A new variety of Arisaema (Araceae) from Western Ghats of India

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2004
Authors:Tetali, P., Punekar, S. A., Lakshminarasimhan P.
Journal:Kew Bulletin. Kew, England
Start Page:483

A new taxon of Arisaema, A. murrayi (J. Graham ) Hook. var. sonubeniae from North Western Ghats of Maharashtra, India is described. Line drawings and a distribution map are provided.

Full Text

The genus Arisaema Mart. comprises c. 170 species (Mayo et al. 1997), 210 species (Govaerts & Frodin 2002) or c. 150 species (Gusman & Gusman 2002). In addition, Govaerts & Frodin (i.c.) recognized 9 subspecies and 24 varieties whereas Gusman & Gusman (i.c.) recognized 12 subspecies, 8 varieties and 2 formas. The genus extends from Central and East Africa to southeast Asia, via Yemen, Oman, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Himalayan range, India, China, Korea, Japan, Siberia and North America. In India, the genus comprises 44 species and 9 varieties (Karthikeyan et al. 1989), 38 species and 6 varieties (Govaerts & Frodin 1.c.) and 36 species, 1 subspecies, 1 variety and 1 form (Gusman & Gusman, l.c.)

During a floristic survey of Junnar Taluka, Pune district, Maharashtra State, India, an Arisaema plant was collected with the spathe tube purple-lavender in its upper half, the spathe limb purple and the appendix dark purple in the lower portion and white in the upper portion. After study of relevant literature (Sivadasan 1982; Sasikala 2000; Gusman & Gusman, 1.c.) and comparison with herbarium collections at BSI and K and our own field observations, we are of the opinion that this plant is distinct, and we therefore describe it here as a new variety of Arisaema murrayi (J. Graham) Hook., a species endemic to Peninsula India (Gujarat, Nagar haveli, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala).

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