Science and Technology News

Discovery and description of a new Aristolochia species for science from Vietnam

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A species of plant, Moc huong Nui Chua (Aristolochia nuichuaensis), a new species for science has just been discovered and described from Nui Chua National Park, Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam.

The genus Aristolochia L. comprises ca. 600 species, widely distributed in tropical or sub-tropical regions. That is an important plant group which is widely used as ornamental or medicinal plants, and one of the favourite foods for larvae of the swallowtail butterflies (Papilionidae, Lepidoptera).  In Vietnam, the genus is reported ca. 25 species belonging to two subgenera: Aristolochia and Siphisia.

mochuongmoi

Figure:Morphological characters ofAristolochia nuichuaensis (Photos by Luu Hong Truong)

While investigating the diversity of the genus Aristolochiafor the flora of Vietnam, scientists from Vietnam National Museum of Nature, Southern Institute of Ecology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, and scientific staffs at Nui Chua National Park, Ninh Thuan province, discovered and described a new Aristolochia species from Nui Chua National Park, Ninh Thuan province, southern Vietnam, namelyAristolochia nuichuaensis V.T.Do & H.T.Luu.

Aristolochia nuichuaensis is morphologically similar toAristolochia baenzigeri, A. bidoupensis, and A. petelotii, but distinguished from these three species by having a cordate leaf blade, an up to 16(20)-cm-long inflorescence axis, a strongly constricted, oblong cylindrically-shaped upper part of tube,with outer surface uniformly purple, inner surface uniformly white, a campanulate limb,4.5–5.0 cm in diam., with non-revolute lobes, a whitish outer surface of limb with visible purple streaks, a white inner surface of limb with sunken dark-purple streaks andverrucoses, an elliptic and white throat, and a gynostemium with three acute lobes. The diagnostic characters place A. nuichuaensis in the subgenus Siphisia.

This new Aristolochia species is the eighth ofsubgenus Siphisia described recently in Vietnam and raises the numberof Aristolochia subgenus Siphisia species inthe country to 16. We provided an updated identification key and a checklist with information of the distributions of the species of Aristolochia subgenus Siphisia known from Vietnam.

These results have been published on Annales Botanici Fennici 56: 107-113 (2019). For more information, please visit the following link: https://bioone.org/journals/annales-botanici-fennici/current.

Do Van Truong, PhD
Vietnam National Museum of Nature, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology

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