Monday, February 17, 2020

[Botany • 2020] Pothos boyceanus (Araceae) • A New Species from the Western Ghats, India

Pothos boyceanus G. Rajkumar, Shaju, Nazarudeen & Prakashk.

in Rajkumar, Shaju, et al., 2020.

Pothos boyceanus sp. nov. (Araceae) of the subgenus Allopothos (sensu Schott, 1855) has been discovered from the evergreen forests of Valara in Idukki district of Kerala, India. The species has a close affinity with Pothos crassipedunculatus Sivadasan, Mohanan & Sathishkumar, but differs in a set of characters including the presence of a ligule, long winged petiole, asymmetric lamina, long single cataphyll, slender peduncle, presence of a stipe, long cylindric spadix with a lorate spathe equal to the length of spadix and 1˗3 seeded ovate berry ripening milky white at base and light violet towards tip.

Keyword: Allopothos, Araceae, India, Kerala, new species, Pothos, Pothos boyceanus, Western Ghats

Fig. 2. Pothos boyceanus G. Rajkumar, Shaju, Nazarudeen & Prakashk. sp. nov. A. Habit. B. Growing apex showing long flagellum. C. Inflorescence. D. Infructescence showing long spathe.

Fig. 1. Pothos boyceanus G. Rajkumar, Shaju, Nazarudeen & Prakashk. sp. nov.
 A. Habit, flowering branch with apical flagellum. B. Single flower. C. Infructescence showing long spathe. D. Pistil. E. Stamen. F. Tepal. Drawed by Dr. T. Shaju.

Pothos boyceanus G. Rajkumar, Shaju, Nazarudeen & Prakashk., sp. nov.

 This species has a close affinity with Pothos crassipedunculatus Sivadasan et al., but differs in a set of characters including the long, sheathing slightly winged petiole with the sheath terminating in a short ligulate portion, asymmetric leaf blade, single long cataphyll subtending inflorescence, slender peduncle, long lorate spathe, long cylindric spadix with a distinct stipe, and milky white ripe berries with light violet heads (Table 1).

Distribution and habitat: India, Kerala, sporadic along the foot hills of the southern Western Ghats, near the 4th Milestone, Valara, Idukki district; prefers rich damp soil and dappled shade of riparian habitat at an altitude between 300 ˗350 m asl., climbing on trees in tropical evergreen forests, in association with Poeciloneuron indicum Bedd., Antidesma montanum Blume, Glycosmis macrocarpa Wight, Humboldtia vahliana Wight, H. sanjappae Sasidh. & Sujanapal, Polyalthia malabarica var. longipedicellata Alister et al., Ormosia travancorica Bedd., Ixora nigicans R.Br. ex Wight & Arn., Myristica malabarica Lam., Villebrunea integrifolia (Gaud.) Miq., Kunstleria keralensis Mohanan & Nair, Smilax zeylanica L., Ochlandra travancorica (Bedd.) Benth. ex Gamble and Hydnocarpus macrocarpa (Bedd.) Warb. 

Etymology: The specific epithet ‘boyceanus’ is given as a mark of respect to Dr. Peter C. Boyce, who has made remarkable  contributions on the systematics of Araceae of South East Asia.  

Gopalaprabhu Rajkumar, Thankappan Shaju, Ahammed Nazarudeen and Raveendranpillai Prakashkumar. 2020. Pothos boyceanus (Araceae), A New Species from the Western Ghats, India. Taiwania. 65(2); 114-118.