Scientists discovered new species of milk weed family

Scientists named it Vincetoxicum emeiense.

Vincetoxicum is a genus of plants in the family Apocynaceae. It has about 5,350 species, among which 70 species of Vincetoxicum occurring in China.

During an expedition to Mount Emei, scientists from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) and their collaborators discovered a new species of Vincetoxicum. They collected the unknown species in May 2020 from the evergreen broad-leaved forest in Emeishan City.

Detailed examination of the species confirmed it as new to science. It was also found to be different from any other species of Vincetoxicum in morphological characters.

Vincetoxicum emeiense
Flowering branch of Vincetoxicum emeiense. (Image by SHEN Jianyong)

Named as Vincetoxicum emeiense, the new species is a twining plant similar to V. hui and V. koi. However, it has several features that can distinguish them from others.

The Vincetoxicum emeiense has a glabrous stem and adaxially puberulent leaf shape, and with adaxially puberulent and orange to the purple corolla.

As the study is thorough enough to understand the species’ natural distribution thoroughly, scientists regarded the conservation status of the new species as Data Deficient.

Journal Reference:
  1. SI-YUAN ZENG et al. Vincetoxicum emeiense (Asclepiadeae, Asclepiadoideae, Apocynaceae), a new species from Sichuan, China. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.505.1.3

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