Romulea melitensis - exposed ???

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Romulea melitensis - exposed ???

Post by MWP admin » Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:49 am

This specimen of Romulea I found in Gozo on first week of March, is very likely to be Romulea melitensis in my humble opinon:

- Late flowering (one of the 3 plants still in buds)
- Thin leaves
- Spathe with narrow scarious margins
- Damp habitat (moss at background)
- Long inflorescences
- Tepals rather thin

Many things match and do not know what does not.

Opinions welcomed.
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Romulea melitensis ?
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Post by RB » Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:29 pm

Without having any idea what R.m. should look like, my comments:

- Late flowering (one of the 3 plants still in buds)

Plenty all over the place still in flower

- Thin leaves
- Long inflorescences
- Tepals rather thin

All above, and first point too were it valid, seem related to the fact that the plant is in a shady place:

- Damp habitat (moss at background)

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Post by jackpot » Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:59 pm

no, I suppose (quite sure) this is Romulea rolli

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Post by MWP admin » Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:37 pm

Spathes of R. rollii (and R. columnae) have a wide scarious border [Ref image below] to complete scarious while this specimen had a thin one (borderline).

Hence the tug of war would be between R. melitensis and R. ramiflora (ref. Haslam keys pg.400) where both have a narrow or no scarious edge.

I concorde with JP that the flower has the light colour and dark veins of R. rollii, but also R. melitensis has that description ("either dark violet or lilac" ref. Haslam), in contrast with R. ramiflora which is almost always dark violet. On this front, haslam wrongly says that R. ramiflora is pale violet or lilac, while we all know it is dark violet.


From what I know through botanists Edwin and Darrin, the most important identification feature of R. melitensis is a damp habitat, and relatively later flowering.



It seems that R. melitensis is not a good taxon, and if I recall well Edwin have seen it once. Now I have an argument - what if the author of R. melitensis (Beguinot) have seen 'R. ramiflora' in an unusual damp place, which as a result it grows with a form like the plant I photographed and so, looking differently, he describes it as a new taxon - R. melitensis
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Typical Romulea rollii with a spathe having a wide scarious border. (sorry the low quality photo)
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