Journal of Threatened Taxa | www.threatenedtaxa.org | 26 May 2021 | 13(6): 18675–18678
ISSN 0974-7907 (Online) | ISSN 0974-7893 (Print)
#6934 | Received 26 November 2020 | Final received 03 February 2021 | Finally accepted 08 May 2021
New distribution records of two little known plant species, Hedychium longipedunculatum A.R.K. Sastry & D.M. Verma (Zingiberaceae) and Mazus dentatus Wall. ex Benth. (Scrophulariaceae), from Meghalaya, India
Botanical Survey of India, Southern Regional Centre, TNAU Campus, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641003, India.
The East Khasi Hills of Meghalaya home for a very rich and diverse vegetation. It is unique in having a mixture of Asiatic and Indian peninsular elements. Many taxonomists have carried out taxonomic documentation in this region since the British period. A botanical exploration trip was conducted to Mawsynram forest areas of East Khasi Hills District, Meghalaya during March 2017–May 2018, for live plant collection under the allotted Annual Action Plan Project on ex situ conservation of endemic and threatened plants of northeastern India in the Experimental Botanical Garden (EBG), Botanical Survey of India, Barapani, Shillong.
During this trip, the author came across two interesting plant species which are growing on rocky slopes in densely shaded areas near a stream. Subsequently, these two species were collected and grown in the EBG. After critical examination of these specimens with relevant literatures, type specimens, comparison with herbarium sheets deposited in ASSAM, CAL, MH, BM, K, E, these specimens were identified as Hedychium longipedunculatum A.R.K. Sastry & D.M. Verma (Zingiberaceae) and Mazus dentatus Wall. ex Benth. (Scrophulariaceae). The relevant literatures (Balakrishnan 1981–1983; Haridasan 1985–1987; Joseph 1982; Mao et al. 2016) pertaining to the flora of Meghalaya reveals that, these species so far not reported from the state and hence, reported here as additions to the flora of Meghalaya with photographic illustration, citation, description along with distribution and ecology for easy identification and future reference (Image 1).
Materials and Methods
The materials for the present study were collected from the forest areas of Mawsynram during March 2017–May 2018. Detailed morphological studies on flowering and fruiting timing, associated species, ecology, habitat of occurrence, and elevation were recorded in field note book. The detailed description was prepared after proper diagnosis and examination of a wide range of specimens. Observations were made with Magnus MIPS 5.0 mega pixel digital stereo microscope. Standard method of collection, preservation and maintenance of specimens in the herbarium was followed (Jain & Rao 1977). The herbarium specimens are deposited at Madras Herbarium (MH), Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
Mazus dentatus Wall. ex Benth., Scroph. Ind.: 27. 1835; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. India 4: 260. 1884; T. Yamaz. in H. Hara, Fl. E. Himalaya: 288. 1966; Malick & Bhaumik in Lakshminarasimhan et al., Fl. West Bengal 4: 118. 2019.
Erect, small, lithophytic, acaulescent, non-stoloniferous, sparsely hairy herb with perennial root stock, whole plant turns into black when dry. Leaves crowded in a basal rosette; lamina broadly elliptic-oblong, oblong-ovate or rarely obovate, 3–12×2–6 cm, acute, rounded or sub-cordate or rarely oblique at base, dentate or sinuate at margins, obtuse or rounded at apex, usually sparsely hairy on lower surface, rarely densely pubescent, sparsely pubescent or sub-glabrous on upper surface; lateral nerves 4–6 pairs, obscure; petioles 1.5–7.5 cm long, channeled above, sparsely hairy. Flowers large, in terminal racemes, 1–10-flowered, usually distant or sometimes apically fascicled; scape usually solitary, rarely 2, erect or decumbent, slender, leafless, up to 12cm long, densely hairy at base, sparsely hairy towards apex; pedicels 4–8 mm long, pubescent. Bracts 2–4 mm long, setaceous. Calyx campanulate, 4–7×2–4 mm, greenish or pinkish, pubescent hairy outside; teeth 5, ovate or triangular, 1.5–2.5×1.0–2.0 mm long, erect or sub-erect, shorter than tube, margins sometimes slightly recurved, acute at apex; midrib prominent, thick, raised. Corolla whitish or purplish, 1.5–2.5 cm long, 2-lipped, exterior in bud, throat with 2 longitudinal yellowish batch, prominently pubescent hairy; tube up to 1.2cm long, white at base, purplish towards apex; upper lip erect or reflexed, 2-lobed; lower lip much longer than upper, spreading, 3-lobed, mid-lobe oblong, slightly longer than lateral lobes; lobes emarginate or sometimes shallowly 2-lobuled at apex. Stamens 4, didynamous, inserted on corolla tube; anther cells connecting to each other, diverging at base, apically connivent; filaments 0.7–1.5 cm long, glabrous. Ovary hairy or glabrous, 2-celled; style glabrous, up to 1.3 cm long; stigma 2-lamellate. Capsules obovoid, 2–3×1.5–-2 mm, obtuse at apex, loculicidal, 2-valved, included;seeds numerous, ovoid, minute.
Flowering & fruiting: March–May.
Habitat & ecology: Very rare in densely shaded tropical moist deciduous forests near waterfall and on dripping rocks, between 1,000m and 1,800m in association with Argostemma khasianum C.B. Clarke, Argostemma verticillatum Wall., Begonia ovatifolia A. DC., Begonia spp., Bulbophyllum spp., Dichocarpum adiantifolium (Hook.f. & Thomson) W.T. Wang & P.K. Hsiao., Eriocaulon spp., and Malaxis sp..
Distribution: India (Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim, and West Bengal), Bhutan, and Nepal.
Specimen examined: Meghalaya, East Khasi Hills District, Mawsynram, 25.3590N & 91.6070E, 25.iii.2017, coll. M. Murugesan, 137302 (MH Accession number 177984).
Hedychium longipedunculatum A.R.K. Sastry & D.M. Verma, J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 65: 293–295. 1968; A.S. Rao & D.M. Verma, Bull. Bot. Surv. India 14(1–4): 130. 1972; S.C. Srivast. in S.K. Jain & R.R. Rao, Threat. Pl. India: 236. 1983; S.K. Jain & V. Prakash., Rheedea 5(2): 161. 1995; Moaakum & Santanu Dey, Pleione 7(1): 290–294. 2013.
Erect, usually terrestrial, perennial, rhizomatous herbs, sometimes epiphytic or rarely lithophytic. Rhizome creeping, 1.5–2.5 cm wide, creamy yellow or pale greenish-yellow internally, light greyish-green externally, slightly aromatic. Leafy shoot 25–55 cm high, slanting with erect inflorescence, glabrous. Leaves 4–8, alternate, lower ones smaller, sessile, upper ones longer, prominently petioled; petioles 0.2–1.7 cm long, sheathed; sheaths 1–6.5 cm long, lowest 2 or 3 sheaths without lamina; lamina broadly to narrowly elliptic or elliptic-lanceolate or oblong-elliptic, 5–32×2–12 cm, dark green on upper surface, light greenish-pinkish or pinkish-purple on lower surface, glabrous, acute at base, undulate at margins, abruptly acuminate or caudate-acuminate and twisted at apex; lateral nerves many, arched at margins; ligule 1.5–2 cm long, bi-lobed at apex, glabrous, translucent, papery, closely appressed to the stem. Inflorescence of spikes, 4–20 cm long, cylindrical, erect, many-flowered; peduncle up to 14cm long, slightly curved upwards, glabrous, rachis hairy. Bracts 1-flowered, pinkish-red, triangular, ca 1.3×0.8 cm, 9–11-nerved, as long as calyx, glabrous, convolute at margins, acute or sometimes obtuse at apex, translucent, membranous. Bracteoles pinkish or reddish, ovate, ca. 7.5×5 mm, membranous, acute at apex, obscurely 3-nerved, completely enclose the flower. Flowers 3–3.3 cm long, creamy yellow, 8–18 flowers open at a time, ascending, fragrant. Calyx pale yellow or creamy-yellow, tubular, up to 1.2 cm long, 7–9-nerved, densely villous, membranous, tufted hairs at tip, unilaterally split at apex. Corolla tube creamy yellow with pale red, erect, as long as calyx, villous inside, glabrous outside; corolla lobes 3, ca. 1.8×0.7 cm, creamy yellow, pale red tinged towards apex, linear-lanceolate or lanceolate-oblanceolate, membranous, glabrous, acute at apex, 3-nerved. Lateral staminodes 2, creamy-yellow, spathulate, ca. 1.8×0.8 cm, petaloid, spreading on flower, slightly reflexed back in upper half, prominently clawed towards base, slightly thick; claw ca. 6×3 mm. Labellum deeply bi-lobed; sinus ca. 1cm deep, lobes ovate or oblong or rarely orbicular, obtuse or rounded at apex. Stamen solitary, ca. 2.2cm long, erect; anther ca. 7mm long, oblong, bright-yellow, 2-celled anther locules divergent at base, attached with the filament at 2–3 mm above from base, connective bright yellow; filament ca 1.5cm long ca. 2mm wide at base, yellow, erect. Ovary ca. 3mm in diameter, subglobose, densely villous, obscurely three angled; placentation axile; style filiform, white, ca 2.8cm long glabrous, green tinged towards stigma; stigma ca. 1mm broad, green, cup-shaped, slanting with a depression at center, with hook-like ciliate hairy. Capsule ca. 1.5cm diameter, sub-globose, glabrous or hairy, 3-angled, 3-locular; fruit wall fleshy, reddish or orange internally, completely splitted and reflexed back on dehiscence; seeds black, ellipsoid, ca. 3.5×1.5 mm, smooth; aril red, lacerate, fleshy.
Flowering & fruiting: May–August
Habitat & ecology: Very rare in the margins of densely shaded tropical moist deciduous forests near streams and on rocks, between 1,400m and 2,000m in association with Begonia spp., Carex sp., Hedychium sp., Wall., Malaxis sp., and Phyllanthus sp.
Distribution: Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Nagaland; endemic to northeastern India.
Specimens examined: Meghalaya, East Khasi Hills District, Mawsynram, 25.3590N & 91.6070E, 09.vi.2017, coll. M. Murugesan, 137310 (MH Accession number 177985).
Notes: This very rare species previously known based on only few collections from Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland of northeastern states (Sastry & Verma 1968; Jain & Prakash 1995; Moaakum & Dey 2013). Therefore, the present collection from the study area shows its extended distribution and also forms an addition to the flora Meghalaya.
Balakrishnan, N.P. (1981–1983). Flora of Jowai, Vols. 1– 2. Botanical Survey of India, Howrah, India.
Haridasan, K. & R.R. Rao (1985–1987). Forest Flora of Meghalaya, Vols. 1– 2. Bishen Singh Mahandra Pal Singh Publishers, Dehra Dun, India.
Jain, S.K. & V. Prakash (1995). Zingiberaceae in India: Phytogeography and Endemism. Rheedea 5: 154–169.
Joseph, J. (1982). Flora of Nongpoh and its Vicinity. Botanical Survey of India, Howrah, India.
Malick, K.C. & M. Bhaumik (2019). Scrophulariaceae, p. 118. In: Lakshminarasimhan, P., S.S. Dash, P. Singh & H.J. Chowdhry (eds.). Flora of West Bengal Vol. IV (Convolvulaceae-Ceratophyllaceae). Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata.
Mao, A.A., B.K. Sinha, D. Verma & N. Sarma (2016). Checklist of flora of Meghalaya. Meghalaya Biodiversity Board, Shillong, Meghalaya.
Moaakum & S. Dey (2013). Rediscovery of Hedychium longipedunculatum A.R.K. Sastry & D.M. Verma (Zingiberaceae) from Nagaland, India. Pleione 7(1): 290–294.
Sastry, A.R.K. & D.M. Verma (1968). Hedychium longipedunculatum, a new species of Zingiberaceae from Subansiri district, North East Frontier Agency. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 65: 293–295.