Wednesday, July 19, 2017

[Botany • 2017] Thismia sahyadrica • The First Record of the Mycoheterotrophic Genus, Thismia (Thismiaceae), to the Flora of India with A New Species Revealing the Phytogeographical Significance of Western Ghats


Thismia sahyadrica  Sujanapal, Robi & Dantas


 Abstract 
Thismia, a genus of mycoheterotrophic plants, is reported for the first time from mainland India, from Neryamangalam forests in Idukki district of Kerala, along with a new species, T. sahyadricaThismia sahyadrica, described and illustrated here, is unique within Thismia in having a mitre with a single opening; five perianth lobes are fused into a mitre-like structure, while the sixth one is free, forming a lateral single opening of the flower. Due to its unique morphological characteristics, the taxonomic placement of the new species remains obscure, although some root and flower characters suggest an affinity with species from the sections GlaziocharisSarcosiphonGeomitra, and Scaphiophora. Ecological specificity and phytogeographical peculiarities of the new species are also discussed.

Keywords: Kerala; Thismia; Western Ghats; mycoheterotrophy


Fig. 2 Thismia sahyadrica Sujanapal, Robi & Dantas.
 a. Habitat; b– c. habit; d. young flowers; e. plants with flowers; f. flowers enlarged with pedicel and bract.
 — Photos by A.J. Robi. 


  

Thismia sahyadrica Sujanapal, Robi & Dantas, sp. nov. 

 Thismia sahyadrica differs from all other species of Thismia in having a mitre with a single opening; it is further characterized by a brownish hypanthium, greenish yellow perianth lobes, a yellow ovary, and two fused outer perianth lobes and spreading third one. 
— Type:
A.J. Robi & K.J. Dantas 28097 (holotype KFRI; isotypes CALI, K, L, MH), India, Kerala, Idukki dist., Neryamangalam, ± 500 m, 14 July 2014.

 Etymology. The specific epithet ‘sahyadrica’ refers to the Sahyadri HillsWestern Ghats, where the type locality of the species is located.


 P. Sujanapal, A.J. Robi, K.J. Dantas, M. Sumod and V.S.F.T. Merckx. 2017. Thismia (Thismiaceae): The First Record of the Mycoheterotrophic Genus to the Flora of India with A New Species Revealing the Phytogeographical Significance of Western Ghats.
 Blumea - Biodiversity, Evolution and Biogeography of Plants. 62;  97–102.  DOI:  10.3767/blumea.2017.62.2.04


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