Trichosanthes odontosperma (Cucurbitaceae), a new species from Queensland’s Wet Tropics

Cooper, W.E., and Ford, A.J. (2010) Trichosanthes odontosperma (Cucurbitaceae), a new species from Queensland’s Wet Tropics. Austrobaileya, 8 (2). pp. 125-131.

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Abstract

[Extract] Trichosanthes L. (Cucurbitaceae) is a genus of approximately 100 species of vines, distributed from India and China to Australia and the eastern Pacific (Rugayah & de Wilde 1999). Currently six species of Trichosanthes are recorded for Australia (Telford 1982; Harden 1990; Cooper & Cooper 2004), with four species being considered endemic: Trichosanthes pentaphylla F.Muell. ex Benth., Trichosanthes subvelutina F.Muell. ex Cogn., trichosanthes holtzei F.Muell. and Trichosanthes odontosperma described herein. Trichosanthes species occur in tropical and subtropical vegetation, primarily rainforest, monsoon forest, vine thickets and sparsely vegetated rocky outcrops. Trichosanthes is placed in the subfamily Cucurbitoideae End!., tribe Trichosantheae C.Jeffrey and subtribe Trichosanthinae Pax (Jeffrey 2005; Kocyan et al. 2007). The subtribe Trichosanthinae contains only one additional genus, Gymnopetalum Arn., which has four species distributed from India to China and Malesia. These two genera can be distinguished by the presence or absence of corolla fringes and overall shape ofthe folded petals in mature bud (de Wilde & Duyfjes 2006). In addition, the morphology and presence of probracts within Trichosanthes has been shown to be an important taxonomic feature (Duyfjes & Pruesapan 2004), which has not been previously reported for Australian species. A revision of Australian species of Trichosanthes is currently in progress (Cooper & de Boer, unpublished). The species described below as Trichosanthes odontosperma has been known as Trichosanthes sp. A (Telford 1982), Trichosanthes sp. (Mt Lewis) (Cooper & Cooper 1994; Cooper & Cooper 2004) and Trichosanthes sp. (Mt Lewis B.Gray 167) (Hyland et al. 2003; Edginton 2007). The flowers open at night and have mostly shrivelled and disintegrated by early morning, making collections of quality material problematic. Furthermore, this species (like most Trichosanthes) is dioecious, with female flowers being particularly difficult to procure. Accordingly, a paucity of suitable collections with adequate duplicates until now has probably led to a lack of enthusiasm for describing this taxon.

Item ID: 16577
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Cucurbitaceae, Trichosanthes, Trichosanthes odontosperma, Trichosanthes section Edulis, Australia flora, Queensland flora, new species
ISSN: 0155-4131
Date Deposited: 10 May 2011 02:14
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060310 Plant Systematics and Taxonomy @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960803 Documentation of Undescribed Flora and Fauna @ 100%
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