800304 Veronica alpina L.
- L., Sp. Pl.: 11 (1753). Lectotype (LINN): Europe. Herb. Linn. 26.26 (Fischer 1997: 115).
Geography: Amphi-Atlantic (E) - European (N/C).
Notes: Elven and Solstad: We accept two races within Veronica alpina. The differences between subsp. pumila and subsp. alpina are small but constant in stem usually flexuous vs. straight, upper internodes densely hairy with long (multicellular) hairs vs. sparsely hairy with minute hairs, bracts hairy both in margin and on midvein vs. only ciliate, and in fruits hairy vs. glabrous. There are additional differences in leaf shape and the plants just look different, especially when growing together and they quite often do, at least in Scandinavia and Iceland. The situation was well described and the taxa illustrated by Devold and Scholander (1933). In Fennoscandia, subsp. pumila is disjunct in the south-central and northern mountains, restricted to open base-rich substrates at high elevations, whereas subsp. alpina is ubiquitous and indifferent to soil reaction and often grows in closed vegetation at all elevations down to the upper forest belts. The range difference might be due to the high-elevation preference of subsp. pumila. In Iceland, subsp. pumila is fairly common in the central highlands and the northern mountains, its range fully enclosed within that of subsp. alpina. Intermediates have not been documented or suggested, not even in mixed stands (and many collections include both plants). This suggests either some reproductive barrier, predominant inbreeding, or that the several differences are due to very few genes. The two subspecies are not major allopatric races as at least the northern parts of the range of subsp. pumila is fully enclosed in that of subsp. alpina. The acceptance by many earlier authors of V. pumila at rank of species can be justified.