisal of the generic status of Liparia and Priestleya (Fabaceae). Taxon 43: 573582.

A. L. Schutte , J. H. J. Vlok & B-E. Van Wyk (1995). Fire-survival strategy – A character of taxonomic, ecological and evolutionary importance in fynbos legumes. PI. Syst. Evol. 195: 243259.

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Edinburgh Journal of Botany
  • ISSN: 0960-4286
  • EISSN: 1474-0036
  • URL: /core/journals/edinburgh-journal-of-botany
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