|Summary: In order to obtain the insight in the variability of natural populations of Ruscus hypoglossum L., legally protected species, the morphometric research was done on specimens from seven natural habitats (Japlenica, Skupica, Vrhovčak, Strahinščica, Gornji Dragonožac, Kalnik and Oriovac). Stem length, the total number of phylloclades and bracts, the length and width of the phylloclades and bracts, and the internodium length were measured. The ratio between length and width of phylloclades and bracts, respectively were calculated for insight in shape of phylloclades and bracts.|
It was determinate that the analysed morphological characteristics were very variable. The variability coefficient for populations in total varied from 21.35 % for ratio between length and width of bracts to 56.90 % for the internodium length. UPGMA analysis with Euclidean distance has shown that the populations Oriovac and Strahinščica were the most similar (DE = 1.75). The population that differed the most from the others was the population Japlenica which is connected to the other six populations on the high level (DE = 6.94). Plants from population Japlenica had the longest stems and the biggest phylloclades and bracts. Also, the plants from the population Japlenica had the highest number of phylloclades and bracts per stem. In the other six populations, the population Kalnik distinguished itself by the most oblong phylloclades. The similar results to cluster analysis were obtained by principal component analysis. The highest contribution to the first PC axis gave the length of phylloclades, bracts, stem and internodium. The ratio between the length and width of phylloclades, the ratio between length and width of bracts, and the number of phylloclades per stem had the most contribution to the second PC axis.
Key words: morphometry; PCA; Ruscus hypoglossum; UPGMA