AsianScientist (Mar. 6, 2019) – A joint field expedition to northern Myanmar has yielded a new species of shrub, say researchers from China. Their findings are published in the journal Phytotaxa.
Agapetes is a semi-climbing shrub genus native to the Himalayas, grown as an ornamental for its attractive pendulous benches of red tubular flowers blooming over a long period.
During a China-Myanmar joint field expedition from November to December 2017 to survey plant diversity in northern Myanmar, researchers from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, collected many specimens of Agapetes from Putao, Kachin State.
After consulting literature, examining specimen images, specimens in herbaria and making collections in the field, the researchers confirmed a new species of Agapetes, naming it Agapetes reflexiloba.
A. reflexiloba is morphologically similar to its cousins A. nutans, A. linearifolia and A. angustifolia in having narrow leaves and flower clusters arranged in a pattern known as corymbose-racemose inflorescences. However, the A. reflexiloba is readily distinguished from its three relatives by the shape and light brownish yellow color of its petals which are striped with five deep purple or red zig-zag lines.
The researchers also reported that the shrub grows on the trees in montane broadleaved forests, at an elevation of about 1,100 meters, and flowers in December.