Notes on two less known Molineria recently collected from Northeast India

· Articles
Authors

N. Odyuo, D.K. Roy* & R. Daimary
Botanical Survey of India, Eastern Regional Centre, Lower New Colony, Laitumkhrah, Shillong, Meghalaya, India.
*Corresponding author: D.K. Roy; email: dilipbsierc@gmail.com

Abstract

Molineria prainiana Deb var. prainiana and Molineria prainiana var. josephii D.K. Roy, D. Verma & A.D. Talukdar (Hypoxidaceae), two endemic and poorly known taxa, recently collected from Assam and Nagaland respectively. The former one was reported earlier from Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan, while the latter one from Arunachal Pradesh alone. A brief taxonomic description of each taxon supported with photographic illustration has been provided for their easier identification.

Keywords Molineria, extension range, endemic, Assam, Nagaland.

Introduction

Family Hypoxidaceae (Monocotyledons) with 200 species under nine genera is chiefly distributed in the Southern Hemisphere and in North America (Sánchez- Ken, 2010). The family has high economic potential as several species are utilized as food, in traditional medicine, and as ornamental plants (Prajapati, 2003; Venukumar & atha, 2002). The genus Molineria Colla is one of the nine genera belonging to the family, with nine taxa in the world (WCSP, 2016; Talukdar et al., 2015). In India, the genus is represented by eight taxa namely, M. capitulata (Lour.) Herb., M. crassifolia Baker, M. gracilis Kurz, M. latifolia (Dryand. ex W.T. Aiton) Herb. ex Kurz, M. oligantha C.E.C. Fisch., M. prainiana Deb var. prainiana, M. prainiana var. josephii D.K. Roy, D. Verma & A.D. Talukdar and M. trichocarpa (Wight) N.P. Balakr. Of these, three taxa viz., M. oligantha, M. prainiana var. prainiana and M. prainiana var. josephii are endemic to Eastern Himalayas (see also Hooker, 1894; Fischer, 1932; Deb, 1964; Talukdar et al., 2015).

Molineria prainiana was described by D.B. Deb (1964) based on a collection made by I.H. Burkill in 1912 from Janakmukh during the Abor Expedition. The species epithet was named after D. Prain, who first named this taxon as Curculigo grandisPrain Mss. In India, the last collection of the taxon was made in 1961 by D.B. Deb from Tirap, Arunachal Pradesh (26726, ASSAM, Figure 1.A). Later, it was also reported from Bhutan (Noltie, 1994). Subsequently one new variety, M. prainiana Deb var. josephii D.K. Roy, D. Verma & A.D. Talukdar was described by Talukdar et al. (2015) based on a collection made by J. Joseph in 1983 (Figure 1.B) from Namdapha in Arunachal Pradesh. So far, both the taxa are known only from Eastern Himalayas.

During recent field exploration (2011-2015) to different parts of Assam and Nagaland, the plants of M. prainiana var. prainiana were collected from Kakoi reserve forest, North Lakhimpur forest division, Assam (2011), and M. prainiana var. josephii from Aboi Village, Mon district of Nagaland (2015). The scrutiny of herbarium and relevant literature suggest that these taxa could not be recorded earlier from these states, thus the same are recorded here for the first time.

The taxonomic description along with photographic illustration of both, M. prainiana var. prainiana (Figure 2) and M. prainiana var. josephii (Figure 1.C, 3 & 4) has been provided. The morpho-taxonomic differences (Table 1) with key to their closely related taxa are given.

Table 1. Morphological differences between Molineria prainiana var. prainiana and var. josephii

Characters

var. prainiana

var. josephii

Leaf lamina up to 80 cm long; veins green throughout up to 120 cm long; veins dark purplish throughout
Scape up to 25 cm long, densely woolly up to 35 cm long, tomentose
Raceme 8–15 cm long, up to 40-flowered 15–30 cm long, up to 65- flowered
Bract greenish throughout, 2–3 cm long purplish in terminal half, 3.5–5.0 cm long
Pedicel up to 1.5 cm long up to 2.7 cm long

Taxonomic treatment

Molineria prainiana Deb, Bull. Bot. Suv. India 51: 77. 1965 var. prainiana.

Type: INDIA. Arunachal Pradesh: Aka Hills, 1934, N.L. Bor 15221 (paratype- ASSAM!, Figure 1.D).

Rhizomatous herb, to 170 cm high. Leaves often 4–5; petiole green, 35–90 cm long, channelled, sheathing at the base, densely tomentose; blade elliptic-lanceolate, 60–80 × 5.5–12.5 cm, plicate, membranous, glabrous above, sparsely hirsute along veins beneath, chartaceous, entire, acuminate; veins green throughout. Scape flattened, 15–25 × 0.5–0.7 cm, densely woolly. Raceme elongated, up to 40-flowered, 8–15 cm long. Flowers bracteate, bisexual, trimerous. Bracts lanceolate, green throughout, 2–3 × 0.3–0.5 cm, glabrous inside, stellate hairy along midvein dorsally, ciliate at margin. Pedicel densely tomentose, 0.5–1.5 cm long. Perianth segments six in two alternative whorls (3 in each), yellow, elliptic-lanceolate, 0.8–1.0 × 0.3–0.4 cm, free, imbricate, glabrous within, villous at the back, persistent. Stamens 6; filament very short, about 2 mm long; anther erect, dorsifixed, lanceolate, dithecous, sagittate at base, 5–6 mm long. Ovary inferior, 3-carpelled, densely tomentose, 0.4–0.5 × 2.0–3.0 cm; style subulate; stigma capitate. Berry pyriform, densely tomentose, 0.8–0.9 cm × 0.4–0.5 cm. Seeds oblong, blackish brown; testa grooved ca. 1.3 × 1.1 mm.

Phenology: Flowering in February to April and fruiting in April – June.

Distribution: INDIA. Arunachal Pradesh, Assam (present report); BHUTAN.

Specimen examined: INDIA. Assam: North Lakhimpur district, Kakoi Reserve Forest, 2012, N. Odyuo & D.K. Roy s.n. (ASSAM).

Additional specimens examined: INDIA. Arunachal Pradesh: Aka Hills, 1934, N.L. Bor 15221 (paratype- ASSAM!); Tirap, Bonfera, 14.7.1961, D.B. Deb 26726 (ASSAM!).

Molineria prainiana Deb var. josephii D.K. Roy, D. Verma & A.D. Talukdar, J. Jap. Bot. 90: 61. 2015.

Type: INDIA. Arunachal Pradesh: Namdapha, alt. 475 m, 17 October 1983, J. Joseph 83196 (holotype: 57076! Isotypes: 57073!, 57074!, 57075! ASSAM).

Rhizomatous herb, to 220 cm high. Leaves often 7–9; petiole dark purplish when young, 45–100 cm long, channelled, sheathing at base, pubescent; lamina elliptic-lanceolate, 70–120 × 8.5–16.5 cm, plicate, membranous, glabrous above, densely hirsute on veins beneath, chartaceous, entire, acuminate; veins dark purplish throughout. Scape flattened, 15–35 × 0.8–1.0 cm, tomentose. Raceme elongated, up to 65-flowered, 15–30 cm long. Flowers bracteate, bisexual, trimerous, 1.5 cm across. Bracts purplish in terminal half, lanceolate, 3.5–5.0 × 0.4–0.8 cm, glabrous ventrally, midvein densely hairy dorsally, ciliate at margin. Pedicel densely tomentose, 1.5–2.7 cm long. Perianth segments six, in 2 alternative whorls (3 in each), elliptic-lanceolate, free, imbricate, ventrally glabrous, midvein clothed with hairs dorsally, 1.0–1.2 × 0.3–0.4 cm, persistent. Stamens 6; filament very short, 1.5–2.0 mm long; anther erect, dorsifixed, lanceolate, dithecous, sagittate at base, 7–8 mm long. Ovary inferior, 3-carpelled, villous with stellate hairs, 7–8 × 3.5–4.5 mm; style subulate, 9–10 mm; stigma capitate, 0.8–1.0 mm across. Berry pyriform, stellate hairy, 1.4–1.8 × 1.0–1.2 cm. Seeds oblong, black, testa grooved deeply, ca. 2.0 × 1.5 mm.

Phenology: Flowering in June to August and fruiting in August – October.

Distribution: INDIA. Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland (present report). Probably endemic.

Specimen examined: INDIA. Nagaland: Mon district, Aboi village areas, 3.6.2015, N. Odyuo & R. Daimary132521 (ASSAM).

Key to the closely related taxa

1a. Raceme dense capitate, densely flowered …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2

1b.Raceme elongated, laxly flowered……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3

2a. Lamina densely white-tomentose beneath; margin and apex of bract often hairy, sometimes glabrous; ovary oblong, top silky; berry oblong ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………M. crassifolia

2b. Lamina sparsely hirsute on veins or surface beneath; margin and apex of bract densely hairy; ovary turbinate, villous; berry globose ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………M. capitulata

3a. Lamina up to 80 cm long, veins green throughout; scape densely woolly, to 25 cm long; raceme up to 40-flowered; pedicel 0.5–1.5 cm long ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….M. prainiana var. prainiana

3b. Lamina up to 120 cm long, veins dark purplish throughout; scape tomentose, to 35 cm long; raceme up to 65-flowered; pedicel 1.5–2.7 cm long……………………………………………………………………………………………………………M. prainiana var. josephii

Acknowledgements

Authors are grateful to Dr P. Singh, Director, Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata and to A.A. Mao, Scientist-F and HOO, Eastern Regional Centre, Botanical Survey of India, Shillong, for facilities and encouragement.

     

     

References

Deb, D.B. 1964. An undescribed species of Hypoxidaceae. Bulletin of Botanical Survey of India 6(1): 77-79.

Fischer, C.E.C. 1932. Plants new to Assam: V. Bulletin Miscellaneous Information, Royal Botanic Garden 1932(7): 348-349.

Hooker, J.D. 1894. Amaryllideae. In: Hooker, J. D. (Eds.), The Flora of British India 6: 277-286. L. Reeve & Co., London.

Prajapati, H.A. 2003. Direct in-vitro regeneration of Curculigo orchioidesGaertn. An endangered anticarcinogenic herb. Current Science 84(6): 747-749.

Sánchez-Ken, J.G. 2010. Hypoxis colliculata (Hypoxidaceae), a new species from Mexico and a key to the American species with black seeds. ActaBotanica Mexicana 92: 1-9.

Talukdar, A.D., Verma, D., Roy, D.K. and Dutta Choudhury, M. 2015. A new variety of Molineria prainiana (Hypoxidaceae) from Northeast India. Journal of Japanese Botany 90: 61-65.

Venukumar, M.R. and Latha, M.S. 2002. Antioxidant activity of Curculigo orchioides in carbon tetrachloride induced hepatopathy in rats. Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry 17(2): 80-87.

World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 2016. Royal botanic Gardens, Kew [online]. Available from http:// apps.kew.org/wcsp [accessed 15 Jul 2016].

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