Monday, May 23, 2022

[Botany • 2022] Boesenbergia igorota (Zingiberaceae) • A New Species from the Cordillera Central Range, Northern Philippines

Boesenbergia igorota Tad-o & Napal.,  

in Tad-o, Alafag & Napaldet, 2022. 
Recent botanical explorations in the province of Benguet, Philippines have resulted in the discovery of a new ginger species, namely Boesenbergia igorota Tad-o & Napal., which is described and illustrated here, including the information on its phenology, ecology, conservation status, distribution, habitat, and surrounding floral species.

Keyword: Boesenbergia alba, Cordillera Central Range, critically endangered, Igorot women, morphometrics, flora

Boesenbergia igorota Tad-o & Napal., sp. nov.
A, bract; B, bracteole; C, anther; D, stigma, E, dorsal corolla lobe; F, G, lateral corolla lobes; H, I, lateral staminodes; J, labellum; K, ovary and epigynous gland; L, fruit; M, Calyx, N, seed; O, bulbil; P, rhizome.
 All drawn from the type, R.V. Tad-o et al. 0091 (PNH: 258695), by R.V. Tad-o

Boesenbergia igorota Tad-o & Napal., sp. nov.
A, B, C, Habit showing the habitat and rhizomes; D, bulbils arising from the leaf axil; E, flowers; F, pseudostem and petiole; G, H, leaf (lateral and ventral views); I, leaf sheath showing the absence of ligules.
Scale bars, 1 cm. 
All photographs of the type, R.V. Tad-o et al. 0091 (PNH: 258695), 
taken by R. V. Tad-o and J.I. Alafag.


Boesenbergia igorota Tad-o & Napal., sp. nov.

This new species is similar to Boesenbergia alba (K. Larsen & R.M. Smith) Mood & L.M. Prince but differs by its smaller stature at 4–18 cm (vs. 30–60 cm tall), cordate to narrowly ovate lamina (vs. narrowly linear lamina), absence of ligule (vs. present bilobed ligule), lavender labellum with white patch tinged with light yellow at the throat (vs. white labellum with yellow patch at the throat), bidentate anther crest and lavender at both apices (vs. 4-dentate and yellowish).  

The species name igorota is used as an adjectival epithet to refer to Igorot women, thus it should conform to the gender of the genus Boesenbergia. Coincidentally, ‘igorota’ is the cultural term for Igorot women in the locality. Igorot refers collectively to the indigenous tribes living in the mountainous region of the Cordillera Central Range (CCR) and along its boundaries. This new Boesenbergia species possesses simple yet elegant beauty and can thrive in a harsh environment. Such traits reflect Igorot women and their resourcefulness and resiliency to provide for their children and family amidst the harsh and physically demanding conditions of their mountain home. 

This species is a tribute to them: 
Cordillera Central Range, majestic mountains towering to the skies 
Endowed with unique flora and fauna, a naturalist paradise 
And home of the Igorots, people both indigenous and courageous 
Willing and daring to carve a living along the rugged slopes 

Central to Igorot families are the women, affectionately called Igorota 
Simply beautiful but much willing and industrious to toil the land 
To care for their children and families, working from dawn to dusk 
Allow us then, as a tribute, paint these good qualities in Boesenbergia igorota

Rene Vincent B. Tad-o, Joanna I. Alafag and Jones T. Napaldet. 2022. Boesenbergia igorota (Zingiberaceae), A New Species from the Cordillera Central Range, Northern Philippines. Taiwania. 67(3); 311-317. DOI: 10.6165/tai.2022.67.311