Sunday 28 April 2013

Two new species of Milkvine from Venezuela and Brazil.

Milkvines of the genus Malalea are found across southern parts of North America, Central America and northern South America. They are perennial twining vines, who get their common name from the milky latex they produce. They are members of the Dogbane family.

In a paper published in the journal PhytoKeys on 26 September 2012 Alexander Krings of the Herbarium  at the Department of Plant Biology at North Carolina State University and Gilberto Morillo of the Facultad de Ciencias Forestales y Ambientales at the Universidad de Los Andes in Venezuela describe two new species of Milkvine from South America.

The first new species is named Matelea brevistipitata, referring to the short stipe of the flowers. It is a slender woody vine with spear-shaped leaves, producing peduncles of 3-5 greenish-white flowers. The species found in Amazonas and Bolívar states in southern Venezuela, and probably in neighbouring areas of Brazil. 

Specimen of Matelea brevistipitata. Krings & Morillo (2012).

The second new species is given the name Matelea trichopedicellata, referring to the flower stems, which are very hairy. It is a woody vine with elliptical leaves and peduncles of one or two flowers. The species is described from a single specimen, found near Igarapé Cajazeirinha in Pará State Brazil.

Specimen of Matelea trichopedicellata. Krings & Morillo (2012).

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