PDF MDPI RGApostolova-Kuzova E., Stoyanov K., Raycheva T. & Naimov S. 2023.
Crocus speciosus (Iridaceae)—A New Species for the Bulgarian Flora
Plants 2023, 12(4), 932; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12040932
This is the first report on the autumn-flowering species Crocus speciosus, belonging to C. ser. Speciosi from the Bulgarian flora. The species was found in Southeastern Bulgaria, in the area between Ahtopol and Rezovo. Re-examining the Bulgarian collections, the earliest specimen was collected in 1975, was probably overlooked, and most likely determined as C. pulchellus. The nearest known localities of the species are on the territory of Türkiye. In this study, we compared C. pulchellus and С. ibrahimii using DNA sequence data from the nuclear ITS1/2 region and morphological features. Our study showed a close relationship between the specimens from Bulgaria and the recently deposited data of C. speciosus and their separation from the closely related C. pulchellus. Together with the previously cited white anthers as a key feature for determination, the molecular data confirmed a clear distinction between the samples with white anthers in the two species. The morphological data of our taxon overlapped with the description of C. ibrahimii. The molecular data strongly supported the affiliation of C. speciosus s.l., but did not support the recognition of C. ibrahimii as a separate species and it should be referred to as a subspecies of C. speciosus subsp. ibrahimii Rukšāns.
Keywords: Crocus speciosus subsp. ibrahimii; ITS region; morphology