ALLEN, GERALDINE A.*, DOUGLAS E. SOLTIS, AND PAMELA S. SOLTIS. Department of Biology, University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C. V8W 3N5, Canada; Division of Life Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164. - Phylogeny, biogeography and character evolution of Erythronium (Liliaceae).
The fawn-lilies (Erythronium) are a group of spring-flowering
bulbous plants that are distributed widely in both Eurasia and North
America, and reach their greatest diversity (18 of 28 species) in
western North America. We carried out phylogenetic analyses of
species from all geographical regions based on ITS and partial matK
DNA sequences. Our results indicate that Erythronium is of Old
World origin and is closely related to Tulipa, and that the
species of eastern and western North America belong to separate clades
that may have become established independently in the New World.
Several morphological and ecological features of this group, including
mottled leaves, vegetative propagation by bulb offsets, and adaptation
to high-elevation environments, appear to have arisen more than once.
Although some of these features have historically been used as a basis
for infrageneric classification of the fawn-lilies, it seems likely
that they reflect adaptation of individual species or groups to
Key words: Erythronium, ITS, matK, phylogeny