Journal of Threatened Taxa | www.threatenedtaxa.org | 26 October 2018 | 10(11): 12610–12613
Amorphophallus longiconnectivus and A. margaritifer: additional aroids from Maharashtra with notes on the floral variations
Avinash R. Gholave 1, Ravikiran S. Govekar 2, Vasanta I. Kahalkar 3, Milind M. Sardesai 4 & Shrirang R. Yadav 5
1 Department of Botany, Walchand College of Arts and Science, Walchand Hirachand Marg, Ashok Chowk, Solapur, Maharastra 413006, India
2 Office of the Field Director, Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra Forest Department, BSNL Building, Kasturchand Park, Nagpur, Maharashtra 440001, India
3 Department of Botany, Mahatma Gandhi Arts & Science and Late N.P. Commerce College, Armori, Gadchiroli District, Maharastra 441208, India
4 Department of Botany, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Ganeshkhind Road, Aundh, Pune, Maharashtra 411007, India
5 Department of Botany, Shivaji University, Vidyanagar, Kolhapur, Maharashtra 416004, India
firstname.lastname@example.org (corresponding author), 2 email@example.com, 3 firstname.lastname@example.org, 4 email@example.com, 5 firstname.lastname@example.org
Genus Amorphophallus Blume ex Decne. comprises 203 species worldwide (The Plant List 2013). It is distributed in tropical Africa, Madagascar, tropical and subtropical Asia, Archipelago, Melanesia and Australia (Mayo et al. 1997). In India the genus is represented by 19 species and five varieties belonging to three sections, viz., Amorphophallus, Conophallus (Schott) Engl. and Rhaphiophallus (Schott) Engl., of which 13 species and three varieties are endemic to India (Jaleel et al. 2011, 2012, 2014).
As a part of taxonomic revision during our explorations in northeastern Maharashtra, we collected Amorphophallus longiconnectivus and A. margaritifer and reported the floral variations (Image 1). A. longiconnectivus and A. margaritifer show a range of variation which needs to be considered by future taxonomists before describing a new species. The specimens (A.R. Gholave & Kahalkar ARG-52, A.R. Gholave & Kahalkar ARG-59) have been deposited in Shivaji University Kolhapur (SUK).
Bogner, Kew Bull. 50(2): 397.1995; Sivad. & Jaleel, Rheedea 8(2): 243.1998; Jaleel et al., Bangladesh J Plant Taxon. 18: 1–26. 2011.
Tuberous herbs. Tubers smooth, subglobose, 5–9 cm in diam. Leaf solitary; petiole smooth, 32–75 cm long, 1.2–2.3 cm in diam.; lamina 35–45 cm across., leaflets linear - lanceolate, 7–15 x 2–4 cm, acuminate at apex, base unequal and decurrent on rachis. Inflorescence solitary, long pedunculate; peduncle similar to leaf petiole, 52–108 cm long, 1.5–3 cm in diam.;cataphylls 2–3, 17–31 x 2–6 cm, pale pinkish. Spathe broadly ovate to broadly triangular, usually broader than long, 10.5–17.5 cm long, 1.5–4 cm in diam., tip acute, completely convolute, not differentiated in to basal tube and upper limb, pale green outside, pale purplish within, dark purplish verrucose inside at base. Spadix as long as spathe or slightly shorter than spathe; 10.5–17.5 cm long and 1–1.5 cm diam., stipitate, stipe 0.4–0.6 cm long; female zone 2.5–3 cm long; staminodial zone between male and female zone 1.5–2 cm long; neuters elongated, 3–6 mm long, 1–3 mm in diam., brown at curved tip. Male zone 5–8.5 cm long; appendix 1.5–3.4 cm long, clothed with sterile flowers and rarely with a scattered fertile stamens. Ovaries sub-globose, 1.5–2 mm in length, 2–3 mm in diam.,pale green, 2-3 locular with one basal ovule per locule; style very short, 1– 1.5 mm long; stigma 2–3 lobed, 1–2 mm in diam. Male flowers with 4–8 stamens; stamen 2–2.5 mm long, 1–1.5 mm in diam., yellowish-pink; filament short, thecae lateral, ellipsoid, 1.5–2.5 mm long; connective elongated, 1–1.5 mm long. Fruit berry, ellipsoid, 6– 9 mm long, 5–6 mm in diam., green when young, red at maturity, 2–3 seeded; seed ovoid, 6–7 mm long and 4–5 mm in diam.
Flowering & fruiting: June–September.
Chromosome number: 2n = 3x = 39 (Lekhak & Yadav 2011).
Distribution: India: Madhya Pradesh (Piparia, Khandwa) and Maharashtra (Tumsar, Bhandara District) (Fig. 1a).
Specimens examined: India, Madhya Pradesh; Khandwa District, Singar, 9.vii.2012, A.R. Gholave ARG - 3, 3.vii.2009, Lekhak & Shimpale 3862, SUK. Maharashtra; Bhandara District, Tumsar, Bamhani, 21.0420N & 79.5510E; 272m, 26.vi.2015, A.R. Gholave & Kahalkar ARG- 59, SUK.
Discussion: The genus Amorphophallus is highly variable in its spadix and floral morphology. These two species belong to Amorphophallus sect. Rhaphiophallus. There are nine species in this section and all are endemic to India except A. sylvaticus which is also reported from Sri Lanka (Jaleel et al. 2011).
Amorphophallus longiconnectivus was described by Bogner (1995) based on Haines’s collection (1910) from Madhya Pradesh, Piparia District. Sivadasan & Jaleel (1998) studied the variations in the species. The spadix shows considerable variations with reference to size, shape, colour of neuters and appendix. Some morphological variations were observed in the population of the species at Bamhani Village, Bhandara District. Specimens from the above mentioned localities exactly matched with the description and illustration given in the protologues. On the basis of elongated neuters this species is easily distinguishable from other species in the genus. Variations are also reported from within a species. Green coloured hooked neuters, appendix covered with clothed sterile flowers (Image 1b), lemon coloured hooked neuters with sterile flowers (Image 1c). Elongated, green coloured, hooked neuters with brown coloured forked tip and very short appendix with a few sterile flowers (Image 1d), were variations noted in the same locality, i.e., Maharashtra; Bhandara District, Tumsar, Bamhani. Variations were seen in neuter structure e.g., very short blunt, golden neuters, (Image 1e & f) straight, faint golden coloured neuters with tip brown (Image 1g). In Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, individuals with blunt quadrangular neuters, half basal part moss green coloured, half upper part brown coloured neuters, male flowers arranged in groups, each group with 4-5 flowers were observed in the species’ populations (Image 1h).
Amorphophallus margaritifer (Roxb.)
Kunth, Enum. Pl. 3: 34.1841; Hett. & De Sarker, Aroideana 19: 131.1996; Jaleel et al., Bangladesh J Plant Taxon. 18: 1–26. 2011. Arum margaritiferum Roxb., Fl. Ind. (Ed., Carey) 3: 512. 1832; Wight, Ic. 3(1): 6, t. 795. 1844; Plesmonium margaritifer (Roxb.) Schott, Syn. Aroid.: 34.1856; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. India 6: 518.1893; Engl., Pflanzenr. IV 23C (48): 49.1911; C.E.C. Fisch. in Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras: 1588. 1931.
Tuberous herbs. Tubers smooth, more or less sub-globose, 7.5–8.5 cm in diam.,5–6.5 cm in height. Leaf solitary, petiolate; petiole smooth,up to 24–85 cm long, 1–3.5 cm in diam., green to greenish-brown with greenish-white with regular elongated stripes; lamina 30–75 cm across, rachis smooth; 4–10 cm long, 3–13 mm in diam., leaflets linear-lanceolate, 8–27 x 1–4 cm, sub-marginal vein present, margins entire. Inflorescence long peduncled; peduncle 58–64 cm long, 1–1.2 cm in diam.; cataphylls-2, 11–17 x1–2 cm. Spathe broader than long, triangular, tip acute, 12–14.5 cm long,4–5 cm in diam., outside pale greenish, inside pale purplish, prominently verrucate at base within. Spadix 11.5–13.7 cm long as long as or slightly longer than spathe, stipitate; stipe green, 0.3–0.5 cm long, 0.5–0.8 cm diam.; female zone 2–3 cm long; staminodal zone between male and female zone, 3.5–4 cm long; staminodes congested, in 5–6 rows; male zone longer than female zone, 6–7 cm long, 0.5–1.5 cm in diam.; appendix absent. Ovaries pale-green,1.5–2 mm in diam., 1–1.5 mm long, 3-locular, one basal ovule per locule; style very short, 0.5–1.0 mm long; stigma yellowish, capitate, 1–1.2 mm high, ca. 2mm in diam., 2–4 lobed. Stamens many, compactly arranged in male zone, 1.5–2 mm long, pale brownish; staminodes loosely arranged, large, elongate- obovoid,0.8–1 cm long, 0.5–0.7 cm in diam., yellowish-white. Berries red at maturity, globose, 1–3 seeded.
Flowering & fruiting: May–August.
Chromosome number: 2n = 3x = 39 (Lekhak & Yadav 2011).
Distribution: India: Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim and Assam (Fig. 1b).
Specimens examined: India: Jharkhand; Giridih District, Parasnath Hill, 630m, 23.vii.2012 A.R. Gholave ARG-7, 23.vii.2012, A.R. Gholave ARG – 8, SUK; West Bengal; 9.vi.1897, Prain, CAL Acc. No. 4968 & 4969; Maharashtra; 2.vii.2008 Kahalkar 3108, SUK; Bhandara District, Tumsar, Bamhani 21.0420N & 79.5510E; 272m, 26.vi.2015, A.R. Gholave & Kahalkar ARG-52, SUK.
Amorphophallus margaritifer is unique as it lacks a spadix appendix. Jaleel et al. (2011) in his revision mentioned that Haines collected A. margaritifer from Chorbush, Nagpur; however, this place is not in Maharashtra and it is evident from the literature (Stafleu & Cowan 1976–1978). Haines worked in Chhota Nagpur area (today’s Jharkhand & Chhattisgarh) and hence it is likely to be that he must have collected this species from Jharkhand rather than from Maharashtra. Specimens collected from Bhandara District, Maharashtra showed compact and rounded shaped neuters especially in premature condition (Image 1j), loosely arranged and elongated diamond shaped neuters were observed on mature inflorescences (Image 1k & 1l).
The genus Amorphophallus is highly variable in its spadix morphology. Variation is mainly observed in appendage colour and shape, neuter shape, size and colour, colour and interior of the spathe. The section is mainly characterised by staminodial zone /neuters between the male and female zone of the spadix. Many insects visit the inflorescence for feeding on neuters and at that time many flowers are pollinated. For attraction of insects inflorescence may be displaying these variations but these variations are not constant. These variations should be considered in future while delimiting the species.
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