Tuesday, October 24, 2017

[Botany • 2017] Curcuma cotuana • A New Species (Zingiberaceae: Zingibereae) from Quảng Nam Province, central Vietnam

Curcuma cotuana  Luu, Škorničk. & H.Đ.Trần

in Lu'u, Trần, Nguyễn & Leong-Škorničková, 2017 

 A new ginger speciesCurcuma cotuana (subg. Ecomatae), from Tây Giang District, Quảng Nam Province, central Vietnam, is reported here. A detailed description, colour plates, and comparison with the morphologically closest allies are given, together with preliminary conservation assessments and notes on its uses by local people.

Figure 1. Curcuma cotuana sp. nov.
(A) habit, (B) inflorescence, (C) flower close-up, (D) rhizome (scale bar 3 cm), (E) stamen attached to floral tube in side, front and inclined view (scale bar 5 mm), (F) flower dissection with details of ligule in inset (from left: bract supporting two flowers, lateral staminodes, labellum, dorsal and lateral corolla lobes, epigynous glands, calyx, floral tube with ovary and stamen attached, bract) (scale bar = 2 cm).
Photos (A), (C), (D), (E), (F), (G) = Lưu Hồng Trường, (B) = Vũ Ngọc Long. 

Curcuma cotuana Luu, Škorničk. & H.Đ.Trần sp. nov. 

Etymology: We name this species after the local Cơ Tu ethnic minority, who use various parts of the plant in their traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Vernacular name and uses: The vernacular name of this species, Pơr’vih in the Cơ Tu language, conveys an idea of keeping the living environment of people in the village peaceful and protected against bad spirits. The main rhizome is stewed with chicken and eaten by women after birth, giving them strength to work soon afterwards. It also reduces menstrual cramp in women. Raw root tubers are mixed with honey to treat coughs in children. Young leaves are mixed with rock salt to treat toothache and gingivitis. Fresh leaves are also used for wrapping fresh fish to preserve it from spoilage. The local people also believe that the plant possesses magic qualities preventing people from getting lost in the forest.

Hồng Trường Lu'u, Hữu Đăng Trần, Trần Quốc Trung Nguyễn and Jana Leong-Škorničková. 2017. Curcuma cotuana sp. nov. (Zingiberaceae: Zingibereae) from central Vietnam. Nordic Journal of Botany. 35(5); 552–556. DOI: 10.1111/njb.01594

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