Aristolochia (Aristolochiaceae) is a family with about 550 species of lianas, shrubs, or tuberous herbs with peculiar zygomorphic flowers that are presumably adapted to fly pollination.
During a botanical expedition in Tongbiguan Provincial Nature Reserve, in SW Yunnan, Researchers from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) collected an unknown species of Aristolochia.
It is similar to A. tonkinensis, A. faviogonzalezii, A. balansae, A. saccata, and A. cathcartii, but the flower limb is nearly rectangular and covered with purple warts as well as long papillae and the throat is yellowish-white with dark purple lines and dots.
After consulting national Floras and other relevant literature as well as numerous herbarium specimens, the researchers confirmed that it is a new species. They named it as Aristolochia tongbiguanensis and got it published in Taiwania.
This new species differs mainly by the shape and color of its calyx. The perianth of A. tongbiguanensis is yellowish-white with dark purple lines, the limb is nearly rectangular and covered with purple warts as well as long papillae and the throat is yellowish-white with dark purple lines and dots.
Aristolochia tongbiguanensis flowers in September. It is currently known only from the type locality and found growing in dense forests at about 1500 m high elevation.
According to the criteria of IUCN,the new species should be assessed as Critically endangered (CR) because there were only 9 mature individuals recorded. Because the researchers did not survey areas in Myanmar, they prefer to assess Aristolochia tongbiguanensis as Endangered (EN).
Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Menglun, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China
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