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New Ardisia species found in Yunnan

New Ardisia species found in Yunnan
 Ardisia chimingiana. Credit: Tan Yunhong

Ardisia (coralberry or marlberry) is the largest genus of flowering plants in Myrsinoideae, Primulaceae, distributed mainly in tropical and subtropical Asia. Several revisions based on morphology have attempted to clarify the taxonomy and systematics of Ardisia. However, there are still many unresolved taxonomic and nomenclatural issues, and many characters have varying degrees of transitional expression.

Researchers from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently reported a new Ardisia , which was introduced from the wild and cultivated in Yunnan. After making morphological observations and measurements on live and , the researchers confirmed it new to science.

The was named as Ardisia chimingiana in honor of Prof. Hu Chiming who has made significant contributions to the taxonomy of Ardisia in China and Southeast Asia. It was published in Annales Botanici Fennici.

Ardisia chimingiana has glandular entire leaf margins, axillary umbellate racemose inflorescences, and distinctly dextrorse imbricate calyx lobes with rounded apex. This combination of characters suggests that it belongs to Ardisia subgenus Tinus. Of the Chinese species, A. solanacea, A. elliptica, and A. attenuata belong to this subgenus.

New Ardisia species found in Yunnan
 Ardisia chimingiana. Credit: Tan Yunhong

"Ardisia chimingiana has long been misidentified in China as A. solanacea and A. polycephala because of similarities in leaf blades and inflorescences. However, it differs from these two species by having fewer leaf veins, inflorescences with fewer flowers, a shorter peduncle, glabrous calyx margin, and fruits that do not turn black," said Tan Yunhong of XTBG.

Ardisia chimingiana is known only from the type locality in Yunnan. It grows at low altitudes of about 580 meters above sea level on the edge of dense evergreen tropical forests and along riverbanks.

More information: Dong-Li Quan et al, Ardisia chimingiana (Primulaceae), a New Species from Yunnan, China, Annales Botanici Fennici (2024). DOI: 10.5735/085.061.0102

Citation: New Ardisia species found in Yunnan (2024, January 24) retrieved 19 April 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2024-01-ardisia-species-yunnan.html
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