Van Melle (1947) proposed that juniper cultivars of the Pfitzer Group were of hybrid origin and ascribed the name Juniperus ×media Melle. This purported hybrid of J. chinensis L. × J. sabina L. has not been accepted unanimously by the horticultural community. Random amplified polymorphic DNAs (RAPDs) were used to analyze and establish new evidence for the hybrid origin of the Pfitzer Group, using both parents and seven cultivars of the Pfitzer Group. Principal coordinate analysis (PCO) of 122 RAPD bands demonstrated that samples of J. chinensis cluster tightly together, as do the J. sabina samples. Cultivars of the Pfitzer Group lacked affinity with either species, but stood apart as a distinct cluster. The data support Van Melle's conclusion that the Pfitzer Group is separate from J. chinensis and indicate hybrid origin from parents J. chinensis and J. sabina. We recognize Juniperus ×pfitzeriana (Späth) Schmidt [Pfitzer Group] as the correct name for cultivars of Pfitzer junipers. Juniperus ×media, proposed by Van Melle, was rendered illegitimate because of the earlier name J. media V.D. Dmitriev.
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