Some evidence for infrageneric classification in ziziphora L. (Lamiaceae:Mentheae)
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The genus Ziziphora L. (Lamiaceae) consists of annual herbs, except Ziziphora clinopodioides, and is represented by six taxa in the flora of Turkey: Z. clinopodioides, Z. capitata, Z. persica, Z. tenuior, Z. taurica subsp. taurica and Z. taurica subsp. cleonioides. They are strong aromatic herbs and important medicinal plants. This study has been conducted to determine the palynological and karyological features of these taxa. The pollen morphology and exine structure of Ziziphora species were investigated by light microscope and scanning electron microscope. Pollen grains were determined as hexacolpate, medium in size and a circular or elliptic amb. The shape of pollen grains varies from oblate to prolate spheroidal. Ornamentation types of pollen grains are bireticulate, microreticulate or perforate. Somatic chromosome number has been determined and counted as 2n=16, 18. Results indicate that the pollen characters and chromosome numbers of the genus are valuable for taxonomic applications and may be useful for infrageneric classification.