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Article
Published: 2022-01-06

Ephedra aurea (Ephedraceae), a new species from Sicily

Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche, Geologiche e Ambientali, Università di Catania, Via A. Longo 19, I-95125 Catania, Italy
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Forestali, Università di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, 5, I-90128 Palermo, Italy
Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche, Geologiche e Ambientali, Università di Catania, Via A. Longo 19, I-95125 Catania, Italy
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e del Mare, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Via Archirafi 26, I-90123 Palermo, Italy
Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche, Geologiche e Ambientali, Università di Catania, Via A. Longo 19, I-95125 Catania, Italy
Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche, Geologiche e Ambientali, Università di Catania, Via A. Longo 19, I-95125 Catania, Italy
Biodiversity Ephedra Mediterranean pollen grains ecology Gymnosperms

Abstract

Ephedra aurea, a new species occurring in Sicily, is described and illustrated. Taxonomically, it shows close relationships with Ephedra nebrodensis mainly for the small size with internodes scabrous-wrinkled not fragile at the nodes, but relevant differences regarding the size and shape of twigs, leaves, male and female cones, ovules, seeds, fruiting strobili and pollen grains allow to distinguish very well the two species. Its ecology, conservation status and relationships with other allied Mediterranean species are discussed. 

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