Research Article
Research Article
Eremogone ali-gulii (Caryophyllaceae), a new species from Turkey
expand article infoMurat Koç, Ergin Hamzaoğlu§
‡ Bozok University, Yozgat, Turkey
§ Gazi University, Faculty of Education, Department of Primary School Teaching, Ankara, Turkey
Open Access


Eremogone ali-gulii (Caryophyllaceae) is described as a new species of Eremogone in Turkey. The specimens were collected from Kop Mountain (Erzurum). The new species is endemic of the Irano-Turanian region and is related to Eremogone scariosa and E. armeniaca. The differences on sterile shoots, habit, sepals and capsules between these species are discussed. Description, distribution, illustration and conservation status of the new species are given.


New species, Eremogone , Taxonomy, Turkey


Caryophyllaceae is a very large family mainly found in the northern hemisphere and includes 88 genera and 3000 species (Rabeler and Hartman 2005). The family has often been divided into three subfamilies namely Alsinoideae Burnett, Caryophylloideae Arn., and Paronychioideae A.St. and five tribes (Bittrich 1993). However, recent molecular studies have illustrated that these groups are polyphyletic (Fior 2006). For instance, Harbaugh et al. (2010) evaluated the MatK, trnL-F and rps16 sequences of 146 species of Caryophyllaceae and recognized 11 tribes, including the newly described Eremogoneae Rabeler & W.L.Wagner (Harbaugh et al. 2010).

Eremogone was described by Fenzl in 1833, then it was later described as a subgenus of Arenaria by Fenzl in 1842. Molecular phylogenetic studies carried out in recent years suggest that species previously placed in Arenaria subgen. Eremogone (approximately 70 species), Arenaria subgen. Eremogoneastrum Williams (22 species) and Minuartia subgen. Spergella (Fenzl) McNeill (3 species) comprise the genus Eremogone (Fenzl 1833, McNeill 1967). Eremogone is a natural group consisting of 95 species with leaves narrowly linear to filiform and capsules splitting apically into six teeth or three bifid valves (Dillenberger and Kadereit 2014, Sadeghian et al. 2015). The Turkish name for Eremogone is “İğnekumotu”. There are 18 taxa of Eremogone in Turkey, 11 of which are endemic (McNeill 1967, Dinç 2012). In the flora of Turkey (McNeill 1967), Eremogone is treated as a subgenus of Arenaria (Fenzl 1833, McNeill 1967). This work describes Eremogone ali-gulii, a new species of Eremogone found in Turkey.

Material and methods

Authors collected Eremogone specimens from Kop mountain (Erzurum) during a project (KBAG-113Z260-TUBITAK) to revise Turkey Minuartia taxa (Caryophyllaceae). These specimens were compared with related species or photographs in the herbaria of E, ANK, GAZI, Bozok University Herb., and with records in the literature (McNeill 1963, Rechinger 1964, Zohary 1966, McNeill 1967, Halliday 1976, Rechinger 1988, Shishkin 1995, Bojňanský and Fargašová 2007, Rabeler and Wagner 2015). The studies showed that these specimens are representatives of a species new to science.

This study is based on literature and field observations of living plants. The materials were examined using an Olympus SZ61 microscope. Mature seeds were collected from capsules of the holotype. Measurement of vegetative characters was made with a ruler accurate to 0,5 mm and floral characters were measured with an ocular micrometre.

Taxonomic treatment

Eremogone ali-gulii Koç & Hamzaoğlu, sp. nov.

Fig. 1


Eremogone ali-gulii is similar to Eremogone scariosa (Boiss.) Holub and E. armeniaca (Boiss.) Holub, but differs in having fasciculate sterile shoots, a tufted habit and shorter sepal and capsules.

Figure 1. 

Eremogone ali-gulii (Koç 1723). A Habit B Inflorescence C Sepal D Petal E Capsule.


TURKEY, Erzurum province, between Bayburt and Aşkale, Kop mountain, 40°00'N-040°32'E, 2150 m, serpentine stony slopes, 24 June 2014, Koç 1723 & Hamzaoğlu (holotype ANK, isotype Bozok Univ. Herb., ANK, GAZI).


Tufted, perennial herb. Stems erect or ascending, 10–18 cm long and 0.7–0.9 mm in diameter, glabrous below, glandular-puberulent above. Rosette leaves setaceous, 1.5–2.5 cm, fasciculate; stem leaves linear-setaceous, 0.6–15 × 0.5–0.8 mm, smooth, glabrous, 3–5 pairs, apex acute to acuminate, leaf sheath membranous, 0.1–0.2 mm, glabrous. Bracts oblong-lanceolate, 2.5–5 × 0.8–1.2 mm, glandular hairy, obscurely 3-nerved, apex acute to acuminate. Inflorescences usually terminal, 3–10-flowered, panicles, the peduncles and pedicels sparsely to densely glandular-puberulent; bracts oblong-lanceolate, 4–6 × 0.5–0.8 mm, apex setaceous-acuminate, margins scarious never extending right to the tip; pedicels 1–4 mm long. Flower sepals oblong-lanceolate, 2.8–4.5 × 1.2–1.7 mm, glabrous, obscurely veined, membranous at the base, scarious above, the apex obtuse to acute; petals white, linear-oblong, 3–5 × 0.8–1.2 mm, slightly longer than sepals, the apex obtuse to acute; stamens 10, the filaments 2–3.5 mm long; styles 3, more or less erect, 1.5–2 mm long; staminal glands deeply bifurcate, appearing as 10, distinct, alternating with the stamens. Capsules 2.5–4 × 0.8–1.2 mm, ovoid to elongate-ovoid, glabrous, opening by 6 recurved teeth, containing only a few seeds. Seeds 1.9–2.4 mm long, oblong, tuberculate on the rim and the sides with low, elongate tubercles, black to dark brown. Flowering in June and July.


Eremogone ali-gulii grows on serpentine, which is the most widespread of the non-calcareous soils in between the cities of Erzurum and Erzincan in Turkey. It occurs in stony slopes habitat with Achillea biebersteinii Afan, Pimpinella rhodantha Boiss., Inula heterolepis Boiss., Arenaria pseudoacantholimon Bornm., Arenaria serpyllifolia L., Dianthus crinitus Sm. var. crossopetalus Boiss., Helichrysum plicatum DC. subsp. polyphyllum (Ledeb.) Davis & Kupicha.

Conservation status

The species is currently known from two populations: in the location of Kop mountain in Erzurum and another location between Erzurum-Erzincan, around Karasu village. Both populations are vulnerable to anthropogenic impact. Informal grazing and land-use changes could have a detrimental impact in the future. On the basis of IUCN red list categories and criteria (IUCN 2012), Eremogone ali-gulii covers an area (AOO) of about 300 km2. The new species is here assessed as Endangered [EN, B2ab(iii)].


The species is named in honour of the eminent Turkish hydrobiologist Prof. Dr. Ali Gül (Gazi Faculty of Education, Gazi University, Ankara).


The specimens introduced here as the new species in this study were collected from Erzurum province, Kop mountain. At first glance, these specimens resemble Eremogone armeniaca and E. scariosa. Yet, comprehensive studies that were subsequently carried out revealed that they belonged to a new species.

Distinction from other taxa

Eremogone ali-gulii is similar to a group of five Irano-Turanian Eremogone species previously placed in Arenaria sect. Scariosae by McNeil (1967): 2 from Northern Iran - E. polycnemifolia (Boiss.) Holub and E. zargariana (Parsa) Holub; and 3 species from eastern Turkey - E. armeniaca, E. scariosa and E. pseudoacantholimon (Bornm.) Holub. All of them share spiny or setaceous leaves, coriaceous or scarious sepals, and petals of similar size. Eremogone ali-gulii is more similar to E. armeniaca and E. scariosa due to the scarious margins of the sepals never extending right to the tip and to the deeply bifurcate staminal glands, appearing as 10, distinct, alternating with the stamens (McNeill 1962). However, Eremogone ali-gulii differs markedly from both species due to its fasciculate sterile shoots, tufted habit, sepals 2.8-4.5 mm long and capsules 3-4 mm long. The diagnostic features of these three species are listed in Table 1.

Table 1.

Diagnostic characters of Eremogone ali-gulii compared with other similar species.

Characters E. ali-gulii E. armeniaca E. scariosa
Habit tufted suffruticose suffruticose
Stem 10–18 cm long 20–30 cm long 10–20 cm long
Rosette leaves fasciculate imbricate imbricate
Inflorescence panicle terminal cluster enclosed by glumaceous bracts panicle
Pedicels 2–4 mm long 1–2 mm long 2–6 mm long
Sepals 2.8–4.5 mm long, membranous at the base, scarious at the apex (4.5)6–9 mm long, membranous at the extreme apex 6–8 mm long, membranous at the base, scarious at the apex
Petal shape linear-oblong oblanceolate linear-oblong
Capsule 3–4 mm long 4–7 mm long 5–7 mm long
1 Sepals with coriaceous herbaceous median strip, very gradually narrowing to the tip; staminal glands 5, indistinct, at the base of the outer whorl of stamens (Series Polycnemifoliae)
Sepals with scarious margins never extending right to the tip; staminal glands deeply bifurcate, appearing as 10, distinct, alternating with the stamens (Series Scariosae)
2 Sepals 6–8 mm long; bracts 7–8 mm long E. zargariana
Sepals 3.5–5.5 mm long; bracts 3–5 mm long
3 Stem leaves 1–2 pairs; rosette leaves 1–2 cm, stiff, aristate; sepals ovate-lanceolate; petals as long as sepals E. pseudacantholimon
Stem leaves 3–9 pairs; rosette leaves 10–15 cm, not stiff, acute to acuminate; sepals oblong-lanceolate; petals slightly longer than sepals E. polycnemifolia
4 Habit tufted; sterile shoots fasciculate, sepals 2.8–4.5 mm long; capsules 3–4 mm long E. ali-gulii
Habit suffruticose; sterile shoots imbricate, sepals (4.5)6–9 mm long; capsules 4–7 mm long
5 Inflorescence a terminal cluster enclosed by glumaceous bracts; sepals membranous at the extreme apex; petals slightly longer than sepals E. armeniaca
Inflorescence paniculate; sepals membranous at the base, scarious above; petals slightly shorter than sepals E. scariosa

Specimens examined

Eremogone ali-gulii (Paratype), TURKEY - B8 Erzurum: between Erzurum-Erzincan, Karasu village around, 1600 m, 15.06.2007, E.Hamzaoğlu 4662 (Bozok Univ. Herb.!). – Eremogone scariosa (Boiss.) Holub, TURKEY - B5 Bayburt: Between Bayburt and İspir, Karşıgeçit village, 1460 m, 12.07.2009, Koç 589, Ü.Budak and E.Hamzaoğlu (Bozok Univ. Herb.!); Bayburt: SE of Bayburt, 1500-1700 m, 13.06.2002, E.Hamzaoğlu 2960 (Bozok Univ. Herb.!); Bayburt: Between Bayburt and Pazaryolu, 23.06.2002, E.Hamzaoğlu 3009 (Bozok Univ. Herb.!); Gümüşhane: Yukarıalıçlı village, 1500 m, 14.07.2007, E.Hamzaoğlu 4819 and A.Aksoy (Bozok Univ. Herb.!); A7 Gümüşhane: Kovans, ca. 1800 m, 02.08.1957, P.H.Davis and I.C.Hedge (ANK-31937); A8 Bayburt: Darıca village, Çoruh valley, 1720-1850 m, 26.08.1991, T.Ekim, M.Koyuncu, H.Karaca and A.Güner 9707 (GAZI!); A7 Gümüşhane: Köse-Gümüşhane bei Kirikli, 1300 m, 12.07.1984, M.Nydegger (E, E00074746-photo!). – Eremogone armeniaca (Boiss.) Holub, TURKEY - A6 Sivas: Zara-Suşehri, 20 km from Suşehri, 1300 m, 23.07.1960, A.Stainton and D.M.Henderson (E, E00567097-photo!); A7 Giresun: N of Şebinkarahisar, 40°20'N-038°26'E, 24.07.2010, Hamzaoğlu 5896 and Koç (Bozok Univ. Herb.!); A7 Gümüşhane: Sorda, nr. Teke, P.E.E.Sintenis 1894 (E, E00567094-photo!); A8 Erzurum: Tortum around, 1500 m, 17.07.1990, Z.Aytaç 3149, T.Ekim and H.Duman (GAZI!); A8 Erzurum: Tercan-Ilıca, 1900 m, 10.07.1957, P.H.Davis 30843 and I.C.Hedge (E, E00567095-photo!); A8: Bayburt: Maden, between Masat-Yanıkköprü, 1910 m, 17.07.2007 Hamzaoğlu 4893 and Aksoy (Bozok Univ. Herb.!); A8 Erzurum: W of Kandilli, 1520 m, 17.08.1966, J.C.Archibald (E, E00567098-photo!); B7 Erzincan: Erzincan to Kelkit, 1650 m, P.H.Davis 31885 and I.C.Hedge (E, E00567096-photo!); B7 Erzincan: Between Tercan-Aşkale, Yakacık village, 1570 m, 02.07.2013 Hamzaoğlu 6786 and Koç (Bozok Univ. Herb.!); B8 Erzurum: Between Erzurum-İspir, 40°09'N-041°01'E, 2010 m, 02.07.2013, Hamzaoğlu 6788 and Koç (Bozok Univ. Herb.!). – Eremogone pseudacantholimon Bornm., TURKEY - B7 Erzincan: between Erzincan-Refahiye, 39°55'N-039°08'E, 24.08.2012, Hamzaoğlu 6623 and Koç (Bozok Univ. Herb.!); B7 Erzincan: between Erzincan-Kelkit, 39°52'N-039°23'E, 2095 m, 13.07.2010, Koç 1277 and Hamzaoğlu (Bozok Univ. Herb.!); B7 Tunceli: between Tunceli-Pülümür, 39°31'N-039°52'E, 1850 m, 09.06.2011, Koç 1330 and Hamzaoğlu (Bozok Univ. Herb.!); B8 Erzurum: between Çat-Bingöl, Kirişli pass, 2320 m, 16.07.2007, Hamzaoğlu 4863 and Aksoy (Bozok Univ. Herb.!). – Eremogone polycnemifolia Boiss., IRAN – Shahkuh, Mazenderan, 10000 ft, 17.07.1940, W.Koelz (E, E00194277-photo!); Arak: Streamside and stagnant pools, 25.07.1963, N.Jardine (E, E00567090-photo!); Tehran: Elburz mts, W. of Firuzkuh, 7000 ft, 23.06.1960, P.Furse and P.Synge (E, E00567089-photo!); Mazandaran: Lar valley, by Lar river, 2500 m, 03.07.1974, P.Wendelbo and M.Assadi (E, E00567089-photo!). – Eremogone zargariana Boiss., IRAN – Montes Elburz: In saxosis summi montis Kuh Dashteh c. 30 km Tehran, 2400-2500 m, 28.06.1977, K.H.Rechinger (E, E00567093-photo!); Tehran: East of Rudehan, semi-desert country, 1520 m, 03.07.1966 J.C.Archibald (E, E00567092-photo!).


We wish to thank TÜBİTAK (Project number: KBAG-113Z260) for financial support and the Curators of the Herbaria E, GAZI and ANK, who allowed us to study their Eremogone specimens.


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