Research Article
Research Article
Tulipa cinnabarina subsp. toprakii (Liliaceae), a new subspecies from southwestern Anatolia
expand article infoİsmail Eker, Hasan Yıldırım§, Yusuf Altıoğlu§
‡ Abant İzzet Baysal University, Bolu, Turkey
§ Ege University, İzmir, Turkey
Open Access


A new subpecies, Tulipa cinnabarina subsp. toprakiisubsp. nov. (Liliaceae) from Turkey is described. Diagnostic characters, descriptions, detailed illustrations, geographical distribution, conservation status and ecological observations on the new taxon are provided. It is also compared with the closely related Tulipa cinnabarina subsp. cinnabarina.


New taxon, taxonomy, Tulipa , Turkey


In Turkey, Eker et al. (2014) revised the genus Tulipa. According to detailed morphologic, geographic and cytotaxonomic studies of the taxa, the genus Tulipa was divided into two subgenera and they represented 17 species, two subspecies and two varieties (in total 19 taxa).

Ayhan Toprak, who is a biologist and “expert of plant conservation areas”, collected an interesting specimen of Tulipa from near Milas district in Muğla province. He sent some interesting pictures of this specimen to us for identification in 2015. In April 2016, we gathered flowering material from the natural population of this plant. As a result of our detailed morphological studies, it was concluded that the collected Tulipa specimens differ from all of the other Tulipa species by their morphological characters except of T. cinnabarina. Although it is close to T. cinnabarina, it is morphologically separated as subspecific rank from T. cinnabarina.

Materials and methods

The specimens of the new taxon were collected from their natural habitats in Turkey, and dried according to standard herbarium protocols. Voucher specimens are deposited in the herbaria; EGE and AIBU. Then, we tried to identify the specimens using the keys in the taxonomic revision of Eker et al. (2014) and the floras of neighbouring regions such as Iran (Rechinger 1990), Iraq (Wendelbo 1985), Syria, Palestine (Post and Dinsmore 1933), central Asia, Caucasus (Vvedensky 1935), and Europe (Grey-Wilson and Matthews 1980). In addition, the specimens were compared with similar specimens at international and national herbaria: AIBU, AEF, ANK, BM, ISTE, ISTF, GAZI, E, EGE, FUH, HUB, K, KNYA, NGBB and VANF. All quantitative as well as most of the qualitative characters excluding the colour features were examined in dried specimens. Measurements were made using a precise ruler under a stereo-microscope.

Taxonomic treatment

Tulipa cinnabarina K.Perss. subsp. toprakii Yıldırım & Eker, subsp. nov.

Figs 1, 2


Tulipa cinnabarina subsp. toprakii differs from similar T. cinnabarina subsp. cinnabarina by its smaller anthers, narrower outer perianth segments, outer segments with mostly blackish base or buff colored on all of outer surfaces, and smaller capsul sizes, weakly stoloniferous structure, and 2–4 leaves.


Turkey. Muğla: Milas, on the road of Milas to Akgedik Dam, near Yusufça Village, open slopes and in olive orchard, 457 m, 37°20'7"N; 27°52'6"E, 02 April 2016, H.Yıldırım 3750 & Y. Altıoğlu (holotype EGE!, isotypes AIBU!, NGBB!).


Plant 18.0–39.0 cm. Stem glabrous, stem width 1–2.5 mm, subterranean stem length 7.0–14.0 cm, aerial stem length 7.0–20.0 cm. Weakly stoloniferous or not. Bulb ovoid, 1.5–2.2 × 1.8–2.4 cm. Bulb neck 2.5–7.0 cm. Tunics coriaceous, dark brown, innermost tunics with a ring of short hairs around basal plate and, adpressed, pilose, bristly with longer hairs at neck, middle part glabrous. Leaves 2–4, falcate to erect-patent, lanceolate, canaliculate, glaucous, alternate or ± crowded, leaf margin membranous, glabrous or ciliate, and entire; lowest leaf 13.0–21.0 × 0.7–1.3 cm, subacute; second lowest leaf 10.0–17.0 × 0.4–0.9 cm, acute to subacute. Flower solitary, infundibular, bright dark red to orange red inside and paler red to orange red outside with mostly blackish base or buff colored on all of outer surfaces, mostly no blotch inside, rarely with a very short yellow blotch; outer tepals elliptic, narrowed at base, suacute to acute, glabrous and pubescent only at tip, 27–41 × 6–8 mm; inner tepals elliptic-obovate, narrowed at base, obtuse or obtuse-apiculate, pubescent at tip and distinctly pubescent at base, 29–44 × 10–16 mm. If it is present, outer and inner blotchs 6–10 mm in length; blotch 1/5–1/6 length of segments. Filaments blurred shades of red, orange, yellow or brown, lanceolate and pubescent at base; outer filaments 7.0–11.5 mm, inner ones 8.0–12.5 mm. Anthers 2.5–6.0 × 1.0–1.5 mm when dry, oblong, bluish-black when fresh, apiculate or not. Pollen yellow or orange. Ovary oblong, fusiform or subfusiform, pale green, yellowish-green or reddish-green when fresh, glabrous, 9.0–11.0 × 3.0–5.0 mm. Style short or obscure, 0.5–1.5 × 1.0–2 mm. Stigma pubescent, whitish-yellow or yellow when fresh, 0.5–0.6 × 1.0–1.5 mm. Capsule 1.5–2.0 × 1.0–1.3 cm, elliptic-obovoid to obovoid, glabrous; neck 0.5–1.0 mm, rib 14.0–16.0 mm, beak 2.0–4.0, apicula 0.5–1.0 mm; tepal scar 0.5–1.0 mm. Seeds numerous, flattened with rugose surface, triangular with two rounded angles to orbicular, light brown, 4.0–5.0 × 3.0–4.0 mm, winged.

Figure 1. 

Habitat of T. cinnabarina subsp. toprakii in the wild (A–B).

Figure 2. 

Habit of T. cinnabarina subsp. toprakii (A) and T. cinnabarina subsp. cinnabarina (B), T. cinnabarina subsp. toprakii (C from Yıldırım 3750 & Altıoğlu), T. cinnabarina subsp. cinnabarina (D from Eker 2030 & 2186), The flower from the exterior (l), The flower from the interior (2), The matured fruit (3).


This new subspecies is named in honour of Ayhan Toprak, who first collected the new species. The Turkish name of this species is given as “Milas Lâlesi”, according to the guidelines of Menemen et al. (2013).

Suggested conservational status

The occupancy area (AOO) of Tulipa cinnabarina subsp. toprakii was calculated as 0.012 km2 in which about 600−750 individuals were estimated to occur. The individual of new subspecies found in Olea europaea L. orchard. On the other hand, overgrazing by sheep and goat herds and development of new road for mines were observed to be producing negative effects on the surroundings of the known populations, which are seriously threatened habitats of it. These strong anthropic pressures on this new subspecies are responsible for rapid habitat destruction, and they could cause a dramatic decrease of the number of reproductive individuals in the near future. Therefore, in accordance with the criteria of the IUCN (2012), Tulipa cinnabarina subsp. toprakii is here assessed as “Critically Endangered” (CR) B2ab(i,ii,iii), on account of its restricted distribution in Turkey with an inferred severe decline of the extent of occurrence, the occupancy area and quality of the habitat.

Distribution and ecology

Tulipa cinnabarina subsp. toprakii is endemic to west Anatolia (Fig. 3). It is an element belonging to the Mediterranean floristic region. It grows on calcareous soils at opening slopes and clearings in Olea europaea orchard. The associated species include: Allium neopolitanum Cyr., Anthemis cretica L. subsp. leucanthemodies (Boiss) Griersan., Anthemis macrotis (Rech.f) Oberpr & Voght, Cistus creticus L., Fritillaria minuta Boiss., Melilotus indica (L.) All., Olea europaea, Ophrys iricolor Desf., Pinus brutia Ten. Ranunculus muricatus L., Ranunculus repens L.

Figure 3. 

Distribution map of subspecies of T. cinnabarina: triangle symbol is natural range of T. cinnabarina subsp. cinnabarina while star symbol is natural range of T. cinnabarina subsp. toprakii in Turkey.


We are grateful to the curators of the following herbaria for allowing us access to their Tulipa material for study: AIBU, AEF, ANK, BM, ISTE, ISTF, GAZI, E, EGE, FUH, HUB, K, KNYA, NGBB and VANF. The authors are indebted to The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), under Project number: 133Z072, Research Fund of Ege University (project number: 2014BİL004), for the financial support.


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