Lizard orchids (Himantoglossum) include several of Eurasia’s most spectacular and conservation-relevant species. Sramkó et al. provide the first comprehensive molecular phylogeny for these charismatic orchids by sampling all known taxa across the whole distribution area of the genus. By using sequences of two nuclear and four plastid DNA-regions, they reconstruct phylogenetic trees that collectively determined the order of branching of the early divergent taxa as H. comperianum > H. robertianum group > H. formosum > H. hircinum group. Molecular clock and ancestral area analyses indicate an origin of the group at approximately 9 million years ago in the Caucasus Mountains.
The first comprehensive molecular phylogeny for Lizard orchids (Himantoglossum), sampling all known taxa across the whole distribution area of the genus.