Rubus praecox Bertol.

Rubus praecox Bertol.

Replacement of the incorrect lectotype (Weber 1986): “BOLO, ‘Bertoloni, Bosonia, in sepibus prope Paderno. 7.1842’ “(the label reads Junio 1842) to one that is in agreement with the protologue: BOLO, ‘Legi Bononiae in collibus sub l’osservanza in canali supra la Fabbrica dei Pallini. 1842. Initio Iunio.’

See Gorteria 36: 178 (2014).

 

Weber (1986) has stated that Rubus praecox Bertol. would be identical to R. procerus P.J.Müll. ex Boulay and therefore he replaced the name that was in use for this taxon by R. praecox. Both the specimen that Weber selected as lectotype and R. procerus, however, are not in agreement with the protologue of R. praecox.

There are six specimens in Bertoloni’s collection in BOLO that are not identical. In such a case one must not only carefully compare these with the protologue but also visit the localities that are mentioned in the protologue. Time and again it turns out that field research gives definitively results that differ from mere literature investigations, and of even having a specimen.

I visited the region of Bologna twice, and once also the herbarium to see not just a photo of Bertoloni’s specimens but also the physical exsiccata. As said, the specimens are different among each other. Going into the hills around the city it turns out why Bertoloni conceived these as one taxon. Next to R. ulmifolius Schott most brambles in this region belong to intermediate forms of all kind between R. ulmifolius and R. canescens DC. Some are closer to the former, others to the latter, and again others have their own aspect. It is this intermediate complex that is represented in Bertoloni’s specimens. De Candolle has described a specimen from this complex as R. collinus and if one wants to differentiate in this group all taxa are nothotaxa of this hybrid swarm.

The description by Bertoloni is fitting very well to the plants of these hybrids, such as the pale incarnate obovate petals (‘petala albo-carnea’), while R. procerus has white or very pale pinkish flowers. On the label of the specimen that Weber selected Bertoloni explicitly wrote: ‘Flores carnei’. That cannot be R. procerus.

Some of Bertoloni’s specimens are very well in agreement with the protologue, but not the one that Weber selected, esp. the phrase ‘ramis patulis, saepe subretrorsis … plerisque fasciculatis’ (which does not fit to R. procerus either). That is even more remarkable since other specimens have this characteristic very conspicuously. If a description as Bertoloni’s gives remarkable characteristics one should first look for a specimen that displays these.

Two specimens have on the label ‘Legi Bononiae in collibus sub l’osservanza in canali supra la Fabbrica dei Pallini. 1842. Initio Iunio.’ On one of these Bertoloni added: ‘inter villam Aldini et Scarani’. It is this locality that Bertoloni mentions as the first in his protologue and he adds that the plant is abundant there. This was still the case when I visited the region around the year 2000. It seems that Bertoloni made his description of R. praecox after these plants and the one he has got from Bertero, that is precisely in agreement with it, and later inserted more or less similar plants to it, of which some still are at least not against the protologue and the one from Paderno even contradicts it. Therefore another specimen must be selected as a lectotype and because only one of the plants collected ‘supra la Fabbrica dei Pallini’ has a primocane leave, I selected this one as the lectotype (Bertoloni, BOLO, ‘Legi Bononiae in collibus sub l’osservanza in canali supra la Fabbrica dei Pallini. 1842. Initio Iunio.’), to replace the incorrect specimen that Weber selected. This plant is not R. procerus P.J.M. ex Boulay, which is R. praecox ssu Weber, and so the name Rubus procerus must be restored as it has been in use for more than a hundred years. R. praecox is a later synomym of R. collinus DC, though a different nothoform of this hybrid swarm.

In order to underpin the argumentation, scans of all specimens of Rubus praecox in the herbarium of Bertoloni in BOLO are added to this article.

Photo 1: the specimen from Paderno, selected by Weber as lectotype.

Photo 2: the present lectotype selected by Van de Beek (2014): ‘Bononiae in collibus sub l’osservanza in canali supra la Fabbrica dei Pallini.’

Photo 3: Specimen from ‘Bononiae in collibus sub l’osservanza in canali supra la Fabbrica dei Pallini.’ Isotype.

Photo 4: a third specimen from ‘Bononiae in collibus sub l’osservanza in canali supra la Fabbrica dei Pallini.’

Photo 5: the specimen collected at the ‘adscensu di Barbiano’

Photo 6: the specimen collected by Bertero (1828).

Photo 7: the specimen of Bertoloni’s son (1838).

Acknowledgement
Thanks to the staff of the Erbario dell’Università di Bologna, Italy (BOLO) and especially Mrs. Annalisa Managlia for preparing and sending the scans of the specimens of Rubus praecox of the herbarium of Bertoloni, and their agreement to use these for the website.

 

 

 

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