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The genus Hystrix was basically circumscribed as consisting of species that lacked glumes or had only vestigial glumes. It is always a risky business to base taxon delimitation on the absence of a character for absence can come about through many different paths. Hystrixappears to illustrate this risk. Its type species is Hystrix patula L., a North American species that has the genomic constitution StH. According to most people working in the Triticeae, such species belong in Elymus. If such a treatment is accepted, an appropriate generic name for the remaining species is need - unless they are placed in other genera.

The other North American species included in Hystrix, H. californica, has been shown to have a genomic constitution similar to that of species of Leymus. The same seems to be true of some other species. Some taxonomists, however, continue to recognize Hystrix as a genus. The following table is taken from Baden et al. (1997) treatment of the genus. It will serve as a useful page for keeping track of the species for which genomic data are, or are not, available.

M.E. Barkworth
Hystrix californica (Bol.) Kuntze   56 (Myers 1947; Jensen & Wang 1997) NsX Jensen & Wang 1997
Hystrix coreana (Honda) Ohwi   28 (Tsvelev 1983; Baden et al. 1997) NsX Ns present (Dubcovsky et al. 1997; Jensen & Wang 1998); 2/2 strong Ns bands; 1/3 Y bands, weak; 2 out of 3 weak St bands. (Svitashev et al. 1998)
Hystrix duthiei (Stapf) Bor        
Hystrix duthiei (Stapf) Bor subsp. duthei   28 (Baden et al. 1997) NsY 2/2 strong Ns bands; 1/3 Y bands, weak; no St band (Svitashev et al. 1998)
Hystrix duthiei subsp. japonica (Hack.) Baden et al.        
Hystrix duthiei (Stapf) Bor subsp. longearistata (Hack.) Baden et al.   28 (Osada 1989)    
Hystrix komarovii (Roshev.) Ohwi   28 (Tsvelev 1983; Baden et al. 1997) NsY 2/2 strong Ns bands; 1/3 Y bands, weak (Svitashev et al. 1998)

Hystrix patula L.


  28 (Dewey 1982; Love 1984) StH (Dewey 1983); 1/3 St bands, strong; 1/2 Ns bands, weak (Svitashev et al 1998)
Hystrix sibirica (Trautv.) Kuntze   28 (Tzvelev 1983)