Accepted by M. Christenhusz: 1 Dec. 2011; published: 23 Dec. 2011 19
ISSN 1179-3155 (print edition)
ISSN 1179-3163 (online edition)
Copyright © 2012 Magnolia Press
Phytotaxa 38: 19–23 (2012)
Primulina guigangensis (Gesneriaceae): a new species from limestone area in
LEI WU1,2, QIANG ZHANG1,*, WEI-BIN XU1 & SHUI-SONG MO1
1Guangxi Inst. of Botany, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Chinese Academy of Sciences, 541006, Guilin, China.
2College of Life Sciences, Guangxi Normal University, 541004, Guilin, China.
*Author for Correspondence. E-mail: Wuleiibk@163.com, Qiangzhang04@126.com
Primulina guigangensis, a new species found in the limestone area of Guigang city, Guangxi, China is described and
illustrated. It is most similar to Primulina yunfuensis, but can be distinguished from the latter by several distinct
characters in calyx, corolla, filament, stigma and phenology. The detailed morphological characters together with
illustrations, diagnostic comparisons and habitat etc. are presented.
Chirita, with over 150 species, is a large genus of Gesneriaceae. Most species of the genus have a narrowly
restricted distribution in south China, particularly in the limestone areas of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous
Region, where dozens of new species have been discovered and identified recently (e.g. Wei et al. 2007, Xu et
al. 2008, Li & Möller 2009, Huang et al. 2010, Li & Zhu 2010, Xu et al. 2010, Huang et al. 2011, Wu et al.
2011, Xu et al. 2011a, 2011b). The genus shows large morphological diversity and traditionally has been
divided into three or four sections: section Chirita, Microchirita, Gibbosaccus and Liebigia (Wood 1974,
Wang 1985a, 1985b, Wang et al. 1998, Hilliard 2004, Li & Wang 2004). However, recent molecular studies
consistently pointed out that the genus and its sections (except Microchirita) are not monophyletic and the
genus represents several lineages of independent origin (Wang et al. 2011, Weber et al. 2011). In the light of
molecular studies, Weber et al. (2011) revised the taxonomy of Chirita with its allied genera and classified the
species of Chirita into 5 different genera, Henckelia, Damrongia, Liebigia, Microchirita and Primulina, and
abandon the genus name of Chirita.
Recently, a tourist found a population of Chirita-like plants in Zhangmu town, Guigang city, Guangxi,
China and resort to us for the identity. After consulting the relevant literature (e.g. Li & Wang 2004, Wei et al.
2010) and herbarium specimens, we found the gross morphology of these newly discovered plants to be most
similar to Primulina yungfuensis (W.T.Wang) Weber (2011: 767), previously Chirita yungfuensis Wang
(1987: 125), but can be distinguished from that species by several non overlapping or distinct characters in
calyx, corolla, filament, stigma and phenotype. Therefore, the population is assumed to represent an
undescribed new taxon which we describe here. The characters are described and illustrated below.
Primulina guigangensis L.Wu & Q.Zhang, sp. nov. (Fig. 1 & Fig. 2 A–H)
Affinis P. yungfuensi, a qua pedunculo 8–15 cm longo (vs. 4.5–9 cm), calyce apice acuminato (vs. acuto), corolla 2.8–3.5
cm longa (vs. 3.8–4.6 cm), tubo corollae anguste infundibulari, 1.8-2.5 cm longo (vs. cupiformi, 2.5–3 cm),
WU et al.20 • Phytotaxa 38 © 2012 Magnolia Press
filamentis dense glanduloso-puberulis (vs. glabris), stigmate oblongo (vs. lineari); floret Sept. usque ad Nov.
Type:—CHINA. Guangxi: Guigang city, Zhangmu town. elev. 160 m, 23° 16 N, 109° 16 E, 25 October 2011, 3038
(holotype IBK!, isotypes IBK!).
FIGURE 1. Primulina guigangensis. A) habit; B) opened flower; C) pistil; D). stigma; E) magnified leaf surface, showing
indumentum. Drawn by Wen-Hong Lin.
Perennial acaulescent herb. Rhizome internodes inconspicuous. Leaves basal, opposite; petiole 1–4 cm × ca.
3.5 mm; leaf blade elliptic to ovate, 3.0–7.5 × 2–6 cm, leathery, adaxially purple puberulent to pilose, ca. 3.5
mm long, follicles predominant, eglandular, abaxially white puberulent, 0.5–2.0 mm long, base broadly
oblique, cuneate or rounded, margin crenate to repand, apex acute to rounded; lateral veins ca. 3 on each side
of the midrib, inconspicuous. Cyme number variable, 2–6-flowered for each; peduncle 8–15 cm, purple
villous; bracts 2, free, narrowly ovate to elliptic, 7–13 × 5–7 mm, purple pubescent, margin entire, apex
obtuse. Pedicel 1.0–1.8 cm, densely glandular puberulent. Calyx 5-parted from base; segments equal,
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PRIMULINA GUIGANGENSIS (GESNERIACEAE): A NEW SPECIES
lanceolate-linear, 4.5–7.0 × 1–2 mm, glandular puberulent, margin entire, apex acuminate. Corolla pale pink-
purple, with 2 yellow honey guides inside, 2.8–3.5 cm, outside glandular puberulent, inside basally puberulent
with very short hairs; tube narrowly funnelform, inflated above the mouth, 1.8–2.5 × 0.9–1.2 cm; adaxial lip
ca. 7 mm; abaxial lip 1.1–1.5 cm. Filaments ca. 1 cm, densely glandular puberulent; anthers fused by entire
adaxial surfaces, 2–3 mm; staminodes 2, ca. 6.5 mm. Pistil ca. 2.2 cm, densely puberulent; ovary ca. 1.2 cm;
stigma long elliptic, ca. 2 mm, slightly 2-lobed. Capsule straight, ca. 4 cm, pubescent.
FIGURE 2. A–H) Primulina guigangensis. A) habitat; B) habit; C) leaf surface; D) cyme; E, F) flower in side view; G)
flower in face view; H) opened flower, showing pistil and stigma. I, J) P. yungfuensis. I) habit; J) leaf surface.
WU et al.22 • Phytotaxa 38 © 2012 Magnolia Press
Distribution, habitat and ecology:—Primulina guigangensis was found growing on a slope, often at
crevices in an open evergreen limestone forest, near Guigang city, eastern Guangxi, China. The region has a
seasonal monsoon climate with periodical shift between aridity and rain. The vegetation is dominated by
shrubs and herbs, which include Tirpitzia ovoidea Chun & How ex W.L.Sha, Ficus tinctoria G.Forst. subsp.
gibbosa (Blume) Corner, Mallotus tenuifolius Pax, Alchornea trewioides (Benth.) Müll.Arg., Decaspermum
gracilentum (Hance) Merr. & L.M.Perry, Cipadessa baccifera (Roth) Miq, Vitex negundo L., Zanthoxylum
armatum DC., Mallotus repandus (Willd.) Müll.Arg, Elaeagnus bockii Diels, Sageretia rugosa Hance,
Callerya nitida (Benth.) R.Geesink, Toddalia asiatica (L.) Lam, Wikstroemia indica (Linn.) C.A.Mey.,
Cassytha filiformis L, Chrysanthemum indicum L., Phtheirospermum japonicum (Thunb.) Kanitz,
Hypodematium crenatum (Forsk.) Kuhn, Adiantum malesianum Ghatak, Selaginella effusa Alston, etcetera.
Phenology:—This new species had been collected in flower from September to November, and fruit from
October to December.
Etymology:—The epithet is derived from the type locality Guigang City, Guangxi.
Distinguishing characters:—Primulina guigangensis is most similar to P. yungfuensis. Shared
characters mainly include leaf with similar shape and indumentum, cyme 2–6-flowered with two bracts.
However, P. guigangensis can be distinguished by its 8–15 cm long peduncle (vs. 4.5–9.0 cm long), calyx
apex acuminate (vs. acute), corolla 2.8–3.5 cm long (vs. 3.8–4.6 cm long), tube narrowly funnelform, 1.8–2.5
cm long, inflated above the mouth (vs. tube tubular, 2.5–3.0 cm long, not inflated), filaments densely
glandular puberulent (vs. glabrous), stigma long elliptic (vs. linear) and flowering in September–November
(instead of March).
Additional specimens examined (paratype):—CHINA. Guangxi: Guigang City, Zhangmu Town, same
locality as type, 3 November 2011, L. Wu & Q. Zhang 3041 (IBK!).
The authors thank Mr. Wen-Hong Lin for the beautiful drawing, Professor Fa-Nan Wei for writing the Latin
diagnosis and Professor Yan Liu for beneficial discussions. The work was supported by Science Research
Foundation of Guangxi Institute of Botany (Guizhiye11006) to Qiang Zhang and the Knowledge Innovation
Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KSCX2-YW-Z-0912) to Yan Liu.
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