Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Petrocosmea xingyiensis - A New Species Described!

Thanks to my friend Jaco Truter for informing me of the publication of a newly described Petrocosmea species from China -- Petrocosmea xingyiensis! Published in the June 18, 2009 edition of Novon, the species is described by Yi-Gang Wei and Fang Wen. You may find the description here: hua.huh.harvard.edu/china/novon/novo-19-02-261.pdf

The authors place this new species in Section Anisochilus ser. Iodioides. The plant was collected near Ghizhou Province, in the Maling Gorge, Xingyi County, Southwestern China on 7 Oct. 1998 from cliffs of limestone rock or along the Qingshuihe River at 930-1000 meters elevation. The population was believed to be less than 330 individuals in the habitat and is listed on China's Red List of endangered species. An article I read on this area states that the State is building a dam which is expected to flood the Gorge and destroy much of the habitat. It is indeed sad to think that this lovely new species could be lost to us if it is not already. We may be about to lose this species just as we are learning of it's existence.