Wednesday, February 10, 2021

[Botany • 2019] Curcuma kayahensis (Zingiberaceae) • A New Species of Curcuma (Subgenus Ecomatae) from southeastern Myanmar [Taxonomic Studies on Zingiberaceae of Myanmar I]

 Curcuma kayahensis Nob. Tanaka & M.M. Aung

in Tanaka & Aung, 2019. 

In the course of taxonomic studies on Zingiberaceae in Myanmar, a new species of Curcuma assignable to subgenus Ecomatae was discovered. It is described and illustrated as Curcuma kayahensis, new to science from Kayah State, southeastern Myanmar. It is morphologically most similar to C. rhomba in having the orange-red and lateral staminodes with a rhombic shape, but differs in having rhizomes yellow inside, densely pubescent lower surface of lamina, inflorescence position central, bracts light green with red veins, flowers with a longer gently curved anther.

Keywords: Curcuma kayahensis, Curcuma rhomba, Kayah State, new taxon

Curcuma kayahensis Nob. Tanaka & M.M. Aung
A. Inflorescence and underground parts forming tubers. B. Inflorescence on ground. C. Upper surface of leaf blade. D. Lower surface of leaf blade. E. Habit.

Floral parts of Curcuma kayahensis Nob. Tanaka & M.M. Aung
 A. Front view of flower. B. Side view of gently curved anther. C. Staminodes (from left: lateral staminodes, and labellum). D. Stamen in front view. E. Stamen in back view. F. Anther spurs.
Scale bars: A-E in 1 cm, F in 5 mm.

Curcuma kayahensis Nob. Tanaka & M.M. Aung sp. nov.

Diagnosis:—Similar to Curcuma rhomba in orange-red lateral staminodes and labellum of a rhombic shape, however, it differs in having rhizomes yellow inside, lower surface of lamina densely covered with silver scales, the inflorescence position central, light green bracts with red veins, and flowers with longer gently curved anther.

Etymology:—The specific epithet refers to the name of the state in Southeastern Myanmar where this species were discovered. Kayah State had been closed for a long time due to its local political situation, and opened only recently to outsiders including foreign nationals. 

 Distribution:— So far known only from the type collection in Kayah State, Myanmar. It might be endemic to Myanmar. 

Nobuyuki Tanaka and Mu Mu Aung. 2019. Taxonomic Studies on Zingiberaceae of Myanmar I: A New Species of Curcuma (Subgenus Ecomatae) from Myanmar. Phytotaxa. 387(2); 241-248. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.387.3.4