Eugenia pokkudanii A.M. Maya, K.M. Prabhukumar & V. Suresh

Manoharan, Maya Ammathil, Prabhukumar, Konickal Mambetta, Jose, Sojan & Veerankutty, Suresh, 2021, Eugenia pokkudanii (Myrtaceae): a new species from Sky Islands of Nelliyampathy, Kerala, India, Phytotaxa 502 (3), pp. 283-288: 283-286

publication ID 10.11646/phytotaxa.502.3.6


persistent identifier

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scientific name

Eugenia pokkudanii A.M. Maya, K.M. Prabhukumar & V. Suresh

sp. nov.

Eugenia pokkudanii A.M. Maya, K.M. Prabhukumar & V. Suresh   , sp. nov. Figures 1–3 View FIGURE 1 View FIGURE 2 View FIGURE 3 .

Diagnosis:— Eugenia pokkudanii   shows morphological similarities with E. discifera Gamble (1918: 239)   , but differs mainly by lateral nerves 6–8 pairs (versus 10–15 pairs in E. discifera   ), petioles 2–5 mm long (vs. 6–10 mm long), flowers 0.7–1 cm across (vs. up to 2 cm across), pedicels 0.3–0.56 cm long (vs. 0.5–0.9 cm long), bracteoles oblong (vs. lanceolate), calyx tubes 0.9–1.5 mm long (vs. 2–3 mm long), calyx lobes 1.6–2.5 mm wide (vs. 4–5 mm wide) and petals broadly elliptic (vs. orbicular). It is also similar to Eugenia indica ( Wight 1842: 523) Chithra (1983: 153)   , but differs from it by its blades with 6–8 pairs of lateral veins (versus 5–6 pairs in E. indica   ), petioles 2–5 mm long (vs. 3–8 mm long), bracteoles oblong (vs. linear), calyx tubes 0.9–1.5 mm long (vs. 4–6 mm long), calyx lobes 1.6–2.5 mm wide (vs. ca. 5 mm wide) and petals broadly elliptic (vs. orbicular). See also Table 1.

Type:— INDIA. Kerala, Palakkad District, Nelliyampathy, Keshavanpara , 1002 m, 10°32’26.79” N, 76°40’49.23”E, 23 March 2019, A. M GoogleMaps   . Maya , K. M   . Prabhukumar & Suresh   V. GVCP-SV122 (holotype MH!, isotype CALI!)   .

Description:— Large shrubs to small trees, 2–4 m height; profusely branched; branches terete, rusty brown appressed, sparsely pubescent; branchlets terete, greenish brown, rusty brown appressed pubescent; internodes 1.5–2.2 cm long. Leaves coriaceous, petiolate; lamina elliptic, 1.5–6.3 × 0.5–2.5 cm, base cuneate to attenuate, margins entire slightly revolute, apex obtuse to rounded, adaxially green glabrous and abaxially silvery whitish green, sparsely rusty brown puberulent at middle and apex, brown appressed puberulent at leaf base, midvein not conspicuous; lateral veins 6–8 pairs; Petiole 2mm – 5mm long, slender, terete, green, rusty brown appressed tomentose. Inflorescences solitary or few-flowered, axillary or lateral. Flowers at anthesis 0.8–1.3 cm long × 0.7–1 cm in diameter, white, pedicellate; pedicels 3–5.6 × 0.3–0.9 mm, slender, terete, green, floccose rusty hairy; bracteoles 2, 1.6–1.9 × 0.4–0.5 mm, oblong, rounded at apex, green, floccose brown pubescent abaxially, white–brown appressed pubescent adaxially; hypanthium campanulate; calyx tube 0.9–1.5 × 1.5–1.7 mm, green, floccose brown pubescent; calyx lobes 4, 1.6–1.8 × 1.6–2.5 mm, orbicular to suborbicular, margin ciliate, rusty brown long hairs on abaxial side, floccose white pubescent adaxially; petals 4, broadly elliptic, 3–6 × 3.6–6.2 mm, margins entire, recurved at apex, pellucid, glabrous, white suffused with brown and purple stripes on abaxial side at tip. Androecium apostemonous; stamens extrorse, dithecous, numerous; staminal disk 3.2–4.6 mm in diameter, broad, fulvous white pubescent; filaments terete, 4.5–7 mm long, slender, white, gland-dotted, glabrous; anthers 2-celled, oblong, 0.6–0.7 × 0.55–0.6 mm, dorsifixed, yellowish brown and gland-dotted. Ovary 1.5–1.6 mm in diameter; style thick, 0.6–1.7 × 0.2–0.3 mm, gland-dotted; stigma entire; locules 2; ovules 2 in each locule, ovoid, 0.01–0.02 mm in diameter; placentation axillary. Fruits berries, ellipsoid, 0.9–1.3 × 0.5–0.9 cm, green when young and reddish orange when ripe, glabrous, crowned by the persistent calyx. Seeds 1–2.

Phenology:— February to April.

Etymology:— The species is named in honor of the late Mr. Kallen Pokkudan (1937–2015), an environmental activist from the state of Kerala, India, in recognition of his efforts for the protection and proliferation of the mangrove forests in Kerala.

Ecology:— The new species is known only from the type locality and grows as a small tree between 900 to 1000 m elev.

Paratypes:— INDIA. Kerala, Palakkad District, Nelliyampathy , Pothumala, 13 March 2019, A. M   . Maya & Suresh   V. GVCP-SV113 ( MH!). Pothumala, 20 February 2020, A. M   . Maya & Suresh   V. GVCP-SV269 ( CALI!). Keshavanpara, 21 February 2020, A. M   . Maya & Suresh   V. GVCP-SV270 ( KFRI!)   .

Distribution and Habitat:— Semi-evergreen patches of Keshavanpara and Pothumala hills of Nelliyampathy forest, Western Ghats, Palakkad, Kerala, India.

Conservation status:— Eugenia pokkudanii   is known only from the type locality. The extent of occurrence ( EOO) of the species is estimated to be less than 1 km 2 and the area of occupancy ( AOO) less than 50 m 2. Since the only extant locality is a tourist destination, it is possible to infer a reduction in the past of the potential habitat of the species. For this reason, the species can be categorized as Critically Endangered ( CR) based on criteria B1 + B2 (a + bii + iii)   ( IUCN 2019)   .


Harvard University - Arnold Arboretum


Botanische Staatssammlung München


Royal Botanic Gardens


Royal British Columbia Museum - Herbarium


Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel


University of Calicut


Kerala Forest Research Institute


Museo Nacional de Costa Rica