Aspidistra yangchunensis (Asparagaceae), a new species from Guangdong, China

Date: May 17, 2024

The genus Aspidistra Ker-Gawler belongs to the family Asparagaceae, which is native to tropical and subtropical Asia, mainly distributed in south China and the adjacent areas of Vietnam, with a few species occurring in Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan and NE India. The morphological characteristics of the flowers of this genus are extremely diverse, and most of its flowers grow close to the ground, which are extremely hidden and not easy to be discovered, so the collection of specimens in history is very insufficient, which restricts the taxonomic research of this genus. FRPS (Flora Reipublicae Popularis Sinicae) only reports 8 species of Aspidistra in China and 11 species in the world. FOC (Flora of China) records about 55 species of Aspidistra in the world, and 49 species are distributed in China. In the past 20 years, with more intensive investigations of plant resources, a large number of new species of Aspidistra have been discovered and published, which has increased the number of species of this genus to about 220, of which more than half are distributed in China.

In September 2023, living collection team of South China Botanical Garden collected a species of Aspidistra with a unique flower shape during a field plant investigation in Yangchun Ehuangzhang Nature Reserve in Guangdong Province, and determined that it was a new species that had never been described after consulting relevant literature and type specimens on Aspidistra (Fig. 1). This new species closely resembles Aspidistra subrotata Y. Wan & C. C. Huang, but can be distinguished by the syntepalous part of perigone almost flat, 4 alternate perigone lobes folded at base in full bloom, pure white pistil, lower surface of stigma folds inward to form a circular inner space, which is obviously different from other species of this genus. The new species was named Aspidistra yangchunensis S.P. Dong & Z.L. Ning, based on the location of its type specimen collected in Yangchun City, Guangdong Province.

The article was recently published in the Phytotaxa journal. The researcher Shupeng Dong is the first author of the paper, and Zulin Ning is the corresponding author. This research was supported by Key-Area Research and Development Program of Guangdong Province.

The article link is:

First author information: Shupeng Dong: engineer. Horticulture Center, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Research field: living collection and ex-situ conservation. E-mail: ; Tel: 17789714983.

Aspidistra yangchunensis S.P. Dong & Z.L. Ning

File Download: