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Aspidistra laotica, A. multiflora, A. oviflora and A. semiaperta spp. nov. (Asparagaceae, Convallariaceae s.s.) from eastern Indochina

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Aspidistra laotica, A. multiflora, A. oviflora and A. semiaperta discovered recently are described and illustrated as species new to science. All novelties are local endemics of northern Vietnam and central Laos

The knowledge of the southeast-Asian genus Aspidistra Ker-Gawl. has increased dramatically during the past three decades. For a long time these plants were more or less over­looked. Meanwhile it became clear that its diversity of flower shapes, sizes and colours places this genus among the most spectacular among Monocotyledons (Tillich 2014). The flower size ranges from 4 mm in diameter (A. minutiflora Stapf, see Stapf 1903) to 8—9 cm (A. nikolaii Aver. & Tillich, see Tillich and Averyanov 2008), the perigone opening may be reduced to a pore of 1.5 mm (e.g. A. locii Arnautov & Bogner, see Bogner and Arnautov 2004), the number of perigone lobes varies between 3 (A. paucitepala Vislobokov et al. 2014) and 14 (A. longiloba G. Z. Li 1988), the perigone colour shows all shades between white, yellow, blue, purple, to almost black. Most species have a creeping rhizome, but some possess an erect or ascending stem up 1 m tall (e.g. A. erecta Y. Liu & C.-I Peng, see Liu et al. 2011). While the latest comprehensive key (Tillich 2008) considered 93 spe­cies, the total number is now beyond 130. Field trips of the first author in northern Vietnam and central Laos revealed still more new species, which are described and illustrated below.

Aspidistra laotica Aver. et Tillich sp. nov. (Fig. 1-2)

The species name refers to the country where this new species was found.

 

Figure 1. Aspidistra laotica sp. nov.
(a) flowering plant, (b) base of flowering plant, (c) peduncle and flower, side view, (d) flower, half-side view from below, (e) flower, frontal view, (f) sagittal section of flower, (g) sagittal section of flower with removed pistil, (h) transversal sec­tion of perigone with removed pistil, view from above, (i) pistil and its sagittal section. All drawn from the type, L. Averyanov, LA-VN 554a by L. Averyanov and T. Maisak.

Distribution

Central Laos (Vientiane province, Vang Vieng district). Endemic.

The species is considered to be of ‘Least Concern’ (LC) (IUCN 2012).

 

Figure 2. Aspidistra laotica sp. nov.
Vegetative and floral details of the type specimen, L. Averyanov, LA-VN 554a. Photos by L. Averyanov.

Aspidistra multiflora Aver. et Tillich sp. nov. (Fig. 3-4)

The species name refers to the dense cluster of numerous flowers at the apex of individual shoots.

Figure 3. Aspidistra multiflora sp. nov.
(a) base of flowering plant, (b) leaf, (c) flower bud, (d) peduncles and flowers, side view, (e) flower, frontal view, (f) flower, sagittal section with intact pistil, (g) flower, sagittal section, (h) flower, sagittal section, pistil removed, (i) stigma, view from below, (j) pistil, side view and its sagittal section, (k) fruit, side view. All drawn from the type, L. Averyanov et al. CPC 6841 by L. Averyanov and T. Maisak.

Figure 4. Aspidistra multiflora sp. nov.
Digital epitype, L. Averyanov et al. CPC 6841. Photos, correction and design by L. Averyanov.

Distribution

Northern Vietnam (Thanh Hoa province, Thuong Xuan district). Endemic.

The species is considered to be of ‘Least Concern’ (LC) (IUCN 2012).

Aspidistra oviflora Aver. et Tillich sp. nov. (Fig. 5-6)

The species name refers to the egg-like shape of the flower.

Figure 5. Aspidistra oviflora sp. nov.
(a) flowering plant, (b) base of flowering plant, (c) peduncle and flower, side view, (d) flower, view from below, (e) floral bract, (f) flower, side view, (g) flower, view from above, (h) flower, sagittal section with intact pistil, (i) flower, sagittal sec¬tion, pistil removed, (j) sagittal section of pistil, (k) stigma, views from above and from below. All drawn from the type, L. Averyanov et al.,
CPC 5425 by L. Averyanov and T. Maisak.


Figure 6. Aspidistra oviflora sp. nov.
Vegetative and floral details of the type specimen L. Averyanov et al. CPC 5425. Photos, correction and design by L. Averyanov.

Distribution

Northern Vietnam (Cao Bang province, Nguyen Binh dis­trict). Endemic.

The species is considered to be of ‘Least Concern’ (LC) (IUCN 2012).

Similar species

Aspidistra semiaperta Aver. et Tillich sp. nov. (Fig. 7-8)

The species name refers to its hardly opening flowers.

Figure 7. Aspidistra semiaperta sp. nov.
(a) flowering plant, (b) base of flowering plant, (c) peduncle and flower, side view, (d) flower, view from below, (e) flower, apical view, (f) flower, sagittal section with intact and removed pistil, (g) transversal section of perigone, view from below, (h) transversal section of perigone, pistil removed, view from above, (i) pistil, side view, (j) sagittal sections through pistil along and between stigma lobes, (k) stigma, style removed, views from above and from below. All drawn from the type L. Averyanov and P. Efimov CPC 1566b/sp.9 by L. Averyanov and T. Maisak.

Figure 8. Aspidistra semiaperta sp. nov.
Digital epitype, L. Averyanov et al., CPC 1566b/sp.9. Photos, correction and design by L. Averyanov.

Distribution

Northern Vietnam (Hoa Binh province, Lac Son district). Endemic.

The species is considered to be of ‘Least Concern’ (LC) (IUCN 2012).

References

Averyanov, L. V. and Tillich, H.-J. 2012. New taxa of Aspidistra (Asparagaceae) from Central Vietnam. — Turczaninowia 15: 5-10.

Averyanov, L. V. and Tillich, H.-J. 2014. Aspidistra albopurpurea, A. khangii, A. lubae and A. stellata ssp. nov. (Asparagaceae, Convallariaceae s.s.) from Indochina. — Nord. J. Bot. in press.

Bogner, J. and Arnautov, N. N. 2004. Aspidistra locii (Convallar- iaceae), an unusual new species from Vietnam. — Willdenowia 34: 203—208.

Hu, R.-C. et al. 2014. Aspidistra stenophylla (Asparagaceae), a new species from Guangxi, China. — Phytotaxa 170: 53—56.

Li, G.-Z. 1988. A new species of Aspidistra from Guangxi. — Acta Phytotax. Sin. 26: 156—157.

Liu, Y. et al. 2011. Aspidistra erecta (Asparagaceae), a new species from limestone areas in Guangxi, China. — Bot. Stud. 52: 367—373.

Stapf, O. 1903. Aspidistra. — J. Linn. Soc. Bot. 36: 113—114.

Tillich, H.-J. 2008. An updated and improved determination key for Aspidistra Ker-Gawl. (Ruscaceae, Monocotyledons). — Feddes Repert. 119: 449—462.

Tillich, H.-J. 2014. The genus Aspidistra Ker-Gawl. (Asparagaceae) in Vietnam. — Taiwania 59: 1 — 8.

Tillich, H.-J. and Averyanov, L. V. 2008. Two new species and one new subspecies of Aspidistra Ker-Gawl. (Ruscaceae) from Vietnam. — Feddes Repert. 119: 37—41.

Tillich, H.-J. et al. 2007. Six new species of Aspidistra (Ruscaceae) from Northern Vietnam. — Blumea 52: 335—344.

Vislobokov, N. A. et al. 2014. Aspidistrapaucitepala (Asparagaceae), a new species with occurrence of the lowest tepal number in flowers of Asparagales. — Phytotaxa 161: 270—282.

Leonid V Averyanov
Komarov Botanical Inst. of the Russian Academy of Science, Prof. Popov str., 2, RU-197376 St Petersburg, Russia.

H.-J. Tillich
Ludwig-Maximilians-Univ., Inst. of Systematic Botany, Menzingerstr. 67, DE-80638 Munich, Germany.

(Nordic Journal of Botany 000: 001—011, 2014)

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