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Data from: Phylogenetics and seed morphology of African Nymphoides (Menyanthaceae)


Tippery, Nicholas P.; Sokolik, John T. (2020), Data from: Phylogenetics and seed morphology of African Nymphoides (Menyanthaceae), Dryad, Dataset,


We evaluated the boundaries among Nymphoides (Menyanthaceae) species in Africa, a region where the genus has received relatively little study. We gathered morphological data from seeds using light and scanning electron microscopy, and we conducted molecular phylogenetic analyses using nuclear sequence data from the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. Morphological and molecular features distinguished six species and affirmed their respective geographic ranges. No African specimens were attributable to Nymphoides indica, even though this paleotropical species previously had been understood to grow in Africa. We establish the new combination Nymphoides senegalensis (G. Don) Tippery, based on an established African basionym, to accommodate the specimens formerly identified as N. indica. Phylogenetic analyses resolved two distinct clades containing African species. The majority of African species are closely related to neotropical species, with which they share similar petal ornamentation. The morphologically distinct N. ezannoi shares floral and phylogenetic similarity with species from North America and Asia. Results presented here support prior hypotheses that allopolyploid species in the Americas may have originated from one or more parental lineages in Africa. Seed morphological characters remain some of the most reliable features for identifying species, particularly for herbarium specimens lacking observable floral characters.


College of Letters and Sciences, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater