Curcuma arida and C. sahuynhensis, two new species from subgenus Ecomata (Zingiberaceae) from Vietnam

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Phytotaxa 192 (3): 181–189 ISSN 1179-3155 (print edition)
www.mapress.com/phytotaxa/
Article PHYTOTAXA
Copyright © 2015 Magnolia Press ISSN 1179-3163 (online edition)
http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.192.3.4
Curcuma arida and C. sahuynhensis, two new species from subgenus Ecomata
(Zingiberaceae) from Vietnam
JANA LEONG-ŠKORNIČKOVÁ1, NGỌC-SÂM LÝ2, 3 & QUỐC BÌNH NGUYỄN4
1
The Herbarium, Singapore Botanic Gardens, National Parks Board, 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569. E-mail: jana_skornickova@
nparks.gov.sg
2
Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Département Systématique et Evolution, UMR/MNHN Origine, Structure et Evolution de la
Biodiversité, Case postale 39, 57 rue Cuvier, F-75231 Paris Cedex 05, France
3
Herbarium VNM, Institute of Tropical Biology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, 85 Trần Quốc Toản road, Dist. 3, Hồ Chí
Minh City, Vietnam
4
Vietnam National Museum of Nature,Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, 18 Hoàng Quốc Việt Street, Cầu Giấy, Hà Nội,
Vietnam
Abstract
Two new Curcuma species are described and illustrated from Vietnam. They are compared to their closest allies from sub-
genus Ecomata. Curcuma arida from Núi Chúa National Park, Ninh Thuận Province, is compared to Curcuma pambrosima
and C. vitellina, while Curcuma sahuynhensis from Quảng Ngãi Province is compared to Curcuma xanthella.
Key words: Curcuma pambrosima, Curcuma vitellina, Curcuma xanthella, Ninh Thuận Province, Núi Chúa National Park,
Quảng Ngãi Province
Introduction
The Indochinese region is one of the divesity hotspots for the family Zingiberaceae (Leong-Škorničková et al. 2010).
However, the Zingiberaceae flora is not well studied with the last account being over a century old (Gagnepain 1908).
During our extensive explorations of Zingiberaceae for the Flora of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, numerous interesting
ginger species including a new genus Newmania N.S.Lý & Škorničk. (in Leong-Škorničková et al. 2011: 1390) from
Vietnam have been recently described (Lý et al. 2010, Lamxay & Newman 2012, Nguyen & Leong-Škorničková
2012) including eight Curcuma species from Laos and Vietnam. Six of these are from the recently recognised subgenus
Ecomata Škorničk. & Šída f. (in Záveská et al. 2012: 758)—C. vitellina Škorničk. & H.Ð.Trần (in Leong-Škorničková
et al. 2010: 111), C. pambrosima Leong-Škorničková & Lý (2010: 652), C. newmanii Škorničk. and C. xanthella
Škorničk. (both in Leong-Škorničková & Trần 2013: 170, 172), C. corniculata Škorničk. and C. flammea Škorničk.
(both in Leong-Škorničková et al. 2014: 106, 108), while two species are from subgenus Hitcheniopsis Schumann
(1904: 101)—Curcuma pygmaea Škorničk. & Šída f. (in Leong-Škorničková et al. 2013: 639) and Curcuma leonidii
Leong-Škorničková & Lưu (2013: 37).
The species, named below as Curcuma arida, was noticed by the second author several years ago, and new
collections including spirit material were made recently by the first and third authors. The second novelty, named
below as C. sahuynhensis, has been collected by the second author in 2010 along with ample spirit material and detailed
photographic documentation. With the progressing revision of the genus Curcuma for Indochina by the first author,
it is clear these collections represent new species and therefore are described and illustarted below. Curcuma arida is
by its inflorescence shape and colour of the bracts somewhat similar to C. pambrosima, but the shape of the anther
also suggests affinity to Curcuma vitellina. Curcuma sahuynhensis has a distinct L-shaped anther, somewhat similar to
C. xanthella, but this species is otherwise different in the shape of the inflorescence and flowers. The differences are
further discussed in notes for each species. Descriptions are based on living flowering material. Terminology used here
follows Beentje (2012) and the recent ginger works cited above.
Accepted by Maarten Christenhusz: 7 Nov. 2014; published: 14 Jan. 2015 181
Taxonomy
Curcuma arida Škorničk. & N.S.Lý, sp. nov.
Similar to C. pambrosima (subgenus Ecomata) by the shape of the inflorescence, but differs in shape and colour of the anther (anthers white
with bright yellow anther crest and two filamentous, hook-shaped spurs in C. arida versus light yellowish anther with prominent 1.5
mm long thick spurs which are curved inwards in C. pambrosima).
Type:—VIETNAM. Ninh Thuận Province: Ninh Hải Dist., Vĩnh Hải Commune, Thái An village, Núi Chúa National Park, 11°41′16.0″N,
109°09′25.2″E, 75 m, Jana Leong-Škorničková, Nguyễn Quốc Bình, Aung Thame & Edward Ong JLS-2575 (holotype SING
(inclusive spirit), isotypes E, P, VNM, VNMN (inclusive spirit)). Fig. 1 & 2.
Small rhizomatous herb to 0.5 m tall. Rhizome ovoid, 3–4 × ca 1 cm, occasionally with a thin branch pointing
downwards, light brown externally, yellow internally, strongly aromatic; root tubers ovate to fusiform, 2.4–4.8 ×
0.9–2.3 cm, externally brown, internally whitish, buried deeply in the ground. Leafy shoots with usually 3–4 leaves
at the time of flowering; pseudostems to 15 cm long, green, composed of sheathing bracts and leaf sheaths; sheathing
bracts 2–3, green, soon turning papery dry and decaying, glabrous; leaf sheaths green, glabrous; ligule up to 5 mm
long, bilobed (lobes acute to acuminate), hyaline, greenish white, translucent, glabrous; petiole 1–9 cm long (petiole of
first leaf shortest, innermost leaves longest), canaliculate, green, glabrous; lamina slightly unequal, ovate to elliptic, up
to 35 × 13 cm, slightly coriaceous, smooth (very obscurely plicate), adaxially green, glabrous, abaxially lighter green,
glabrous, midrib green, glabrous on both sides, base rounded, slightly oblique, apex attenuate, puberulent. Inflorescence
central, with peduncle obscured within pseudostem; peduncle up to 20 cm long, up to 7 mm in diameter, light green in
parts exposed to light; spike 10–20 cm long, 4–6 cm in diameter (measured at the middle part), with no obvious coma,
composed of 15–35 bracts; bracts 3–5 × 2.0–4.5 cm, broadly to narrowly ovate to trullate, broader at base, narrower
towards the apex, whitish to light green at basal half with increasing purple tinge towards the apices, both sides
glabrous, connate in lower 1/3–1/4, apices acute to narrowly acute, reflexed; cincinni with 4 flowers at the base of the
inflorescence, 1–2 flowers at the top; bracteoles small, narrowly triangular and curved, up to 2 mm wide at base, up to
9 mm long, white with purple–pink tinge at apex, sometimes fully reduced (missing). Flowers 4–5 cm long, exserted
from bracts; calyx 10–13 mm long, 3-toothed, with 5–6 mm long unilateral incision, glabrous, semi-translucent white,
apices of teeth convex, tinged with dark pink; floral tube 2.2–3.0 cm long, narrowly cylindrical at base for ca 1.5–2.0
cm above the ovary, funnel-shaped at apex, white externally and internally, externally glabrous at base, puberulent at
funnel-shaped part, internally puberulous, with dorsally placed loose groove holding the style; dorsal corolla lobe ca 15
× 11–13 mm, triangular-ovate, concave, white or with slight purple tinge at the apex, glabrous, apex mucronate, mucro
ca 1 mm; lateral corolla lobes ca 12 mm long, 7–9 mm wide at base, triangular with obtuse, slightly concave apex,
white or with slight purple tinge at the apex, glabrous; labellum ca 15–17 × 14 mm, slightly obovate, with an incision
up to 7 mm long, cream white at base, turning yellow at apex with bright yellow band running through the apical part
of the centre; lateral staminodes 14–16 × 11 mm, unequally ovate to rhombic, white at base, yellow towards apex,
glabrous on both sides. Stamen 9–10 mm long; filament 3–5 mm long, 5–6 mm wide at base, ca 1.5 mm wide at the
point of connection to connective, white, puberulent (glandular hair); anther spurred, connective sparsely puberulent
(glandular hair), anther spurs ca 0.5 mm long, filamentous, hook-shaped, white, anther crest present, 1.0–1.5 mm long,
with obtuse apex, yellow; anther thecae 5 mm long, dehiscing along entire length, pollen white. Epigynous glands
two, cream-coloured, 3 mm long, ca 0.8 mm in diameter, with blunt apex. Style white, glabrous; stigma capitate, ca 1
mm wide, creamy white, ostiole ciliate, facing forward. Ovary 2–3 × 2 mm, trilocular, creamy white, glabrous. Fruit
a globular trilocular capsule, ca 1.1 cm in diameter (almost ripe), white, glabrous; seeds irregularly obovoid, ca 5 mm
long, creamy white to light brown (almost ripe), shiny, enclosed in translucent white, laciniate aril.
Ecology and phenology:—So far known only from the Núi Chúa National Park, where it is restricted in semi-arid
forest, growing on rocky slopes in open places or in the undergrowth of shrubby vegetation. Curcuma arida flowers
from September to November and fruits from October to December, unlike the majority of other Curcuma species in
Vietnam which flower in April to July. This pattern, however, corresponds well with the occurrence of the rainy season
in the semi-arid climatic zone of southern Vietnam (Averyanov et al. 2003).
Distribution and IUCN preliminary assessment:—Curcuma arida is as yet only known from the type locality,
where we have counted about 200 adult individuals. Local people informed us that they have seen this species growing
also in other lowland locations with similar vegetation type within Núi Chúa NP. They have also shared that they do not
182 • Phytotaxa 192 (3) © 2015 Magnolia Press LEONG-ŠKORNIČKOVÁ et al.
FIGURE 1. Curcuma arida. A. Habit and detail of ligule (inset). B. Inflorescence. C. Cincinnus. D. Young fruit. E. Rhizome (scale bar in
mm). F. Flower dissection: flower in side view, flower bud, floral tube (with ovary, calyx and stamen attached), corolla lobes, staminodes
and labellum, fertile bract (scale bar in cm). G. Epigynous glands, anther (side and front view; scale bar in mm). From type JLS-2575.
Photos: J. Leong-Škorničková
Curcuma arida and C. sahuynhensis Phytotaxa 192 (3) © 2015 Magnolia Press • 183
use this species economically. With no imminent threat and with the protection given by the National Park status, we
suggest treating this species as Data Deficient (DD) until the lack of data on the extent of its occurrence and population
sizes can be satisfactorily addressed.
Etymology:—This species grows in one of the driest parts of Vietnam, often intermingled with succulent members
of Euphorbiaceae (Fig. 2) and hence the specific epithet ‘arida’.
Additional specimens examined (paratypes):—VIETNAM. Ninh Thuận Province: Ninh Hải Dist., Vĩnh Hải
Commune, Thái An village, 11°42’14.67”N, 109°09’26.45”E, 120 m, 20 September 2009, Lý Ngọc Sâm 450 (SING,
VNM); ibid. 11°41′27″N, 109°11′14″E, 35 m, 1 November 2010, Lý Ngọc Sâm 489 (E, P, SING, VNM).
Notes:—Curcuma arida is similar to C. pambrosima by its inflorescence composed of ovate to trullate bracts that
are green to white at the base, gradually tinged pink towards the acute to narrowly acute and reflexed apices, as well
as their lack of clear distinction between fertile and coma bracts. The major difference between the two species lies in
the floral features of which most conspicuous is the shape of the anthers. Curcuma pambrosima has a light yellowish
anther with prominent 1.5 mm long thick spurs that are curved inwards (see Fig. 1D in Leong-Škorničková & Lý
2010), while C. arida has a white anther with a bright yellow anther crest and two filamentous hook-shaped spurs (see
Fig. 1G).
The anther of Curcuma arida is in shape very similar to that of C. vitellina (see Fig. 1D in Leong-Škorničková et
al. 2010) and likely catering to a similar pollinator, but the general appearance of the two species is different in leaves
(thin and prominently plicate lamina in C. vitellina vs. somewhat coriaceous smooth lamina in C. arida) as well as
the overall inflorescence shape and colour (inflorescence composed of 15–60 creamy white or greenish bracts with
obtuse, mildly reflexed apices in C. vitellina vs. inflorescence composed of 15–35 bracts that are green to white at base,
gradually tinged by pink towards the acute to narrowly acute and strongly reflexed apices (compare Fig. 1 in Leong-
Škorničková et al. 2010 and Fig. 1 presented here).
FIGURE 2. Curcuma arida in the typical dry habitat at the type locality where it grows on stony slopes under the shrubby vegetation often
intermingled with succulent members of Euphorbia. Photo: J. Leong-Škorničková
184 • Phytotaxa 192 (3) © 2015 Magnolia Press LEONG-ŠKORNIČKOVÁ et al.
A revision of extensive herbarium material of Curcuma in various herbaria resulted in a possible match of two
specimens deposited in the in the MNHN herbarium in Paris (P). One of them was collected near Phan Rang, while
the other near Nha Trang (ca 20 and 60 km air distance respectively). While the conclusive determination is not
possible due to lack of flowers/detailed notes (and therefore these specimens are not listed above), it is likely that both
specimens represent Curcuma arida.
Curcuma sahuynhensis Škorničk. & N.S.Lý, sp. nov.
Similar to Curcuma xanthella (subgenus Ecomata) in its elliptic-lanceolate, plicate laminae and L-shaped anther, but differs in the shape
and size of the spike that appears above ground (6–15 × 5–9 cm; composed of 10–23 bracts with prominently reflexed apical halves
arranged on an elongated rachis), overall smaller flowers (3.5–4.5 cm long), shorter (4 mm) and stouter anther spurs, longer anther
thecae (6–7 mm long) and shorter epigynous glands (5–6 mm long) (versus spike 4–5 × 1.5–2 cm, composed of 4–8 bracts with a
reduced rachis, basal part of spike often partly subterranean; flowers to 7.5 cm long, longer and more slender anther spurs (6 mm),
shorter anther thecae (3–4 mm) and longer epigynous glands (ca 15 mm) in C. xanthella).
Type:—VIETNAM. Quảng Ngãi Province: Đức Phổ Dist., Phổ Thạnh commune, Đồng Vân Village, Núi Đồng Đế, Núi Đồng Vân,
14°39′28″N, 109°02′22″E, 183 m asl., 4 September 2010, Lý Ngọc Sâm, Phan Thế Cường, Lý-486 (holo SING (incl. spirit), iso E,
P, VNM (incl. spirit)). Fig. 3 & 4.
Small rhizomatous herb to 0.8 m tall. Rhizome ovoid to narrowly ovoid, 1.5–4.0 × 0.5–1.0 cm, occasionally with a
thin branch pointing downwards, light brown externally, creamy white to pale yellow internally, slightly aromatic, root
tubers fusiform, 2–6 × 0.8–1.8 cm, light brown externally, pure white internally, buried deeply in the ground (distanced
8–15 cm from the main rhizome). Leafy shoots with ca 1–2 leaves at the time of flowering, with up to 10 leaves on
mature plants past flowering; pseudostems 10–15(–20) cm long, green, composed of sheathing bracts and leaf sheaths;
sheathing bracts 3–5, green, glabrous or sparsely puberulent, turning dry and papery with age; leaf sheaths green,
glabrous; ligule up to 5 mm long, bilobed, hyaline, greenish white, translucent, glabrous, margin sparsely hairy; petiole
2–20(–24) cm long (petiole of first leaf shortest, innermost leaves longest), canaliculate, green, glabrous; lamina
slightly unequal, ovate to elliptic, 20–38 × 9–16(–18) cm (measured in mature plants in late stage of flowering),
plicate, adaxially bright green, glabrous, abaxially lighter green, glabrous but sparsely puberulous along midrib and
near margin in apical part of lamina; midrib green, glabrous above, very sparsely puberulous below (hairs restricted
to sides of midrib); base obtuse to rounded, slightly oblique; apex attenuate to acuminate, puberulent. Inflorescence
lateral, arising at the same time as first 1–2 leaves; peduncle 6–16 cm long, to 8 mm in diameter, light green in parts
exposed to light, sheathed by 3–5 leafless, light green, glabrous sheaths (turning dry and papery with age); spike to
6–15 cm long, 5–9 cm in diam. at the middle, with no obvious coma, composed of 10–23 bracts; bracts 3.0–5.5 ×
1.5–4.0 cm, broadly to narrowly ovate to rhombic (broader at base, narrower at the apex), whitish to pale green at base
with various degree of coral pink or red tinge, both sides glabrous, connate in lower 1/3–1/4, apices acute to narrowly
acute, reflexed; cincinni with 3–5 flowers at the base of the inflorescence, 1–2 flower at the top; bracteoles subulate,
1–5 mm long, semi-translucent white, glabrous, often fully reduced. Flowers 3.5–5.5 cm long, exserted from bracts;
calyx 14–19 mm long, 3-toothed, with unilateral incision, 5–8 mm, glabrous, semi-translucent white or with pink tinge;
floral tube 1.8–2.8 cm long, narrowly cylindrical at base for ca 1.3–1.8 cm above the ovary, funnel-shaped at apex,
externally white or with pink tinge, externally puberulous (less so in basal part), internally white, turning pale yellow
towards apical part, densely hirsute at apical part, sparsely hirsute towards the base, with dorsally placed loose groove
holding the style; dorsal corolla lobe 15–22 × 6–11 mm, triangularly ovate, concave, white or pale yellow with various
degree of pink or red tinge, glabrous, apex mucronate, mucro ca 1 mm, sparsely puberulous; lateral corolla lobes
15–20 × 6–9 mm, triangular, apex broadly acute to obtuse, slightly concave, white or pale yellow with various degree
of pink or red tinge, glabrous; labellum 15–23 × 12–18 mm, slightly obovate, with an incision 2–7 mm long, cream
white at base, warm rich yellow at apex with bright yellow-orange band running through the centre; lateral staminodes
15–22 × 10–14 mm, unequally ovate to obovate to rhomboid, warm rich yellow, lighter towards base, covered with
short glandular hair adaxially. Stamen 11–12 mm long; filament 4–5 mm long, cream-white to pale yellow, 3–4 mm
broad at base, 2.0–2.5 mm broad at apex (the point of attachment to the connective), densely puberulent (glandular
hair); anther L-shaped (angle ca 110°–120°), spurred, connective tissue pale yellow to pale yellow-orange, densely
puberulent (glandular hair), anther spurs 3.5–5.0 mm long, stout, parallel with acute apices slightly divergent, creamy white
to pale yellow, anther crest 0.3–1.0 mm long (almost negligible in some plants), apex emarginate, pale yellow; anther
Curcuma arida and C. sahuynhensis Phytotaxa 192 (3) © 2015 Magnolia Press • 185
FIGURE 3. Curcuma sahuynhensis. A–C. Plants with various degree of coloration of the bracts. D. Natural habitat. From type Lý-486.
Photos: Lý Ngọc Sâm
186 • Phytotaxa 192 (3) © 2015 Magnolia Press LEONG-ŠKORNIČKOVÁ et al.
FIGURE 4. Curcuma sahuynhensis. A. A small inflorescence with a flower in side view. B. Flowers in front view. C. Fruits and seeds
(scale bar in mm). D. Detail of stamen in front, back and side views. E. Flower dissection: Fertile bracts, flower in fertile bract, calyx,
corolla lobes, staminodes and labellum with stamen in the centre, floral tube (with ovary, calyx and stamen attached). From type Lý-486.
Photo: Lý Ngọc Sâm
Curcuma arida and C. sahuynhensis Phytotaxa 192 (3) © 2015 Magnolia Press • 187