The utility of morphological characters for inferring phylogeny in Scandiceae subtribe Scandicinae (Apiaceae)

K. Spalik, S. R. Downie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The utility of 44 morphological characters for phylogenetic inference was evaluated against cladograms inferred from nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences for 89 representatives of Apiaceae including 58 accessions of Scandiceae subtribe Scandicinae. Distance-based analyses of morphological data confirmed the monophyly of many clades delimited previously on the basis of ITS sequences. However, morphology failed to support the monophyly of Scandicinae and the close affinity between the basally branching Conopodium and Athamanta groups. The infrageneric divisions in Anthriscus, Chaerophyllum, and Osmorhiza, traditionally defined on the basis of life history, leaf division, indumentum, and inflorescence architecture, are incongruent with the molecular results as these morphological characters are quite homoplastic. Least homoplastic, and therefore useful for generic delimitation within Scandicinae, are fruit characters such as epidermis morphology and primary ridge shape. Rhopalosciadium and Chaerophyllopsis, traditionally placed in Scandicinae but not included in the ITS study, do not occur within the subtribe upon analysis of morphological data. The former has affinity to Scandiceae subtribe Torilidinae. whereas the latter allies with the apioid superclade. The following taxonomic changes are suggested: (1) Krasnovia and Neoconopodium are included in Kozlovia; (2) section Cerefolium is restored in Anthriscus for A. cerefolium; and (3) Myrrhoides is transferred back to Chaerophyllum, with four sections recognized within the latter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-301
Number of pages32
JournalAnnals of the Missouri Botanical Garden
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Apiaceae
  • Morphology
  • Phylogeny
  • Scandiceae
  • Scandicinae
  • Taxonomy
  • Umbelliferae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


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