Short Communication

Journal of Threatened Taxa | www.threatenedtaxa.org | 26 November 2017 | 9(11): 10914–10919

 

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First records of two Ginger Lilys Hedychium (Zingiberaceae) species from the Western Ghats, India

 

Sinjumol Thomas1, Susai John Britto2 & Bince Mani3

 

 

1,2 The Rapinat Herbarium and Centre for Molecular Systematics, St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous), College Road, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu 620002, India

1 Present address: Department of Botany, Carmel College, Mala, Thrissur, Kerala 680732, India

3 Department of Botany, St. Thomas College, Arunapuram, Palai, Kottayam, Kerala 686574, India

1sunithatom@gmail.com (corresponding author), 2sjohnbritto@hotmail.com, 3binsnm@gmail.com

 

 

 

doi: http://doi.org/10.11609/jott.3117.9.11.10914-10919

 

Editor: N.P. Balakrishnan, Coimbatore, India. Date of publication: 26 November 2017 (online & print)

 

Manuscript details: Ms # 3117 | Received 28 October 2016 | Final received 01 September 2017 | Finally accepted 27 October 2017

 

Citation: Thomas, S., S.J. Britto & B. Mani (2017). First records of two Ginger Lilys Hedychium (Zingiberaceae) species from the Western Ghats, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 9(11): 10914–10919; http://doi.org/10.11609/jott.3117.9.11.10914-10919

 

Copyright: © Thomas et al. 2017. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication.

 

Funding: None.

 

Competing interests: The authors declare no competing interests.

 

Acknowledgements: The authors are grateful to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Kerala for granting research permits. The curators of various herbaria (BM, E, K, CAL, MH, CALI and RHT) are gratefully acknowledged. We would like to thank the staff of The Rapinat Herbarium and Centre for Molecular Systematics, St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous), Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu for the help provided during the study.

 

 

 

 

Abstract: Hedychium forrestii Diels and H. spicatum Sm. (Zingiberaceae) are new distribution records from the Western Ghats, India, extending their range up to southern India. Detailed taxonomic descriptions are provided for the species along with photographs.

Keywords: Hedychium forrestii, H. spicatum, H. cernuum, labellum, southern India, Western Ghats.

 

 

 

 

 

Hedychium J. Koenig includes approximately 97 species with the centre of diversity in Southeast Asia. The diversity centres are the high altitude humid climatic zones in India, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar and Malaysia. Forty-five taxa are reported from India and are primarily distributed in the northeast region (Thomas et al. 2015; World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2016). Among the 45 taxa, only five [Hedychium coronarium J. Koenig, H. flavescens Carey ex Roscoe, H. cernuum Wight (=H. venustum Wight), H. forrestii var. palaniense Sanoj & M. Sabu and H. matthewii S. Thomas, B. Mani & S.J. Britto] are known from the Western Ghats, which is a biodiversity centre in southern India (Thomas et al. 2015).

During field surveys across different geographic and climatic zones in the Western Ghats, which is one of the renowned hotspots, the authors collected interesting specimens such as Hedychium forrestii Diels and H. spicatum Sm. from Sholayar, and Idukki and Periyavarai regions, respectively. As a result, the present work establishes two new distribution records of Hedychium from southern India in general and Western Ghats in particular.

 

 

Hedychium forrestii Diels

Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 5: 304. 1912 (Images 1 & 3)

Type: China, Yunnan, Dali Valley, July 1906, Forrest 00211031 (Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, E!).

Rhizomatous perennial herbs; rhizome 3–3.8 cm in diameter, aromatic, covered by brown scales. Leafy shoots: 90–160 cm long, robust, semi-slanting, with 14–16 leaves; leaf sheath green, pubescent externally; ligule 2.8–4.6 × 1.8–2.2 cm, oblong, pubescent on the outer surface, pale green when young, papery brown on older shoots, apex entire; lamina sessile, 26–48 × 6–10.5 cm, narrowly elliptic, glabrous above, sparsely hairy below, base cuneate, apex caudate, twisted. Inflorescence: 16–24 cm long, lax, cylindrical, erect, composed of 22–41 bracts; rachis green, pubescent; bracts 4.8–5.1 × 1.8–2.1 cm, lanceolate-ovate, lax, green, leathery, pubescent on the outer surface, involute, cincinnus two- to four-flowered; bracteoles 1.6–2.0 × 1.4–1.6 cm, ovate, pale green, pubescent externally, apex two lobed, non-tubular. Flowers: 12.4–13.2 cm long, white, slightly fragrant, spreading; calyx 3.7–4.1 cm long, tubular, shorter than bract, pale green, pubescent externally, unilaterally split up to 0.9–1.2 cm, shortly two-three toothed at apex; floral tube 6.5–6.8 cm long, white, glabrous externally, inner with dense and fine hairs throughout, apical end c. 3 mm diameter; corolla lobes linear, white, margins inflexed, drooping from flower, dorsal corolla lobe 4.6–4.9 × c. 0.5 cm, apex mucronate, c.4 mm, lateral corolla lobes 4.1–4.4 × c. 0.5 cm, mucro absent; lateral staminodes 3.3–3.6 × 1.1–1.3 cm, oblanceolate-ovate, white, reflexed back; labellum orbicular, pale yellow blotch at centre, 3.5–3.8 cm long with distinct basal claw c. 5 mm long, claw 3–4 mm wide, white, apex 3.2–3.5 × 3.4–3.7 cm, orbicular, emarginated with incision 6–7 mm; stamens 5.3–5.5 cm long, white, exceeding the labellum; filament 4.1–4.4 × c. 0.15 cm, white, glabrous, straight, attached c. 3 mm above the base of dorsal side of the anther; anther 1.3–1.4 × c. 0.20 cm, linear, creamy white, connective white, glabrous, connate, anther suture pale orange; ovary c. 4 × 3 mm, pale green, puberulous, trilocular, ovules many, placentation axile; style filiform, white, pubescent towards apex; stigma c. 1 mm wide, green, densely pubescent, ostiole round, facing forward; epigynous glands two, 3–4 × 1–2 mm, oblong, yellow. Fruits: loculicidal capsule, 3–3.4 × c. 1.5 cm, terete; seeds red, glabrous, brown when dry, aril red, lacerate.

Flowering and fruiting: August–November.

Habitat: It grows on thin soil over exposed wet rocks in evergreen montane forests at an elevation of 950–1,200 m.

Distribution: China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, northern Vietnam, India and Nepal. In India it is reported only from the east Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills, districts of Meghalaya. Presently it is recorded for the first time from the Western Ghats in Idukki and Thrissur (Sholayar) districts of Kerala.

Specimens examined: China: 1908 Cavalerie 00211021 (E!); 1912 Forrest 00211015 (E!); Forrest 000574525 (The Natural History Museum London, BM!). Nepal: 1821 Wallich 000574704 (BM!). India: 5463, southern India, Western Ghats, Kerala, Sholayar, coll. Sasidaran (University of Calicut Kerala, CALI!); 65146, 10.30154444 N & 76.75944444 E, 15.viii.2013, coll. Thomas and Britto (Rapinat herbarium Tiruchirapalli, RHT!); 66461 (RHT), Sholayar 10.30154444 N & 76.75944444 E, 02.ix.2014, coll. Thomas and Britto; 70106, Kerala, Idukki 07.ii.1981, coll. Nair (Madras Herbarium Coimbatore, MH!); 65490 (RHT), Idukki, 9.81603889 N & 77.02777778 E, 28.vii.2013, coll. Thomas and Britto.

 

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Hedychium spicatum Sm.

A. Rees, Cycl. 17: 8. 1811 (Images 2 & 4)

Type: Nepal, 1806, Buchanan Cat. No.8/27 (Linnean Society of London, LINN-HS!) (probably type collection).

Homotypic synonym (Govaerts 2004): Gandasulium spicatum (Sm.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 690 (1891).

Heterotypic synonym (Govaerts 2004): Hedychium acuminatum Roscoe, Monandr. Pl. Scitam.: t. 47 (1824); Hedychium trilobum Wall. ex Roscoe, Monandr. Pl. Scitam.: t. 48 (1826); Hedychium flavescens Lodd. ex Lindl., J. Hort. Soc. London 7: 281 (1852), nom. illeg.; Hedychium album Buch.-Ham. ex Wall., Hooker’s J. Bot. Kew Gard. Misc. 5: 325 (1853); Hedychium sieboldii Wall., Hooker’s J. Bot. Kew Gard. Misc. 5: 371 (1853); Hedychium spicatum var. acuminatum (Roscoe) Wall., Hooker’s J. Bot. Kew Gard. Misc. 5: 328 (1853); Hedychium spicatum var. trilobum (Wall. ex Roscoe) Wall., Hooker’s J. Bot. Kew Gard. Misc. 5: 328 (1853); Hedychium tavoyanum Horan., Prodr. Monogr. Scitam.: 26 (1862); Gandasulium sieboldii (Wall.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 690 (1891); Hedychium spicatum var. khasianum C.B.Clarke ex Baker in J. D. Hooker, Fl. Brit. India 6: 227 (1892).

Rhizomatous perennial herbs; rhizome 3.2–3.6 cm in diameter, creamy white internally, aromatic, covered with brown scales. Leafy shoots: 95–112 cm long, green, pink tinged, slender, slanting, with 10–12 leaves; leaf sheath green, pink tinged, pubescent externally, margin membranous; ligule 1.4–1.5 × 1.3–1.5 cm, widely elliptic-orbicular, pink tinged when young, papery brown on older shoots, pubescent externally, apex entire; lamina sessile, 31.7–37.5 × 9.7–10.8 cm, narrowly elliptic to lanceolate, green, glabrous above, pubescent below, base cuneate, apex long caudate, twisted. Inflorescence: 12–32 cm, lax, erect, composed of 16–62 bracts; rachis green, glabrous; bracts 2.6–4.7 × 0.9–1.5 cm, subulate, lax, green, involute, coriaceous, glabrous, apex hairy, cincinnus strictly 1–flowered; bracteoles 1.8–2.2 × c. 1.0 cm, tubular, pale yellow, glabrous, apex hairy, bilobed. Flowers: 10.6–12 cm long, spreading, slightly fragrant; calyx 3.4–3.6 cm long, tubular, glabrous, pale green, unilaterally split up to 6–7 mm, shortly three-lobed at apex; floral tube 5.3–5.6 cm long, pale yellow, red tinged towards apical end, outer surface glabrous, pubescent internally; corolla lobes linear, yellow, red tinged towards base, drooping from flower, margins inflexed, dorsal corolla lobe 3.8–4.4 × c. 0.5 cm, apex mucronate c.3mm, lateral corolla lobes 3.6–4.2 × c. 0.4 cm, mucro absent; lateral staminodes 4.6–5.1 × c. 0.3 cm, linear, creamy white, red tinged towards base, glabrous, apex retuse; labellum obovate, 4.9–5.4 cm long with distinct basal claw 9–12 mm long, claw 3–5 mm wide, pale red, apex 3.8–4.3 × 1.1–1.7 cm, obovate, creamy white, red tinged towards claw, deeply clefted with 2–3.7 cm incision; lobes narrowly acute to acute; stamen 3.2–3.6 cm long, red, shorter than labellum, bend at above the middle; filament 2.1–2.3 × c. 0.15 cm, red, glabrous, bend at apex, attached c. 2mm above the base of dorsal side of the anther; anther 13–14 × c. 2 mm, thecae red, straight, tuft of cilia present along the anther suture, minutely spurred at base, connective red, glabrous, emarginated with incision 3–8 mm; ovary 4–5 × c. 2 mm, pale green, glabrous, trilocular, ovules many, placentation axile; style filiform, pale yellow, glabrous; stigma c. 2mm wide, yellow, pubescent throughout, protruding from the centre of the anther, ostiole round, facing forward; epigynous glands two, 3–4 × 1–2 mm, oblong, yellow, bifid. Fruits: loculicidal capsule, 1.3–1.6 × 1–1.5 cm, sub-globose, glabrous; seeds 5–6 × c. 4 mm, clavate, red, base yellow, aril red, lacerate.

Flowering and fruiting: June–September.

Habitat: Moist and shady places under shola forests at an altitude of 1,500–1,600 m.

Distribution: It is largely distributed in northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, China and northern Thailand. It shows an extensive distribution in the eastern Himalaya. Presently, it is recorded for the first time from the Western Ghats.

Specimens examined: Nepal: 1819, Wallich 000574705 (BM!); 1819, Wallich 000574708 (BM!). INDIA: Sikkim, 1887, Hooker 72407 (MH!); Khasia, 1887, Hooker 72408 (MH!); Meghalaya, Shillong, 03.viii.1885, Clarke 000574460 (BM!); 65121 (RHT!), southern India, Western Ghats, Kerala, Munnar, 10.11299167 N & 77.05805556 E, 16.vii.2012, coll. Thomas and Britto; 65122 (RHT!), Munnar, 10.11299167 N & 77.05805556 E, 03.vii.2013, coll. Thomas and Britto; 655015 (RHT!), Munnar, 10.11299167 N & 77.05805556 E, 15.vii.2014, coll. Thomas and Britto; 67225 (RHT!), Munnar, 10.11299167 N & 77.05805556 E, 28.vii.2015, coll. Thomas and Britto.

Notes: The present study enumerated two distributional records of Hedychium from the Western Ghats of India, such as H. spicatum Sm. and H. forrestii Diels. While analysing the various herbaria in India and abroad, we could not find any specimen identified as H. forrestii Diels from south India and there may not be any records in the literature for the occurrence of this taxon from the same geographical region. We could however distinguish herbarium specimens of H. forrestii from Sholayar (CALI!) and Idukki (MH!) and found that it had been misidentified as H. flavescens and H. coronarium, respectively. In the present study, we collected H. forrestii Diels from Sholayar and Idukki, which are the two moist and humid climatic regions of the Western Ghats, India. H. forrestii illustrated here showed slight differences from the type specimens especially by its sparsely pubescent lamina, large floral parts and 2–4 flowered cincinnus (Shu 2000). Moreover, recently a new variety of H. forrestii such as H. forrestii var. palaniense Sanoj & Sabu was reported from the Palani hills of the Western Ghats, India (Sanoj et al. 2010). The specimen described here, however, is allied to H. forrestii Diels than var. palaniense Sanoj & Sabu (Table 1).

Hedychium spicatum is common in the northeastern region of India, whereas this may be the first valid report of H. spicatum from the Western Ghats. While searching the major herbaria in India and digital herbaria abroad we found that there was no specimen similar to H. spicatum described here from southern India. H. cernuum Wight (=H. venustum Wight), the sister species of H. spicatum, is widely distributed in the Western Ghats (Thomas et al. 2015). Occasionally, H. cernuum is misidentified as H. spicatum from the Western Ghats (Sabu 2000). Whereas, further studies revealed that those specimens differ from H. spicatum and resemble H. cernuum in all features. H. spicatum could easily be distinguished from H. cernuum by its pink tinged and slender leafy shoot, comparatively small flowers, strictly 1–flowered cincinnii, sessile leaves, narrow labellum, shorter and bend stamen and spurred thecae. The green leafy shoot, 1–3 flowered cincinnii, broad labellum, long and arching stamen (equal or slightly shorter than labellum), non-spurred thecae are the diagnostic features of H. cernuum.

Previous studies showed that H. spicatum showed its distribution in China, Assam, Nepal, eastern Himalaya, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand (Govaerts 2004). The present study reveals the extent of occurrence of H. spicatum in southern India. H. spicatum with similar morpho-forms, as the type specimen (Linn.), from different localities and variants of type specimen were treated as separate taxa such as varieties, species and even genus (Govaerts 2004). R. Govaerts (2004), however, treated those epithets as synonyms of H. spicatum Sm. Likewise, H. spicatum described here shows similarity with H. spicatum var. acuminatum (Roscoe) Wall. in characteristics such as the shape of the labellum and length and shape of the stamen. We, however, treated it as H. spicatum Sm.

Finally, it is concluded that the present study established two new distribution records for the flora of the Western Ghats and to southern India.

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References

 

 

Govaerts, R. (2004). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1–54382. http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/nonacceptedRef.do?name_id=248176. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Downloaded on 20 August 2016.

Sabu, M. (2000). Hedychium spicatum Ham. ex Smith Var. acuminatum (Roscoe) Wall- a new record for Peninsular India. Rheedea 10: 73–76.

Sanoj, E., M. Sabu & T.R. Kumar (2010). Hedychium forrestii (Zingiberaceae) with a new synonymy and a variety from India. Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 4: 633–639.

Shu, J.H. (2000). Hedychium, pp. 370–377. In: Wu, C.Y., P.H. Raven & D.Y. Hong (eds.). Flora of China, Vol. 24. Science Press & Missouri Botanical Garden Press, Beijing & St. Louis.

Thomas, S., B. Mani & S.J. Britto (2015). A new species of Hedychium (Zingiberaceae) from the southern Western Ghats, India. Webbia 70: 221–225.

World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (2016). ‘World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Downloaded on 20 August 2016.

 

 

 

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