Neslia paniculata

Neslia paniculata (L.) Desv. (syn.: Vogelia paniculata (L.) Hornem.) (Medit., SE Eur., SW As., N Afr.) – A rare and much decreasing, ephemeral alien. First recorded in 1866 (Verloove 2006). Early records were usually confined to agricultural fields (oat, flax, etc.) although Neslia paniculata was also sometimes seen as wool alien in the Vesdre valley. Most recent records are obviously related with grain importation. In the past decades it was only seen very sporadically, for the last time near a grain elevator in Moen in 2015.
Two subspecies are sometimes distinguished, subsp. paniculata and subsp. thracica (Velen.) Bornm. (syn.: N. apiculata Fisch., C.A. Mey. et Avé-Lall.) The sole difference between them is whether the fruit apex is truncate or apiculate respectively (Lambinon & al. 2004). Only the former still occurs in Belgium while subsp. thracica was last seen in the 1920’s (Aarschot, Steenbrugge). In areas where both taxa grow sympatrically, intermediate forms occur (Ball 1961). Therefore, infraspecific taxa are rarely recognized by recent authors (see, however, Tison & de Foucault 2014).

Selected literature:

Ball P.W. (1961) The taxonomic status of Neslia paniculata (L.) Desv. and N. apiculata Fisch., Mey. & Avé-Lall. Feddes Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 64: 11-13.
Lambinon J., Delvosalle L., Duvigneaud J. (avec coll. Geerinck D., Lebeau J., Schumacker R. & Vannerom H.) (2004) Nouvelle Flore de la Belgique, du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, du Nord de la France et des Régions voisines (Ptéridophytes et Spermatophytes). Cinquième édition. Jardin botanique national de Belgique, Meise: CXXX + 1167 p.
Tison J.-M. & de Foucault B. (coord.) 2014) Flora Gallica. Flore de France. Editions Biotope, Mèze : xx + 1196 p.
Verloove F. (2006) Catalogue of neophytes in Belgium (1800-2005). Scripta Botanica Belgica 39: 89 p. [available online at:]

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith