Edinburgh Journal of Botany


Systematics of the genus Cyclopia Vent. (Fabaceae, Podalyrieae)

A. L. Schutte*


Cyclopia is a papilionaceous genus endemic to the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces of South Africa. The 23 species recognized within the genus have rather subtle differences, but characters of the leaves, bracts and calyces, as well as the adaptations to survive recurrent fires, are useful to distinguish between the species. Variations in morphological, cytological and chemical characters are discussed. A phylogenetic analysis of 21 characters by means of cladistic methodology produced a cladogram with five distinct groups. These are described as sections in the taxonomic part of the paper. One new species, Cyclopia alopecuroides A.L. Schutte, is described. The nomenclature, synonymy and typification of the taxa are presented, as well as full descriptions, illustrations and distribution maps.


* Department of Botany, Rand Afrikaans University, P.O. Box 524, 2006 Auckland Park, Johannesburg, South Africa. Present address: Compton Herbarium, National Botanical Institute, Kirstenbosch, Private Bag X7, 7735 Claremont, South Africa.