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72 K.EW BULLETIN VOL. 46(1)
Hildegardia (Sterculiaceae) new to Australia
MARTIN CHEEK* AND GREG LEACHI
The range of the genus Hildegardia (12 species) previously known from. 1 species
in Cuba, 3 species in Africa, 3 in Madagascar, 1 each in India, China,
Philippines (IVtindoro) and Indonesia (Sumbawa), is now extended to
Australia with the discovery of a new species. The species is known from 2
populations comprising several hundred individuals in semi-deciduous vine
thicket and merits a conservation rating of 2RC- (Briggs & Leigh, Rare or
Threatened Australian Plants. Aust. Nat. Parks and Wildlife Service.
Special publication No. .14 (1988)). While there appears to be no current
threat to these populations, the conservation status may need reappraisal
should imminent mining proposals for the area proceed.
Hildegardia australiensis Leach & Cheek sp. nov. a H. sundaica Kostermans
Galicis lobis extra squamis peltatis' longe ciliatis (ciliis 10-14 brunneis
±distantibus 0.1-0.2 mm latis obsitis, Galyce intus sparse pubescenti,
androgynophoro stipito et apice tereto angustoque medio fusiformi tumido;
florens ubi decidua differt. Typus: Australia, Brennan 707 .(holotypus DNA;
isotypi BRI, K, NSW, QRS).
Deciduous tree 7-10 m tail. Bark light grey, smooth with fine longitudinal
fissures. Branchlets with a thick, white, exfoliating, waxy epidermis.
Leaf-blade entire, digitately 7- nerved at the base (incomplete material).
Infloresences borne when leafless, (1—)3(—6) per branchlet, 2—4 X 2-3 cm,
covered in flattened, brown, peltate scales, each fringed with 10—14 arms,
0.1-0.2 mm wide altogether; bracts caducous; pedicels 2-3 mm long. Male
flowers highly scented. Calyx 9-1 1 mm long, divided almost to the base; lobes 4
or 5, valvate, reflexed at anthesis, strap-shaped, 2 mm broad, apex rounded,
the inner surface with a dense basal tuft of erect shining hairs, to 1.5 mm long,
otherwise sparsely pubescent with ± appressed, weak simple hairs ± 0.1 mm
long, subglabrous towards the apex, outer surface thickly covered with peltate
scales as the inflorescence. Androgynophore c. 7 mm long, the basal part
terete, c. 3 mm long, 0.3 mm wide, the central fusiform swelling 3—3.75 X
1.5—1.8 mm, the basal 1—1.25 mm covered with mi-nute, appressed, simple
hairs, the uppermost part terete, 1 X 0.6 mm; anthers 8-10 in a globose head 1
X 1.75 mm. Carpels absent. Female flowers unknown. Fruits apocar-
pous, with 4—5, 1-2-seeded, inflated and winged fruitlets, each with a wiry
stipe 2.5-3.3 cm long, very thinly woody to chartaceous, the basal inflated
part ellipsoid and as long as the wing, overall fruitlet 7-8.2 X 2.8-3.8 cm,
glabrous inside. Seed spherical, ± 1 cm diameter.
AUSTRALIA. Northern Territory, Kakadu National Park, Graveside Gorge:
5 Aug. 1974 (fl.), G. Brown s.n. (DNA); near Pul Pul, 13° 34'S, 132° 35'E,
26 June 1990 (fr) Brennan606 (DNA, K, QRS); 11 Aug. 1990 (fl.) Brennan 707
(holotype DNA; isotypes BRI, K, NSW, QRS).
* Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
j: Northern Territory Herbarium, P.O. Box 496, Palmerston 0831, Australia
... The African species are associated with tropical dry deciduous wood or bushland forests while the malagasy species are associated with tropical dry or humid/wet forests. All Hildegardia species belong to one of these categories-vulnerable, threatened, endangered and endemic due to their multiple local and economic uses (Masters 1868;Merill 1914;Arenes 1959;Wild 1961;Dorr & Barnett 1990;Cheek & Leach 1991;Zaborsky 2009). ...
... Hildegardia genus was not studied in detail for taxonomic characters and for any aspect of reproduction in any part of the world despite its endemic and endangered status. The flowers in this genus are reported to be either dioecious or monoecious or polygamous (Wild 1961;Dorr & Barnett 1990;Cheek & Leach 1991;Sarah 2011). Steentoft (1988) stated that Sterculiaceous flowers are nectarless and Hildegardia barteri flowers are pollinated by bees collecting pollen in West Africa. ...
... Hildegardia is a genus of tropical dry deciduous woody tree species and exploited for its bark fiber, gum and wood by locals; this over-exploitation has resulted in habitat clearance and loss. In effect, all the species of this genus have been reported to be either vulnerable, threatened, or endangered and endemic, based on their field status (Masters 1868;Merill 1914;Arenes 1959;Wild 1961;Dorr & Barnett 1990;Cheek & Leach 1991;Zaborsky 2009). Similarly, the conservation status of H. populifolia has also been assessed differently by different workers either as critically endangered, endemic or vulnerable (Sarcar & Sarcar 2002;Ahmedullah 1990;Walter & Gillet 1998;Reddy et al. 2001;Jadhav et al. 2001;Reddy et al. 2003;Rao et al. 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
anemophily, anemochory and regeneration ecology of Hildegardia populifolia (Roxb.) Schott. & Endl. (Malvaceae), an economically important endemic and endangered dry deciduous tree species of southern Eastern Ghats, India (2014). Monoecy, anemophily, anemochory and regeneration ecology of Hildegardia populifolia (Roxb.) Schott. & Endl. (Malvaceae), an economically important endemic and endangered dry deciduous tree species of southern Eastern. He is the recipient of several national and international awards. He has more than 250 research papers in international and national journals. He is on the editorial board of several international journals. He is presently working on endemic and endangered plant species in southern Eastern Ghats forests with financial support from MoEF and CSIR. P. Hareesh Chandra is working as senior research fellow in the MoEF research project. He has registered for PhD with Prof. Solomon Raju. He has published five research papers. J. Radha Krishna is working as junior research fellow in the MoEF research project. He has registered for PhD with Prof. Solomon Raju. He has published four research papers. Acknowledgements: We thank Mr. K. Venkanna, Technical Officer, Central Research Institute for Dry land Agriculture, Hyderabad, for doing soil NPK analysis, and Dr. K.V. Ramana for assisting in the work as and when required.
... The African species are associated with tropical dry deciduous wood or bushland forests while the malagasy species are associated with tropical dry or humid/wet forests. All Hildegardia species belong to one of these categories-vulnerable, threatened, endangered and endemic due to their multiple local and economic uses (Masters 1868;Merill 1914;Arenes 1959;Wild 1961;Dorr & Barnett 1990;Cheek & Leach 1991;Zaborsky 2009). ...
... Hildegardia genus was not studied in detail for taxonomic characters and for any aspect of reproduction in any part of the world despite its endemic and endangered status. The flowers in this genus are reported to be either dioecious or monoecious or polygamous (Wild 1961;Dorr & Barnett 1990;Cheek & Leach 1991;Sarah 2011). Steentoft (1988) stated that Sterculiaceous flowers are nectarless and Hildegardia barteri flowers are pollinated by bees collecting pollen in West Africa. ...
... Hildegardia is a genus of tropical dry deciduous woody tree species and exploited for its bark fiber, gum and wood by locals; this over-exploitation has resulted in habitat clearance and loss. In effect, all the species of this genus have been reported to be either vulnerable, threatened, or endangered and endemic, based on their field status (Masters 1868;Merill 1914;Arenes 1959;Wild 1961;Dorr & Barnett 1990;Cheek & Leach 1991;Zaborsky 2009). Similarly, the conservation status of H. populifolia has also been assessed differently by different workers either as critically endangered, endemic or vulnerable (Sarcar & Sarcar 2002;Ahmedullah 1990;Walter & Gillet 1998;Reddy et al. 2001;Jadhav et al. 2001;Reddy et al. 2003;Rao et al. 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract: Hildegardia populifolia is a critically endangered tree species. All phenological events—leaf flushing, shedding, flowering, fruit dispersal occur one after the other during the dry season. It is morphologically andromonoecious but functionally monoecious. It produces a strikingly male-biased male and bisexual flower ratio; it is self-incompatible and obligately outcrossing. The flowers are nectariferous and the nectar has hexose-rich sugars, some essential and non-essential amino acids. Trigona bee and Rhynchium wasp were the exclusive foragers, though their foraging activity does not promote cross-pollination. The male flower number, the pollen output, the pollen characteristics and the placement of anthers on the top of androphore conform to anemophily. The natural fruit set does not exceed 5%. The fruit is 5-follicled with one or two seeds. The low fruit set is compensated by the production of more 2-seeded follicles. Fruit characteristics such as wing- like follicles, membranous follicle sheath and being very light weight characterize anemochory. Seeds with a hard coat do not germinate readily during the rainy season and their germination depends on the soil chemicals and nutrient environment. The soil is deficient in nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous. Partly burned seeds due to natural or human-caused fires germinate quickly in water saturated soil. The study suggests that seed germination and seedling growth rates are regulated by intrinsic and extrinsic factors along with natural and anthropogenic fires. We recommend that seedlings should be raised in nurseries and then transferred to natural habitats to build up the population.
... With the aid of the immense resources of the Kew Herbarium, we were able to confirm this beyond doubt and show that it was a new species, which we named H. australiensis G.J. Leach & Cheek (Cheek & Leach, 1991). It is distinct from H. sundaica Kosterm., its neighbour across the Timor Sea in Indonesian Sumbawa. ...
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