1. Family: Gesneriaceae Dumort.
    1. Genus: Microchirita (C.B.Clarke) Yin Z.Wang
      1. Microchirita lilacina C.Puglisi

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Thailand.

    [KBu]

    Puglisi C., Middleton DJ., Suddee S. 2016. Four new species of Microchirita (Gesneriaceae) from Thailand. Kew Bulletin 71: 2. DOI 10.1007/S12225-016-9614-0

    Type
    Thailand, Tak, Umphang, D. J. Middleton, C. Hemrat, P. Karaket, C. Puglisi & S. Suddee 5704 (holotype BKF; isotypes AAU, E, K, QBG, SING).
    Habit
    Herb to 40 cm tall.
    Stem
    Stems fleshy, red at base, otherwise green, with pale green hairs, which are lost in dried specimens.
    Leaves
    Leaves opposite, with the exception of the single one or two basal leaves, fleshy (very thin when dry); petioles 0.3 - 2.5 cm long, glabrous; blades pale to mid green above, paler beneath, ovate, 2.5 - 18 x 1.4 - 13 cm, 1.3 - 1.8 times as long as wide, densely tomentose above, sparsely so beneath, base cordate, apex acuminate or rarely acute, margin entire, 6 - 10 pairs of secondary veins in the opposite leaves, 10 - 15 in the basal leaf, venation raised beneath in fresh material, tertiary venation finely and irregularly retic­ulate, visible only beneath.
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescence epiphyllous, 2 - 15-flowered, forming a crest where the young flowers develop flush to the midrib and then progressively curve upwards and backwards towards the stem; peduncles wholly or partly fused with the petiole, if partly arising from the petiole, then also fused together; pedicels green, 0.2 - 1.5 cm long, glabrous or sparsely hairy.
    Calyx
    Calyx pale green, bilabiate, tube 0.5 – 1.4 mm long, lobes narrowly lanceolate, 6.5 - 7 x 0.8 – 1.2 mm, with the central upper lobe (alternate to the upper corolla lobes) c. 1 mm shorter than the other lobes, membranous along the side edges, apex nar­rowly obtuse, outside with scattered eglandular hairs along the midrib, inside with a minute indumentum of sessile glands.
    Corolla
    Corolla 0.8 - 1.2 cm long, markedly variable even within populations, tube whitish pale lilac, with a narrow basal portion 3 - 4 mm long, c. 2.5 mm diam., glabrous, then abruptly broadening into a campanulate tube, pubescent with very fine eglandular hairs outside, inside glabrous, with a yellow stripe ventrally, lobes very pale lilac, the upper with sparse stalked glands, especially abundant towards the centre of the upper lip, the lower minutely papillose; tube length 1.1 - 1.3 cm dorsally, 1.3 - 1.4 cm ventrally, 1.05 - 1.25 cm laterally between lips, upper lobes elliptic, 3 - 3.5 x c. 5 mm, lower lateral lobes elliptic, 3 - 3.5 x 5 - 6.5 mm, lower central lobe rounded, 4 - 4.5 x 4.5 - 5 mm.
    Stamens
    Stamens arising 4.5 - 5 mm above the corolla tube base, filaments glabrous, 3.5 - 4.5 mm long, slightly twisted, anthers glabrous, 1.7 - 3 x 0.6 - 1.5 mm, apically joined by a connective, thecae divergent and apiculate, anthers cream-white with a dark spot beside the attachment of the filament; lateral staminodes 1.5 - 3 mm long, arising 3 - 3.7 mm above the tube base, central staminode c. 1.7 mm long, arising c. 2.8 mm above tube base.
    Disc
    Disk a ventral lobe, 0.3 - 0.4 mm high, with irregular margin.
    Pistil
    Pistil 1.2 - 1.6 cm long; ovary fusiform, 6 - 11 mm long, with scattered glands for 12- 23 and then distally with fewer glands and a dense eglandular pubescence; style 5 - 6 mm long, curved downwards, hairy; stigma with pronounced lobes, lobes 1 - 1.4 mm long, 0.6 – 0.8 mm wide, narrowly elliptic, glabrous outside, papillose inside.
    Fruits
    Fruit green, 2 - 6 cm long, 0.8 – 1 mm diam., glabrous at base, sometimes with indumentum terminally, straight or curved.
    Seeds
    Seeds brown, elliptic, 0.4 - 0.5 x c. 0.2 mm.
    Distribution
    Thailand: Tak
    Ecology
    On limestone in dry and disturbed environments.
    Conservation
    Endangered (EN B1ab(iii,iv) +B2 ab(iii,iv)). This species is known from disturbed roadside collections, with the exception of two collec­tions in Doi Hua Mot Wildlife Sanctuary, over an area within the bounds of an EOO in the Endangered category. Its known localities are subject to disturbance.
    Note

    Microchirita hemratii and M. lilacina belong to a group of species characterised by corolla colours ranging from pale lilac-white to blue. M. hemratii and M. lilacina have small corollas in comparison with most members of their group, which are also much darker in colour. The only species somewhat similar to them are M. suddeei, M. albiflora and M. karaketii D. J. Middleton & Triboun, all from Northern Thailand. M. karaketii is similar in the shape of the corolla tube, but differs in the colour pattern of the corolla, being white with a ventral yellow line and purple spots to either side of it. M. albiflora is pure white and differs from the other species in having its anthers free, a rare feature in Microchirita.

    M. suddeei is much closer to M. hemratii and M. lilacina, and the main difference is in the absence of the ventral yellow stripe in the flower, which is present in both the new species. Finally, one other important distinguishing feature between these closely related species is the indumentum dorsally on the anthers, which is present in M. suddeei and M. hemratii, reduced in M. karaketii and absent in M. lilacina and M. albiflora.

    The plant is named after its pale lilac corolla. Similar to Microchirita suddeei, M. albiflora and M. hemratii. Differs from M. suddeei in the glabrous anthers and the presence of a yellow stripe; differs from M. albiflora in the shape of the tube (trumpet shaped in M. albiflora and narrow at base and suddenly broadening into a campanulate upper tube in M. lilacina) and the size of the corolla lobes; and differs from M. hemratii in the glabrous anthers (densely hairy dorsally in M. hemratii).

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Thailand

    Microchirita lilacina C.Puglisi appears in other Kew resources:

    First published in Kew Bull. 71(1)-2: 5 (2016)

    Literature

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    Sources

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Bulletin
    Kew Bulletin
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0