Tuesday, June 5, 2018

A new plant: Hemiboea suiyangensis

The relatively unknown genus Hemiboea contains about 23 species of exotic plants all native to China and neighboring countries. Hemiboea is in the Gesneriaceae family making it a cousin to African violets, Gloxinia, and Sinningia.

The new species is named after the type locality, Suiyang County, Guizhou, China.

For the experts: The limestone areas in south China are a major biodiversity hotspot for terrestrial biomes. Hemiboea, with 34 species and 5 varieties, mainly distributed in south China, is one of the characteristic plant groups in limestone areas. Hemiboea suiyangensis, a new species of Gesneriaceae from limestone areas in Guizhou, China, is described and illustrated. The new species is easily distinguished from other Hemiboea species by having an oblique-infundibular corolla with an abaxially gibbous swelling on the upper half of the tube and with a densely villose throat and lower lobes. Hemiboea suiyangensis is similar to H. omeiensis W. T. Wang in the shape of the leaf blade, but differs from the latter by the shape of the petiole, involucre, calyx and corolla and the colour of the corolla. The conservation status of this species is considered to be “Critically Endangered” (CR) according to IUCN Red List Criteria.

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