Science and Technology News

Leonid crocus (Curcuma leonidii) – a new species discovered in Bu Gia Map National Park in Binh Phuoc province

.

Experts in botany from the Institute of Southern Bionomics under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) have discovered and made public a new species named Leonid crocus (Curcuma leonidii Škorničk. & Lưu).

loainghemoi

This new species, belonging to the ginger family (Zingiberaceae), is named after a Russian professor and doctor of science, Leonid Averyanov, a leading researcher of Vietnamese plants. He was the first person who recognized the existence of this plant during his survey and teaching about biodiversity in Bu Gia Map National Park in 2005. At that time, he defined the collected sample under a completely different name, Kaempferia angustifolia Roscoe.

The newly collected samples in Bu Gia Map National Park in recent years (sign LUU 897 and 898) and further detailed data analysed by Dr. Luu Hong Truong, Director of the Institute of Southern Bionomics, and researchers from the institute, in combination with persuasive proofs by researchers from Singapore Botanic Gardens, show that this species belongs to Curcuma branch, Hitcheniopsis sub-branch, because of its morphological characteristics.

The new species Curcuma leonidii has flowers similar to some Stahlianthus-like species but inflorescences consisting of up to eight green bracts and their arrangements conforming to usual classical Curcuma-like species provides the much-awaited morphological link between the two genera. The discovery helps people who classify plants define the Stahlianthus branch as a group of plants close to the Curcuma branch. Therefore, this species belongs to Stahlianthus, becoming a Hitcheniopsis sub-branch of the Curcuma.

Newly discovered species Curcuma leonidii has outside form characteristics similar to Harmand crocus (Curcuma harmandiiGagnep.), because it has green bracts without down. But it is different from dense bracts, corolla with white lobe, white lip with yellow centre, root labellum has down and orange-red streaks.

The new species Curcuma leonidii has flowers similar to some Stahlianthus-like species but inflorescences consisting of up to eight green bracts and their arrangements conforming to usual classical Curcuma-like species provides the much-awaited morphological link between the two genera. The discovery helps people who classify plants define the Stahlianthus branch as a group of plants close to the Curcuma branch. Therefore, this species belongs to Stahlianthus, becoming a Hitcheniopsis sub-branch of the Curcuma.

Newly discovered species Curcuma leonidii has outside form characteristics similar to Harmand crocus (Curcuma harmandiiGagnep.), because it has green bracts without down. But it is different from dense bracts, corolla with white lobe, white lip with yellow centre, root labellum has down and orange-red streaks.


The outside form of the newly discovered species Leonit crocus (Curcuma leonidii, Škorničk & Lưu). Photo: Dr. Luu Hong Truong

Official information about Curcuma leonidii is updated on Phytotaxa 126 (1): 37–42 (2013). www.mapress.com/phytotaxa/ Curcuma leonidii, a new species from southern Vietnam. http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.126.1.4
Translated by Tuyet Nhung

Copyright 2013 by VAST. All rights reserved
Address: 18 Hoang Quoc Viet, Cay Giay, Ha Noi. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Write source from VAST when issuing information on the Website.