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The generic name Rothmaleria commemorates the German botanist Werner Rothmaler (b. 20.8.1908 in Sangerhausen, d. 13.4.1962 in Greifswald), a student of the flora of Iberian Peninsula, who made important collection from this region in the 1930s (Lack & al. 1980: 41).A


Rothmaleria exhibits two features that are otherwise rather rare in Cichorieae: a pappus of usually 5 scales and a receptacle with persistent, in fruit moreover indurate paleae. The genus is monospecific with a localised distribution in the mountains of Andalusia. In particular because they share both the scaly pappus and the paleate receptacle, Rothmaleria was associated by Schultz Bipontinus (1841) with Catananche and Hymenonema, a treatment followed by subsequent authors including the more recent systematics of the tribe by Stebbins (1953), Jeffrey (1966), Bremer (1994) and Lack (2006).

Stebbins (1953) placed Rothmaleria, Catananche and Hymenonema together with Cichorium, Arnoseris, Tolpis and other genera, in a very widely defined subtribe Cichoriinae. Jeffrey (1966) placed the three genera as Catananche subgroup in his Tolpis group. Blackmore (1981) associated Rothmaleria, Catananche and Hymenonema with Scolymus for palynological reasons. Lack & al. (1980), similar to Stebbins (1953), considered a possible relationship of Rothmaleria with Cichorium, because of the similar achenes, the non-aristate paleaceous pappus and the long collecting hairs of the style. Most recently, the association of Rothmaleria with Cichorium, as well as with Tolpis (see Stebbins 1953, Jeffrey 1966), and its placement in subtribe Cichoriinae gained support through the molecular phylogenetic analyses of the Cichorieae by Gemeinholzer & al. (in Kilian & al. 2009). In contrast, the hitherto almost unanimously accepted association with Catananche and Hymenonema gained no support at all and the latter two genera instead were placed far away from Rothmaleria together with Scolymus (see Blackmore 1981) and Gundelia in subtribe Scolyminae.


Blackmore S. 1981: Palynology and intergeneric relationships in subtribe Hyoseridinae (Compositae: Lactuceae). – Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 82: 1-13.

Bremer K. 1994: Asteraceae: cladistics & Classification. – Portland: Timber.

Jeffrey C. 1966: Notes in Compositae I. The Cichorieae in East Tropical Africa. – Kew Bull. 18: 427-486.

Kilian N., Gemeinholzer B. & Lack H. W. 2009: Tribe Cichorieae. – In: Funk V. A., Susanna A., Stuessy T. & Bayer R. (ed.), Systematics, evolution, and biogeography of the Compositae. – Vienna: IAPT.

Lack H. W. 2006 ["2007"]: Cichorieae. Pp. 180-199 in: Kadereit J.W. & Jeffrey C. (ed.), The families and genera of vascular plants 8. – Berlin: Springer.

Lack H. W., Ern H. & Straka H. 1980: Die Gattung Rothmaleria Font Quer (Asteraceae, Lactuceae). – Willdenowia 10: 37-49.

Schultz-Bipontinus C. H. 1841: Sceleton systematis articulati Cichoriacearum. – Jahrb. Pract. Pharm. Verwandte Fächer 4: 153-156.

Stebbins G. L. 1953: A new classification of the tribe Cichorieae, family Compositae. – Madroño 12: 65-81.

Chromosome numbers

Diploid, x = 9.A


Europe: Spainnative


A. Lack H. W., Ern H. & Straka H., Die Gattung Rothmaleria Font Quer (Asteraceae, Lactuceae) in Willdenowia 10: 37-49. 1980