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Anthoxanthum monticola ssp. monticola

Species:Anthoxanthum monticola (Bigelow) Veldkamp ssp. monticola
Common Name:alpine sweet grass
Habitat:Alpine meadows.
Associated Ecological Communities:**
Growth Habit:Graminoid
Plant Notes:**
Taxonomic Notes:We follow Schouten and Veldkamp (1985) who combine the genera Anthoxanthum and Hierochloe under Anthoxanthum because in a world wide analysis of the two genera they found many intermediates between the two genera and no tenable way of separating them. Some recent authors (Tucker 1996, Soreng et al. 2003, Allred and Barkworth 2007) follow this decision while others (Gleason and Cronquist 1991, Stace 1997) do not. Anthoxanthum monticola ssp. monticola was first described as Holcus monticola Bigelow in 1816 with the type from Mt. Washington, New Hampshire. Sørensen (1954) created a new name (Hierochloe orthantha) in 1954 with the type from Greenland. He indicates that his Hierochloe orthantha occurs in northeastern North America from Greenland south to the mountains of northern New England and New York including the White Mountains of New Hampshire. He does not mention Holcus monticola in his article. Löve and Solbrig (1964) published the name Hierochloe monticola (Bigelow) Á. Löve & D. Löve based on the basionym Holcus monticola with Sørensen's Hierochloe orthantha placed in synonymy. Hierochloe monticola (Bigelow) Á. Löve & D. Löve is an illegitimate name because it had already been used for another taxon. When Schouten and Veldkamp (1985) lumped Hierochloe with Anthoxanthum they used the combination Anthoxanthum monticola (Bigelow) Veldkamp for both of these taxa (Hierochloe orthantha and Holcus monticola) as well as the closely related Holcus alpinus. They used the orthographic variant A. monticolum but the specific epithet monticola is not an adjective and therefore should not change. The closely related taxon mentioned above, Holcus alpinus Sw. ex Willd., was originally described in 1806 with the type from Lapland. It was transferred to Hierochloe alpina (Sw. ex Willd.) Roem. & Schult. in 1817. As mentioned above, when it was transferred to Anthoxanthum by Schouten and Veldkamp (1985) it was lumped into A. monticola. Although the specific epithet alpinus from the earliest basionym (Holcus alpinus) should take priority over monticola, it was already taken in the genus Anthoxanthum and therefore could not be used. Some recent authors (Soreng et al. 2003, Allred and Barkworth 2007) consider the taxa based on the basionyms Holcus monticola and Hierochloe orthantha synonyms but separate at the infraspecific level the taxon based on the basionym Holcus alpinus. Tucker (1996) created the name Anthoxanthum monticola ssp. orthanthum (T.J. Sørensen) G. Tucker based on Hierochloe orthantha. Soreng published the new combination Anthoxanthum monticola ssp. alpinum (Sw. ex Willd.) Soreng based on Holcus alpinus (Soreng et al. 2003). Soreng also placed A. monticola ssp. orthanthum (and its basionym Hierochloe orthantha) into synonymy with A. monticola ssp. monticola. In New York we have only the one taxon, A. monticola ssp. monticola. If recognized in the genus Hierochloe with two infraspecies the proper combination is H. alpina ssp. orthantha (T.J. Sørensen) G. Weim.
Status:Native, Endangered-State, S2 (State Rank), CoC: 10

** Not applicable or data not available.


Order Poales
Genus Anthoxanthum
SpeciesAnthoxanthum monticola (Bigelow) Veldkamp ssp. monticola - alpine sweet grass


Citation Anthoxanthum monticola (Bigelow) Veldkamp ssp. monticola
Basionym: **
Type: **

** Not applicable or data not available.


CountyYearHerbariaNotesSubmission Info
Essex  NYFA_1990
Herbarium Name Used: Hierochloe alpina
Essex1927 BKL – BKL00078484
Herbarium Name Used: Hierochloe alpina
  2/8/2012 - BKL (Steve Glenn)
Essex  BKL – BKL00078483
Herbarium Name Used: Hierochloe alpina
  2/8/2012 - BKL (Steve Glenn)
Essex  BKL – BKL00078485
Herbarium Name Used: Hierochloe alpina
  2/8/2012 - BKL (Steve Glenn)
Essex1923 BH
Herbarium Name Used: Anthoxanthum monticola ssp. monticola
Werier (2017) voucher!; H.D. House 9496 3/6/2018 - David Werier


SynonymFull CitationBasionymTypeNotes
Anthoxanthum monticola ssp. orthanthum Anthoxanthum monticola (Bigelow) Veldkamp ssp. orthanthum (T.J. Sørensen) G.C. Tucker   
Hierochloe alpina Hierochloe alpina (Sw. ex Willd.) Roem. & Schult. misapplied   
Torresia alpina Torresia alpina (Sw. ex Willd.) Hitchc. misapplied