A taxonomic study of Camellia brevistyla and c. tenuiflora (Theaceae) based on phenetic analyses

Mong Huai Su, Chang Fu Hsieh, Jenn Che Wang, Chih Hua Tsou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Camellia brevistyla and C. tenuiflora, two ecologically and economically important species of Taiwan, have long been confused due to their morphological similarities. This paper aims to clarify their taxonomic relationship based on phenetic analyses of morphological data. We characterized the patterns of morphological variations of C. brevistyla and C. tenuiflora, along with C. hengchunensis and C. kissi, throughout their geographic ranges in Taiwan. The ordination plots obtained from non-linear principal analyses showed considerable overlap among the samples of C. brevistyla and C. tenuiflora, and none of the characters applied was able to distinguish the two species apart. Further assessment of morphological characters revealed considerable morphological variations across the entire geographic range. Pearson's correlation coefficients for the data suggested the occurrence of a continuum of morphological variation among the C. brevistyla-C. tenuiflora complex. It is concluded that C. brevistyla and C. tenuiflora belong to a single highly-variable species and the taxonomic treatment of C. tenuiflora as a synonym of C. brevistyla is supported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-282
Number of pages8
JournalBotanical Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Apr


  • Camellia brevistyla
  • Camellia tenuiflora
  • Phenetics
  • Taiwan
  • Taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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