Sunday, May 27, 2018

[Botany • 2018] Scaphochlamys disticha (Zingiberaceae) • A New Species with Distichous Inflorescence from Peninsular Malaysia

Scaphochlamys disticha  Y.Y.Sam & H.Ibrahim

in Sam & Ibrahim, 2018


A new species of ginger, Scaphochlamys disticha Y.Y.Sam & H.Ibrahim, sp. nov., from Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia is described and illustrated; colour plates and conservation status are also provided. The species is characterised by its large inflorescence with distichously arranged floral bracts. 

Figure 1. A–G Scaphochlamys disticha: A Habit B Leafy shoots close together C Rhizome and stilt roots D Distichous leaf sheaths E Thin and broad margin of leaf sheath F Inflorescence G Flower
H–J Sklossii var. klossii H Habit I Inflorescence J Flower K Scalcicola.

Photographs A, C–D, H–K by YY Sam; B, E–G by K Imin.

Figure 2. Scaphochlamys disticha: A Habit B Inflorescence CFloral bract D First bracteole E Second bracteole F Flower G Dorsal corolla lobe H Lateral corolla lobe I Staminode J Ovary and calyx K Labellum L Stamen M Stigma N Fruit O Seed.
Drawn by MN Aidil from Sam et al. FRI 69123.

Scaphochlamys disticha Y.Y.Sam & H.Ibrahim, sp. nov.

Diagnosis: Similar to S. klossii Holttum var. klossii by its ascending rhizomes supported by fine stilt roots, leafy shoots with multiple leaves, successive shoots emerging within the leaf axil, long leaf sheath with broad and thin edges and elliptic leaf blades. The most distinct feature of S. disticha is its distichous floral bracts which are easily recognised from the spirally arranged bracts in S. klossii var. klossii. Other morphological characteristics which can be used to separate S. disticha are the spathulate bracts versus involute bracts observed in S. klossii var. klossii and smaller flowers (35–40 mm long vs. 42–50 mm long). The thick woolly hairs covering the sheath, petiole and inflorescence in S. klossii var. klossii are absent from S. disticha.


Distribution: Endemic in Peninsular Malaysia, Terengganu, Ulu Terengganu Tambahan Forest Reserve.

Etymology: The specific epithet is derived from the Latin ‘disticha’ referring to the distichously arranged floral bracts.

Habitat and ecology: The plants are found in lowland dipterocarp forest growing abundantly in the bright but shady conditions provided by the canopy openings. A search of the surrounding area found the population to be highly localised, restricted to the mid slope of the valley at Sekayu Waterfall. Scaphochlamys disticha flowers gregariously after the northeast monsoon ends in February–March.

 Yen Yen Sam and Halijah Ibrahim. 2018. Scaphochlamys disticha (Zingiberaceae), A New Species with Distichous Inflorescence from Peninsular Malaysia. PhytoKeys. 99: 85-92. DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.99.22287