Sunday, 9 October 2016

Diplycosia platyphylla: A new species of Wintergreen from Mindanao Island in the Philippines.

Wintergreens, Gaultherieae, are flowering shrubs related to Cranberries, Blueberries, Bilberries, Lingonberries, and Huckleberries. Members of the genus Diplycosia are found across Southeast Asia and New Guinea. The genus contains about 116 species, distinguished from other Wintergreens by their whole leaf margins fasciculate inflorescences, paired bracteoles borne at the apex of the pedicel, anthers with terminal tubules but with neither spurs nor disintegration tissue, and a capsule surrounded by an accrescent, fleshy calyx, or rarely a berry. 

In a paper published in the journal PhytoKeys on 18 August 2016, PeterFritsch of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas and Victor Amoroso of the Center for Biodiversity Research and Extension in Mindanao at Central Mindanao University describe a new species of Diplycosia from Mount Apo Natural Park in North Cotabato Province on Mindanao Isand.

The new species is named Diplycosia platyphylla, where 'platyphylla' means 'wide-leaved', the leaves being notably wider than those of all other known species in the genus. The plants are small erect shrubs, reaching about 60 cm in height. Flowers are pinkish, as are new leaves, the bark is grey. Fruit are fleshy, red and produced in April.

Diplycosia platyphylla. (A) Habitat. (B) Habit. (C) Branchlet with inflorescences. Fritsche & Amoroso (2016).

The species was seen growing only at a single location, growing on volcanic gravel on an old rockslide in the Tropical Lower Montane Rain Forest biome at an altitude of 1718 m. Due to the low number of specimens observed, Fritsch and Amoroso suggest the species should be classified as Critically Endangered under the terms of  the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.

Diplycosia platyphylla. Inflorescence. Fritsche & Amoroso (2016).

See also...

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/rafflesia-consueloae-dwarf-corpse.htmlRafflesia consueloae: A dwarf Corpse Flower form Luzon Island, The Philippines.             The genus Rafflesia contains 32 described species of parasitic plants from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. The maximum diversity in...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/balanophora-coralliformis-new-species.htmlBalanophora coralliformis: A new species of parasitic plant from Luzon Island in the Philippines.                                                                  Balanophoras, Balanophoraceae, are parasitic plants related to Sandlewoods and Mistletoes found in tropical and temperate Asia, tropical...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/three-new-species-of-pitcher-plants.htmlThree new species of Pitcher Plants from the Philippines.                                                 Pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes are known from Malaysia (where the genus reaches its maximum diversity) as well as Madagascar, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, northeast India, Indochina, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Australia and the Philippines. All... 
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