Stellaria ruderalis, a new species in the Stellaria media group from central Europe

Martin Lepší 1 2 , Petr Lepší 1 2 , Petr Koutecký 2 , Magdalena Lučanová 4 2 , Eva Koutecká 2 & Zdeněk Kaplan 5 4


  1. South Bohemian Museum in České Budějovice, Dukelská 1, CZ-370 51 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
  2. Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Branišovská 1760, CZ-370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
  3. The Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Botany, Zámek 1, CZ-252 43 Průhonice, Czech Republic
  4. Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Benátská 2, CZ-128 01 Prague, Czech Republic

Published: 6 December 2019 ,



A new allotetraploid species in the Stellaria media group, S. ruderalis M. Lepší, P. Lepší, Z. Kaplan & P. Koutecký, which is possibly of hybridogenous origin between S. pallida and S. neglecta, is distinguished and described based on a biosystematic revision of the S. media group. A suite of biosystematic techniques, including molecular (internal transcribed spacer sequencing), karyological (chromosome counting, flow cytometry), multivariate morphometrics and phenological observations, was used to assess the variation in this species group and determine the taxonomic status of the species. All the methods employed produced similar results and supported the delimitation of four species within the Stellaria media group in central Europe: Stellaria ruderalis (2n = 4x = 44), S. pallida (2n = 2x = 22), S. neglecta (2n = 2x = 22) and S. media s. str. (2n = 4x = 40). Stellaria ruderalis is a winter annual growing mainly in disturbed ruderal open or semi-open communities. This species’ broad ecological amplitude allows it to commonly co-occur with its three related species. It is probably a widespread species in southern and central Europe. It is currently spreading in the northern part of central Europe. Photographs of the type specimen and individuals of the new species in situ are presented. Scanning electron micrographs of seeds, microphotographs of seeds and mitotic chromosome spreads and a key for the identification of all four species are provided.


Caryophyllaceae, flow cytometry, internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequencing, karyology, multivariate morphometrics, Stellaria media agg., taxonomy

How to cite

Lepší M., Lepší P., Koutecký P., Lučanová M., Koutecká E. & Kaplan Z. (2019) Stellaria ruderalis, a new species in the Stellaria media group from central Europe. – Preslia 91: 391420,