Biosystematics of Anemone coronaria L. and related species
This study clarifies the taxonomic status of Anemone coronaria and segregate species as well as the A. coronaria infraspecific variants using morphological and morphometric studies. Principal component analysis of the coronaria group was performed on 25 quantitative and qualitative characters, while morphometric analysis of the A. coronaria infraspecific variants was performed on 21 quantitative and qualitative characters. Results show that the A. coronaria group clustered into four major groups: A. coronaria, A. biflora, A. bucharica and the last group that included A. eranthioides and A. tschernjaewii; while the data of the A. coronaria infraspecific variants clustered into six groups: A. coronaria var. phoenicea, var. cyanea, var. albiflora, var. parviflora, var. ventreana, and var. rissoana. The pollen study revealed that although all the taxa had the same pantoporate grains, yet significant differences existed between them with respect to pollen diameter and number of pores. Hybridisation experiments showed that the different color morphs of A. coronaria could be readily crossed as they produced fruits with viable seeds. Regarding different colour morphs of A. coronaria in Lebanon, soil analysis revealed that the red forms grow in soils with low available iron and magnesium, while the blue and white forms live in metal rich soils. Plant tissue analysis revealed that the amount of zinc in the leaves of the white form was significantly lower than the red and blue forms. In the tepals, the amount of iron was lowest in the red morph, while the amounts of zinc and manganese were highest in the white form. Field experiments proved that A. coronaria was strongly self-incompatible and excluding pollinators from the flowers by caging proved to significantly reduce seed.