Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A new herb: Spiradiclis longanensis

The genus Spiradiclis belongs to the Coffee family and comprises approximately 45 species. Its members are perennial herbs or shrubs that  usually grow at the entrances of caves or mountain cliffs in the limestone area of Southern China and Northern Vietnam.

Not that any of these have much in common with what we know as Coffee. The family Rubiaceae commonly known as the coffee, madder, or bedstraw family consists of about 13 000 species. 

For the experts: A new species of Spiradiclis (Rubiaceae) was found during our field trip to Guangxi, China, and is described here as Spiradiclis longanensis R. J. Wang. This species is readily distinguishable from other prostrate and decumbent species of the genus described previously by dense pubescence all over the plant, 5–20 small flowers per cymose, linear calyx lobes, and tubular corolla. The conservation status of VU was preliminarily assessed according to IUCN categories and criteria.

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