, Volume 70, Issue 1, pp 15–24 | Cite as

Phenetic and cladistic studies help clarify species assemblages in Passiflora section Dysosmia (Passifloraceae)

  • Harlan T. Svoboda
  • Harvey E. BallardJr


One of the most enigmatic and unusual groups in the passionflower genus, Passiflora section Dysosmia (Passifloraceae), stands out as a group that is notoriously taxonomically complicated. Phenetic and cladistic analyses of Dysosmia were carried out with representatives from all 21 species currently recognized in the section, in order to delineate morphological groups above the species level. The study was based mainly on vegetative morphological characters and included principal coordinates, non-metric multidimensional scaling, cluster, and cladistic analyses. Results from each analysis reveals that three major species assemblages exist within Dysosmia, corresponding largely to vegetative pubescence and fruit color. The results presented here set the stage for future systematic and phylogenetic studies in Passiflora sect. Dysosmia.


Cluster NMDS ordination passionflowers PCoA systematics 



This paper is part of the doctoral dissertation of the first author. The project was supported in part by an Ohio University Graduate Student Senate Original Works Grant awarded to HTS. We are grateful to the directors of the MO, NY, and US herbaria for kindly providing access to their collections and for loans of specimens, as well as three anonymous reviewers who helped improve this manuscript. We further extend our thanks to John MacDougal for creative insights and guidance throughout the project.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental and Plant BiologyOhio UniversityAthensUSA

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