Zingiber natmataungense S.S.Zhou & R.Li

Li, Ren, Shine, Law, Li, Wu & Zhou, Shi-Shun, 2020, A new species of Zingiber (Zingiberaceae) from Natma Taung National Park, Chin State, Myanmar, PhytoKeys 138, pp. 131-137: 131

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Zingiber natmataungense S.S.Zhou & R.Li

sp. nov.

Zingiber natmataungense S.S.Zhou & R.Li  sp. nov. Fig. 1View Figure 1


Zingiber natmataungense  is similar to Zingiber yunnanense  S. Q. Tong & X. Z. Liu ( Tong and Liu 1991; Wu and Chen 1997), but differs from it by leaf blade abaxially light green, ligule sparse pubescent, bracts glabrous; calyx white and glabrous, apex obviously 3-toothed; lateral lobes, ca. 1.5-1.7 × 0.6-0.7 cm; stamen with sparse pubescence, filament white and glabrous, 1-2 mm; anther connective appendage yellowish proximally, purplish distally; ovary white with sparse white pubescence; epigynous glands tapering, yellow. This new species also shows some morphological affinities with Z. teres  S. Q. Tong & Y. M. Xia ( Tong and Xia 1987), but differs from it by corolla tube white, ca. 3.9-4.1 cm; central lobe white; lateral lobes white, 28-30 × 4-5 mm; labellum central lobe white, apex undulate and lobed, purplish-spotted at base, 28-29 × 16-18 mm. (Fig. 2View Figure 2).


Myanmar. Chin State. Natma Taung (Mt. Victoria) National Park, under evergreen broad-leaved forest in tropical montane forest, 1900-2000 m alt., 9 July 2019, Shi Shun-Zhou 15828 (holotype: HITBC!, Herb. Bar. Code No. 169318; isotype: RAF!).


Pseudostems 50-80 cm, base with purplish-red sheaths. Rhizome yellow, aromatic. Leaves subsessile, ligule 2-lobed, 2-3 mm, sparsely pubescent; leaf blade green, abaxially light green, lanceolate or narrowly, ca. 5-25 × 3-5 cm, glabrous, base cuneate, apex acuminate or caudate. Inflorescences radical, ellipsoid, ca. 5-6 × 2-3.5 cm, ellipsoid or narrow ellipsoid; peduncle embedded in ground, 3-16 cm; bracts glabrous, outer ones purple, elliptic, apex blunt, ca. 4-4.2 × 2-2.3 cm, inner ones purple, purplish at base, long ellipsoid or lanceolate, ca. 4.5-5.0 × 1.3-1.7 cm; bracteoles white, purplish-spotted at apex, white at base, tubular, 43-45 × 4.5-5 mm. Calyx white 20-21 × 3.2-3.5 mm, apex obviously 3-toothed, glabrous. Corolla tube white, glabrous, ca. 3.9-4.1 cm; central lobe white with apex caudate-acuminate, ca. 3.1-3.3 × 0.8-0.9 cm; lateral lobes with acuminate apex, 2.8-3.0 × 0.4-0.5 cm. Labellum white, glabrous, apex undulate and lobed, purplish plaque at base; central lobe obovate, ca. 2.8-2.9 × 1.6-1.8 cm; lateral ones oblanceolate, ca. 1.5-1.7 × 0.6-0.7 cm. Stamen with sparse pubescence, ca. 2.4-2.6 cm; filament white, glabrous,1-2 mm; anther yellowish, ca. 1-1.1 cm; connective appendage yellowish proximally, purplish distally, ca. 1.4-1.6 cm. Ovary white, sparsely white pubescent; style white, glabrous, stigma slightly thicker than style, white, ostiole front facing, ciliate. Epigynous glands 2, ca. 6-7 mm tapered, apex whorled, yellow. Fruit unknown.


The new species is named after Natma Taung National Park, Chin State, Myanmar, where it was discovered in a vast area of monsoon forest.


Flowering from July to August.

Distribution and habitat.

Zingiber natmataungense  is only known from the type locality. It is a terrestrial plant in monsoon forest dominated by Castanopsis tribuloides  (Smith) A. de Candolle ( Fagaceae  ) and Nyssa javanica  (Blume) Wangerin ( Nyssaceae  ) and narrowly distributed from 1900 m to 2000 m alt. It has been used as a traditional medicine by local Chin people, who cover wounds with freshly crushed rhizomes and also apply it as a substitution for common ginger to treat coughs by drinking water in which it has been boiled.

Critical note.

The new species most resembles Zingiber yunnanense  and Z. teres  . Detailed morphological differences between the two species are given in Table 1.