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Fabulous PhytoKeys New Species

Last updated about 6 years ago

This is a collection of interesting plant species described in PhytoKeys.

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    Banksia spinulosa var. neoanglica

    Research by Margaret Stimpson, a postgraduate student of botany at the University of New England, has given the New England region of Australia its very own species of Banksia. More information can be found here.

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    Empodisma robustum

    The horizontal root systems of wirerush branch profusely forming finely divided rootlets with long-lived root hairs. In wirerush bogs, the underlying peat is formed largely from the remains of the root systems, stems bases and trapped plant litter. The peat mass absorbs water like a sponge. More information can be found here.

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    Mimulus peregrinus

    A new species of monkey flower, created by the union of two foreign plant species, has been discovered on the bank of a stream in Scotland. Genetic changes in this attractive yellow-flowered hybrid have allowed it to overcome infertility and made it a rare example of a brand new species that has originated in the wild in the last 150 years. More information can be found here.

  • Brunfelsia plowmaniana

    Description of Brunfelsia plowmaniana N. Filipowicz & M. Nee
    Brunfelsia plowmaniana[1] is a species of flowerin...

    In an article in the open access journal PhytoKeys, botanists Natalia Filipowicz (Medical University of Gdańsk), Michael Nee (New York Botanical Garden), and Susanne Renner (University of Munich), now provide the first English-language diagnosis of a new species that relies exclusively on DNA data. More information can be found here.

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    Frullania knightbridgei

    The newly described species is from a group of plants commonly referred to as liverworts. This group of generally small-sized plants forms an incredibly conspicuous and significant component in New Zealand ecosystems. Based on our present knowledge, New Zealand may have almost 10% of the world's species of liverworts which are related to those that first colonized land millions of years ago. Liverworts are being increasingly recognized as important environmental indicators and as potential indicators of global warming. The new species was first discovered in Rakiura/Stewart Island, an area of high rainfall, which is particularly significant as this group of plants, together with mosses, are able to soak up water like a sponge and critical in preventing deleterious effects of high rainfall. This is the first electronically-only described liverwort species in the world. More information can be found here.

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    Amomum nilgiricum

    This new wild ginger shows some similarities with A. masticatorium, although the two are clearly distinct. The most notable features of the plant are the presence of long ligules that reach up to 9 cm long and small flowers with a long corolla tube. Almost all parts of the plant are hairy. I was discovered in the evergreen forest of Western Silent Valley National Park in South India. It is a high altitude species (found above 1,200 m), and attempts to conserve it outside its natural locality were unsuccessful. The conservation status evaluation revealed that it falls under the critically endangered species according to the International Union of Conservation of Nature and conservation measures are to be carried out very urgently to recover the plant from extinction. More information can be found here.

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    Solanum baretiae

    Solanum baretiae is a vine endemic to the Amotape-Huancabamba zone of southern Ecuador and northern Peru and grows in the understory of montane forests and disturbed roadside and pasture vegetation. Its flower petals have been seen in shades of violet, yellow, or white. The species is named after the French botanist Mrs. Jeanne Baret, who disguised herself as a man to work as assistant to renowned botanist Philibert Commerson on the first French circumnavigation of the globe in 1766. Unfortunately, Commerson died before he could publish many designations proposed in his notes, and his intention to name species after his assistant remained unfulfilled. Jeanne Baret has therefore been left without anything in the natural world to commemorate her name. The leaves of S. baretiae are highly variable in shape, as are the leaves of the species that Commerson originally intended to name after Baret. The new species is a tribute to a botanist uniting seemingly contradictory qualities: a woman dressed as a man, a female botanist in a male-dominated field, and a working class woman who travelled farther than most aristocrats of her time. More information can be found here.

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    Solanum umtuma

    The new andromonoecious species is related to the eggplant and belongs to genus Solanum subgenus Leptostemonum. It is found in the eastern part of South Africa, and is sympatric with its close relative Solanum linnaeanum Hepper & P.M-L.Jaeger. It is morphologically very similar to Solanum cerasiferum Dunal of northern tropical Africa. The species is among the first in botany that are published in an electronic-only format, i.e. publishers do not need to produce printed versions of their journals to verify that a new name has been effectively published. More information can be found here.