Webbia. Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Geography 77(2): 277-283, 2022
Firenze University Press
ISSN 0083-7792 (print) | ISSN 2169-4060 (online) | DOI: 10.36253/jopt-13461
Journal of Plant
Citation: Rudolph V. A. Docot, Carl
B. M. Domingo, Cecilia B. Moran, Lea
M. Camangeg, Axel Dalberg Poulsen
(2022) Wurfbainia rubrofasciata (Zingiber-
aceae), a new species from Palawan,
Philippines. Webbia. Journal of Plant
Taxonomy and Geography 77(2): 277-283.
Received: July 27, 2022
Accepted: September 9, 2022
Published: December 15, 2022
Copyright: © 2022 Rudolph V. A. Docot,
Carl B. M. Domingo, Cecilia B. Moran,
Lea M. Camangeg, Axel Dalberg
Poulsen. This is an open access, peer-
reviewed article published by Firenze
University Press (http://www.fupress.
com/webbia) and distributed under the
terms of the Creative Commons Attri-
bution License, which permits unre-
stricted use, distribution, and reproduc-
tion in any medium, provided the origi-
nal author and source are credited.
Data Availability Statement: All rel-
evant data are within the paper and its
Supporting Information les.
Competing Interests: The Author(s)
declare(s) no conict of interest.
Editor: Riccardo M. Baldini
Wurainia rubrofasciata (Zingiberaceae), a
new species from Palawan, Philippines
R V A. D,*, C B M. D, C B.
M,,, L M. C, A D P
1 Department of Biological Sciences, Institute of Art and Sciences, Far Eastern University,
Nicanor Reyes Sr. Street, Sampaloc 1015 Manila, Philippines
2 e Graduate School, University of Santo Tomas, España Boulevard, Sampaloc, Manila
3 Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science, University of Santo Tomas,
España Boulevard, Sampaloc, Manila 1008 Philippines
4 Research Center for the Natural and Applied Sciences, omas Aquinas Research Cent-
er, University of Santo Tomas, España Boulevard, Sampaloc, Manila 1008 Philippines
5 College of Sciences, Palawan State University, Tiniguiban Heights, Puerto Princesa City,
Palawan 5300 Philippines
6 Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20A Inverleith Row, Edinburgh EH3 5LR, Scotland,
*Corresponding author. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract. A ginger species collected in Palawan, Philippines was initially thought to be
Wurainia palawanensis but diers by the dark brown fertile bracts and red spinose
fruits. is species is also morphologically similar to the continental Asian Wurainia
microcarpa but can be distinguished from this by the entire ligule, petiolate lamina,
congested rachis, and presence of red stripes at the base of the labellum. erefore, we
here describe Wurainia rubrofasciata providing colour plates, data on phenology, dis-
tribution, habitat, and a provisional conservation assessment. A key to ve species of
Wurainia in the Philippines is provided and we discuss the likely closest relatives of
Keywords: Amomum s.l., endemic, endangered, taxonomy, Wurainia.
In 2018, the ginger genus Wurainia Giseke was reinstated by De Boer
et al. as a monophyletic genus within the polyphyletic Amomum Roxb. sensu
lato. e spoon-shaped labellum, the trilobed anther crest in which the side
lobes usually pointing upwards and the mid lobe positioned behind the stig-
ma distinguishes Wurainia from its closely related genera, especially from
its sister, Meistera Giseke. Wurainia is distributed with 26 species in North
East India, Bangladesh, China, and South East Asia with a centre of diversity
in ailand that harbours 18 species (Kaewsri and Sangvirotjanapat 2022).
278 Rudolph Valentino A. Docot et al.
e taxonomic revision by De Boer et al. (2018)
divided the Philippine species hirtho places in Amomum
into three genera namely Amomum (1 species), Meistera
(3 species), and Wurfbainia (4 species). Two species,
Amomum luzonensis Elmer and A. warburgii (K.Schum.)
K.Schum., however, were listed as incertae sedis since
both have very limited protologues and their respective
type is either lost or destroyed. us, there is not su-
cient evidence to conclude their generic placement.
e four species of Wurainia in the Philippines are
all endemic (Pelser et al. 2011 onwards). Ridley (1905)
described Amomum elegans Ridl. and A. trilobum Ridl.
Turner (2001), however, made a new name, A. hedyos-
mum I.M.Turner, for A. trilobum since the name was
already used for a dierent species in Vietnam. Further-
more, Elmer (1915) described A. mindanaense Elmer and
A. palawanense, both named aer the island where they
were discovered. e combinations of A. elegans, A. hedy-
osmum, A. mindanaense, and A. palawanense in Wurf-
bainia was based entirely on morphology since none of
them had been included in a molecular-based phylogeny.
e present paper focuses on a species of Wurf-
bainia in Palawan which was at rst misidentied as W.
palawanensis (Elmer) Škorničk. & A.D.Poulsen (Figure
1). e resulting new species is described in detail and
illustrated below and an updated key to all species of the
genus in the Philippines is provided.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
On the website of Co’s Digital Flora of the Philip-
pines (CDFP), a photograph of a Wurainia taxon in
Palawan was identied by M.A.K. Naive as W. pala-
wanensis (see http://www.phytoimages.siu.edu/imgs/
sis_122428.html). In 2018, this taxon was collected dur-
ing eldwork in Palawan.
Herbarium specimens, including types and speci-
mens relevant to Wurainia deposited in several her-
baria (BM, BO, E, FI, FEUH, G, GH, K, L, NY, PNH,
U, US, USTH, and Z), protologues, and published mor-
phological descriptions of relevant species were exam-
ined. Specimens that were examined using only digital
images are indicated with an apostrophe (*). Geospatial
Conservation Assessment Tool (GeoCAT) (Bachman
et al. 2011: http://geocat.kew.org/) was used to calculate
the area of occupancy (AOO) and was used to assess the
conservation status of the new species using the Interna-
tional Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) criteria
(IUCN Standards and Petitions Committee 2019). e
distribution map presented was generated using Sim-
pleMappr (Shorthouse 2010).
Figure 1. Wurainia palawanensis: A Inorescence B Flower C Infructescence. Based from R.V.A. Docot et al. 299 (Photographs by R.V.A.
Wurainia rubrofasciata (Zingiberaceae), a new species from Palawan, Philippines
Considering the proximity of the type locality of
Wurainia palawanensis it is not surprising that one
might jump to the conclusion that photographs taken
of this genus in this area of Palawan are of this spe-
cies (Figure 2). An examination of our recent material,
however, demonstrated that it clearly did not match W.
palawanensis nor any other known species of Philip-
pine Wurainia. Of these, W. el e g a n s (Ridl.) Škorničk.
& A.D.Poulsen shares some characters but the continen-
tal Asian, W. microcarpa (C.F.Liang & D.Fang) Škorničk.
& A.D.Poulsen, is most similar (Table 1). e material is
at the same time distinguished from all this and a novel
species is therefore described below.
Wurainia rubrofasciata Docot & Domingo, sp. nov.
Type: Philippines, Palawan Puerto Princesa City, Baran-
gay Irawan, 1 July 2018, C.B.M. Domingo & R.V.A. Docot
PL18−00 6 (holotype PNH; isotypes FEUH + spirit, L,
Wurainia rubrofasciata is morphologically simi-
lar to W. microcarpa (C.F.Liang & D.Fang) Skornick. &
A.D.Poulsen in having white owers with a clawed and
saccate labellum but diers in the entire ligule (vs emar-
ginate to bilobed), 7−11 mm long petiole (vs < 2 mm);
2−4 owers open at a time (vs 1−2); congested rachis (vs
elongated); white calyx tube and corolla lobes (vs white
to red), presence of 10−12 red stripes at the base of the
labellum (vs minute red dots) and ovate and petaloid lat-
eral lobes of the anther crest (vs oblong and eshy).
Terrestrial herb in loose clump. Rhizome 1−2 cm
wide, axis yellowish-green, scales 10−16 mm long, dark
brown, glabrous, stilt roots absent. Leafy shoots 1–2 m
long, arching at various degrees, with ca. 30 leaves per
shoot, 6−7 cm apart, base 20–34 mm wide, white; sheath
reticulate, mid-green, pubescent including the mar-
gin; ligule ovate, 2–4 × 3–4 mm, brownish-green, seri-
ceous, apex rounded to obtuse; petiole 7–11 mm long,
mid-green, pubescent; lamina narrowly ovate, 29–35 ×
5–7 cm, mid-green and glabrous above, light green and
pubescent beneath, veins slightly plicate, base obtuse,
apex acuminate, margin entire and pubescent. Flow-
ering shoot 4−7 cm long, arising near base of the leafy
shoot or from rhizome; peduncle nodding at vari-
ous degrees, pubescent, 4−7 cm long at owering state,
elongates up to 9 cm long at fruiting state; peduncular
bract tubular, 5−7 mm long, dark brown, glabrous; spike
bouquet-like, with 4−8 owers, 2−4 open at a time, 3−4
cm long; rachis congested even at fruiting state; fertile
bracts each subtending one ower only, ovate, 13−21 ×
8−11 mm, dark brown, glabrous, apex mucronate; brac-
teole spathaceous, 9−16 mm long, dark brown, sparsely
pubescent, apex acute; pedicel ca. 2 mm long, pubescent,
elongates up to 4 mm at fruiting state; owers 3−4 cm
long; calyx spathaceous, 17−22 mm long, semi-trans-
parent white, pubescent, apex 2–3-dentate; corolla tube
18−23 cm long, white, glabrous outside, ciliate inside;
corolla lobes narrowly ovate, white, margin transpar-
ent, glabrous, apex cucullate; dorsal corolla lobe 10−14
× 4−5 mm; lateral corolla lobes 8−13 × 3−4 mm; label-
lum saccate, trilobed, glabrous, basal part with 10-12 red
stripes adaxially, lateral lobes white, central lobe yellow
with minute red dots, emarginate; lateral staminodes
oblong or tooth-like, ca. 3 mm long, red and white; sta-
men 8−12 mm long; lament attened, 5−7 × 1−2 mm,
white, glabrous; anther 4−6 × 3−4 mm, connective white
and glabrous; anther crest trilobed, the lobes ovate, lat-
eral lobes 3−4 mm long, central lobe 2−3 mm long and
sometimes emarginate, white, glabrous; thecae 4−6 ×
1−2 mm, white, margin facing each thecae ciliate; style
27−35 mm long, white, glabrous; stigma ca. 2 mm wide,
white, glabrous; epigynous glands linear, 3−4 mm long,
yellow, glabrous; ovary subglobose, 3−5 × 2−3 mm, light
brown, pubescent. Infructescence 5−10 cm long, with
Figure 2. Distribution map of Wurainia palawanensis and W.
rubrofasciata sp. nov.
280 Rudolph Valentino A. Docot et al.
Figure 3. Wurainia rubrofasciata Docot & Domingo (A) Habit. (B) Ligule. (C) Inorescence and infructescence. (D) Inorescence show-
ing dierent angle of the owers. (E) Infructescence. (F) Floral dissection. (G) Stamen at dierent views. (notice the white arrow pointing
a lateral staminode). Based from C.B.M. Domingo & R.V.A. Docot PL18-006 (type). Abbreviations: br: bracteole; ca: calyx tube; dc: dorsal
corolla lobe; : fertile bract; : ower; inf: inorescence; la: labellum; lc: lateral corolla lobes; ov: ovary with epigynous glands on the top.
Scale bars = 1 cm. (Photographs by R.V.A. Docot).
Wurainia rubrofasciata (Zingiberaceae), a new species from Palawan, Philippines
3−4 fruits; fruits globose, 8−11 × 7−10 mm, dark red,
sparsely pubescent, spinose; seed irregular to subglo-
bose, ca. 2 mm long, black, aril white.
e specic epithet refers to the red stripes at the
base of the labellum.
Distribution and habitat
Wurfbainia rubrofasciata is endemic to Palawan,
Philippines, where it inhabits semi-shaded areas of sec-
ondary forest near and along streams.
Flowering and fruiting from March to August.
Provisional IUCN conservation assessment
Based on the IUCN red list categories and crite-
ria (IUCN Standards and Petitions Committee, 2019),
Wurainia rubrofasciata is assessed as Endangered (EN
B2ab(iii), D). e area of occupancy (AOO) is estimated
to be less than 10 km2 (total AOO is c. 4 km2) as the spe-
cies is only known from the type locality. Wurainia
rubrofasciata is abundant within Barangay Irawan with
more than 200 individuals observed. ere are reports
that the new species is likely present in Northern Pala-
wan (e.g., El Nido) but specimens are needed in order to
In the Philippines, Wurainia elegans resemble the
new species by having dark brown fertile bracts and red
spinose fruits. Wurainia rubrofasciata, however, can
be easily distinguished by the presence of red stripes at
the base of the labellum (vs minute red spots) and ovate
and petaloid side lobes of the anther crest (vs linear and
Based on overall morphology (Table 1), the most
similar species is Wurainia microcarpa of continental
Asia. Although both W. microcarpa and W. rubrofascia-
ta can reach 2 m long, W. rubrofasciata can be readily
distinguished in its vegetative state by the sericeous and
entire ligule (vs tomentose and emarginate to bilobed),
7−11 mm long petiole (vs subsessile), and obtuse lamina
base (vs attenuate). In the oral morphology, both has
white spikes. In Wurainia rubrofasciata, the rachis of
the spike is congested while it is elongated in W. micro-
carpa. During anthesis, there are 2−4 owers open at a
time in W. rubrofasciata whereas in W. microcarpa, 1−2
owers are open. In terms of ower colour, the calyx
and corolla of W. macrocarpa vary from white, light
pink to red. In W. rubrofasciata, however, it is white
only. e most observable dierence between the two
species is the labellum colour and pattern in which
there are 10−12 red stripes at the base in W. rubrofascia-
ta while only minute red dots are present in W. mi c r o -
carpa. ere are no reported local name or use of the
Table 1. Morphological comparison between Wurainia rubrofasciata, W. microcarpa, W. elegans, and W. palawanensis
Morphological characters Wurainia rubrofasciata Wurainia microcarpa Wurainia elegans Wurainia palawanensis
Ligule indumentum and
apex sericeous, entire tomentose, emarginate to
bilobed pubescent, entire glabrous, bilobed
Petiole length 7−11 mm 1−2 mm (subsessile) 4-8 mm 5-9 mm
Lamina base Obtuse attenuate obtuse attenuate
Lamina apex acuminate caudate acuminate attenuate
Flower anthesis 2−4 open at a time 1−2 open at a time 1−2 open at a time 1-2 open at a time
Rachis congested elongated congested congested
Bracteole apex 1-dentate 2-dentate 1-dentate 2-dentate
Calyx color white only white, light pink or red
reddish at the base,
becoming white towards
Corolla lobes color white only white or red white only white only
Labellum color and pattern
white with 10−12 red
stripes at the base of the
white with minute red dots
at the base of the labellum
white with yellow and
minute red dots at the
white with yellow band and
two parallel purplish-red
lines at the middle
Filament color white only white or red white only white only
Lateral lobes of the anther
ovate, 3-4 mm long,
petaloid oblong, 2-3 mm long, eshy linear, 4-5 mm
linear, 1-2 mm
Fruit red, spinose red, spinose red, spinose light brown, smooth
282 Rudolph Valentino A. Docot et al.
Closest relatives of Wurainia palawanensis
Elmer (1915) described Amomum palawanense
using a set of specimens collected in Mount Pulgar (=
now known as umb Peak), Palawan and noted that
Amomum loheri K.Schum. (now placed in Meistera)
as the most related species. So far, W. palawanensis is
restricted in Palawan (Figure 2). Examination of the
type, protologue, and relevant materials revealed that
W. palawanensis is instead, due to the light brown fertile
bracts and light brown smooth fruits (Figure 1C), more
closely related to W. mindanaensis (Elmer) Škorničk. &
M.F.Newman of the Philippines and W. comp a c t a (Sol.
ex Maton) Škorničk. & A.D.Poulsen in Indonesia. Future
molecular-based phylogenetic work will be able to test
Wurfbainia elegans. Philippines. Luzon, Bataan,
Mount Mariveles, Lamao River, May 1905, T.E . Borden
3033 (K, US*); Orani, Barangay Tala, Mount Natib, 12
June 2019, R.V.A Docot et al. 274 (FEUH); Ilocos Norte,
Pagudpod, Barangay Balaoi, Kalbario-Patapat Natu-
ral Park, 18° 34.012’N, 120° 53.789’E, 360 m. a.s.l., 14
June 2022, R.V.A. Docot et al. 321 (FEUH); 18°33.831’N,
120°53.574’E, 385 m. a.s.l., 14 June 2022, R.V.A. Docot et
al. 324 (FEUH).
Wurfbainia microcarpa. Laos. Oudomxia, Ban
Nam Peng, 21°01’05 N, 101°39’32 E, 810 m.a.s.l., 22 June
1999, M.F. Newman 870 (E); Vientiane, Feuang, Bane Ne
Xeng, 18°48’27’N, 102°6’31’E, 264 m.a.s.l., 1, May 2008,
V. Lamxay et al. VL1214 (E + spirit).
Wurainia mindanaensis. Philippines. Mindanao,
Davao del Sur, Todaya, Mount Apo, June 1909, A.D.E.
Elmer 10822 (BO, C, FI, G, GH, HBG, K, L, U, Z);
Surigao del Norte, Tubod, Barangay Sapa, 9°31’43.1”N
125°43’52.4”E, 11 July 2019, C.B.M. Domingo et al.
SDN19- 001 (FEUH + spirit, L, PNH, USTH).
Wurfbainia palawanensis. Philippines. Pala-
wan, Puerto Princesa City, Mount Pulgar, March 1911,
A.D.E. Elmer 12795 (BM, BO, FI, G, GH, K, L, U, US*,
Z); Beside trail to rst camp to San Rafael to Cleopatras
Needle, 09°48’N, 118°56’E, 100 m.a.s.l., 15 January 1998,
Q. Cronk et al., 25351 (E + spirit); Barangay Tanabag,
10 March 2020, R.V.A Docot et al. 299 (FEUH + spirit,
PNH, PPC, USTH).
Key to the Philippine Wurainia species
1a. Fertile bract light brown, persistent; fruit smooth, light
brown ........................................................................................ 2
1b. Fertile bract dark brown, non-persistent; fruit spinose, red .
2a. Margin of sheet and ligule with brown hairs; owering
shoot elongates with age; lateral lobes of anther crest ovate
and petaloid .................................................W. mindanaensis
2b. Margin of sheet and ligule glabrous; owering shoot does
not elongate with age; lateral lobes of anther horn-like and
eshy ..............................................................W. palawanensis
3a. Base of the labellum with red stripes; lateral lobes of the
anther crest ovate and petaloid ..................W. rubrofasciata
3b. Base of the labellum with minute red spots; lateral lobes of
the anther crest linear and eshy .......................................... 4
4a. Lamina narrowly ovate to linear, velvety beneath ..................
.................................................................................. W. elegans
4b. Lamina narrowly ovate only, glabrous beneath ......................
We thank the keepers of the herbaria of BM, E, K,
PNH and USTH for allowing us to view and examine
their collections; the Palawan Council for Sustainable
Development Sta (PCSDS) for issuing the collection
permits (GP nos. 2017-28 & 2018-28); W. Cabanillas,
L.M.B. Irang, L.C.P. Santiago, and A.M. Langbao for
their help and assistance during eldwork; Palawan State
University Herbarium (PPC) and College of Science;
S.G.S. Zamudio of the University of Santo Tomas for
her assistance during eldwork; R.A.A. Bustamante of
the Philippine Taxonomic Initiative (PTI); and the FEU
University Research Center and FEU Herbarium for the
facilities, and laboratory equipment.
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