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Hankey A.J.,South African Natonal Biodiversity Institute | Hahn N.,Herbarium Soutpansbergensis | Buys M.H.,New Zealand Forest Research Institute | Buys M.H.,Stellenbosch University
Bothalia | Year: 2014

Background: Ledebouria Roth (Hyacinthaceae: Hyacinthoideae) is a largely African genus with, more or less, 40 species occurring in South Africa. The species was first collected in December 1990 by R. Archer [Archer, R.H. 503 (PRE)] and remained un-identified. Subsequently, N. Hahn also collected the species in 1992 [N. Hahn 444 (ZPB)] and, upon failing to resolve the identity of the specimen, he approached A. Hankey who initiated further collaborative research. Objective: To describe the new species of Ledebouria from Blouberg mountain massif in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Method: Relevant existing specimens in herbaria were examined and morphological characters and states noted. The type specimen was collected during an expedition under the guidance of Prof. Dirk Bellstedt accompanied by Mr Adam Harrower. Results: Ledebouria caesiomontana A.J.Hankey & N.Hahn sp. nov. was described and illustrated. The new species was distinguished from its closest relative, Ledebouria papillata S.Venter, by the ovary which lacks basal lobes, as well the absence of cataphylls and the irregular papillate ridges present only on the upper leaf surfaces. Conclusion: Ledebouria caesiomontana is a new species restricted to the Blouberg mountain massif in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Initial estimates deem the species to be vulnerable (VU D2) as a result of especially anthropogenic-induced disturbances on the Blouberg. Copyright: © 2014. The Authors. Licensee: AOSIS OpenJournals. This work is licensed under the Creatve Commons Atributon License.

Mashau A.C.,South African Natonal Biodiversity Institute | Gotze A.R.,Environment Research Consulting
Bothalia | Year: 2014

Background: Schoenefeldia is a genus of C4 grasses, consisting of two species in Africa, Madagascar and India. It is the only representative of the genus found in southern Africa, where it was previously only known from a few collections in the southern part of the Kruger National Park (Mpumalanga Province, South Africa), dating from the early 1980s. Objectives: The objective of this study was to document a newly recorded population of Schoenefeldia transiens in an area that is exploited for coal mining. Method: A specimen of S. transiens was collected between Musina and Pontdrift, about 30 km east of Mapungubwe National Park, in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. The specimen was identified at the National Herbarium (Pretoria). Results: This is not only a new distribution record for the quarter degree grid (QDS: 2229BA), but is also the first record of this grass in the Limpopo Province. The population of S. transiens has already been fragmented and partially destroyed because of mining activities and is under serious threat of total destruction. Conclusion: It is proposed that the population of S. transiens must be considered to be of conservation significance, and the population should be made a high priority in the overall environmental management programme of the mining company that owns the land. Copyright: © 2014. The Authors. Licensee: AOSIS OpenJournals. This work is licensed under the Creatve Commons Atributon License.

Bergh N.G.,South African Natonal Biodiversity Institute | Helme N.A.,Nick Helme Botanical Surveys
Bothalia | Year: 2014

Background: Berkheya is a large, mainly southern African genus of approximately 75 species, several of which are poorly known and under-collected. Since revision in 1959, only a few new species have been described. Publication of new taxa facilitates conservation objectives and contributes to a better understanding of the southern African flora. Objectives: The objectives of this study were to describe a new species of Berkheya, consider its taxonomic position within the genus and assess its conservation status. Methods: Macromorphology and micromorphology of the new species were compared with known species. Results: Berkheya dumicola N.G.Bergh & Helme was described from two subpopulations from the northern Bokkeveld escarpment, Northern Cape Province, South Africa. The species is a tall shrub with radiate flowerheads, toothed receptacle alveole margins, a uniseriate pappus of small, rounded scales and very short twin-hairs on the cypsela. Conclusion: Berkheya dumicola is a new species with a unique combination of features. Based on morphological characteristics, its closest relative within the genus is likely to be the recently described Berkheya chrysanthemoides J.C.Manning & Goldblatt. The limited geographic extent and small population size of B. dumicola warrant an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) status of 'Endangered'. Copyright: © 2014. The Authors. Licensee: AOSIS OpenJournals. This work is licensed under the Creatve Commons Atributon License.

Le Roux M.M.,South African Natonal Biodiversity Institute | Le Roux M.M.,University of Johannesburg | Manning J.C.,South African Natonal Biodiversity Institute | Manning J.C.,University of KwaZulu - Natal
Bothalia | Year: 2014

Background: Field studies confirmed that unusually long-tubed populations of Pelargonium dipetalum from between Swellendam and Albertinia, Western Cape Province, South Africa, are a distinct ecotype adapted to pollination by the long-proboscid fly, Prosoeca longipennis. The geographical and morphological isolation of these populations suggests that they are reproductively isolated from short-tubed populations, which are pollinated by bees. Objectives: To determine and describe the floral variation in P. dipetalum, with a view to recognising the long-tubed populations at some taxonomic level. Method: All available collections were measured and compared. Results: Populations of P. dipetalum were segregated into a short-tubed form with hypanthium 3 mm - 24 mm long and mostly pink petals that occurs from Betty's Bay to Knysna, and a long-tubed form with the hypanthium 34 mm - 54 mm long and consistently white petals that is restricted to a small area east of Swellendam between Suurbraak and Albertinia. We described the long-tubed form as the new subspecies P. dipetalum subsp. stenosiphon. Conclusion: The new subspecies increases our understanding of the diversity in P. dipetalum and represents a new taxon of conservation concern. © 2014. The Authors.

Victor J.E.,South African Natonal Biodiversity Institute | Aphane M.,South African Natonal Biodiversity Institute
Bothalia | Year: 2014

Background: Pelargonium reniforme Curt. is a morphologically variable species that many authors have attempted to split or combine. Confusion relating to the differences between the two subspecies currently included under P. reniforme has impeded attempts to assess their conservation status. Pelargonium reniforme is closely related to Pelargonium sidoides; the two species are indistinguishable when not flowering and their distributions overlap in some areas. Objectives: With this study, we aimed to clarify the taxonomic status of the two subspecies of P. reniforme, which has relevance in terms of their conservation status. Method: Leaf shape, petiole length, internode length and flower colour were assessed by studying herbarium specimens of the two subspecies of P. reniforme and specimens of P. sidoides. Living specimens of the two subspecies were also examined in their natural habitat. Results: The current investigation showed that the morphological characters used to distinguish the two subspecies of P. reniforme are too variable to separate them. Variation in some morphological characters may be related to environmental conditions. Conclusion: The recognition of the two subspecies of P. reniforme as distinct taxa is no longer justified. Copyright: © 2014. The Authors. Licensee: AOSIS OpenJournals. This work is licensed under the Creatve Commons Atributon License.

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