Commiphora oddurensis Chiov. and C. suffruticosa Teshome (Burseraceae): taxonomy, distribution, ecology and conservation status

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Sebsebe Demissew, Ib Friis

On field trips to southeastern Ethiopia in 2012 the authors collected a semi-prostrate shrub of the genus Commiphora and matching the taxon named “Commiphora sp. = Friis et al. 3160” in the Flora of Ethiopia (1989). In the Flora of Somalia (1999) “Commiphora sp. = Friis et al. 3160” was considered a synonym of Commiphora oddurensis Chiov. However, in 2006 “Commiphora sp. = Friis et al. 3160” was described as a distinct species endemic to southeastern Ethiopia and named Commiphora suffruticosa Teshome. Although validly published, that scientific name has not been included in international data bases. After field observations and examination of almost all existing material in herbaria, it is concluded that the two taxa are best treated as subspecies, with some overlap in certain characters and a population of specimens in Central Somalia intermediate in leaf morphology: Commiphora oddurensis subsp. oddurensis, widely distributed in northeastern Kenya and northeastern and central Somalia, and subsp. suffruticosa, restricted to southeastern Ethiopia and adjacent parts of Southern Somalia. Apart from discussions and formal taxonomy, the paper includes new information on habit and habitat, distribution maps and conservation status, as well as photographs of living plants of C. oddurensis subsp. suffruticosa.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)133-145
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

ID: 96348563