Cunonia L.

Cunonia dickisonii Pillon & H.C.Hopkins

This species is accepted, and its native range is SE. New Caledonia.


Pillon, Y., Hopkins, H.C.F. & Bradford, J.C. (2008). Two new species of Cunonia (Cunoniaceae) from New Caledonia. Kew Bulletin 63: 419.

The area of Mt Humboldt and Mt Kouakoué above 1000 m is considerably less than 150 km2. The first author spent several days on both mountains and found that Cunonia dickisonii was uncommon in both localities, except on the summital crest of Mt Kouakoué. Although the upper parts of both mountains are botanical reserves, these areas still do not benefit from a mining ban, and therefore future mining for nickel cannot be ruled out (Jaffré et al. 1998). Furthermore, fire is a major threat to primary vegetation and nature reserves are as much at risk as areas without legal protection. Finally, because this species is restricted to the upper part of two of the highest mountains of New Caledonia, global warming may reduce the area of suitable habitat in the future. C. dickisonii is here given the provisional status of Endangered: EN B1ab(i,ii,iii)+2ab(i,ii,iii).
Mt Humboldt and Mt Kouakoué
This species is restricted to montane maquis on ultramafic rocks, above 1000 m.
Morphology General Bark
Bark rugose with marked lenticels
Morphology General Habit
Dense bushy-topped shrub c. 1 m high
Morphology Leaves
Leaf blades ovate to obovate, 2.8 – 4.5 × 1.6 – 2.8 cm, base cuneate or rounded, apex rounded to truncate or retuse, lamina bullate, coriaceous, margin toothed and minutely reflexed; adaxial surface hirsute in fresh leaves, the hairs semi-erect and wavy, to 1.5 mm long, strongly persistent on midrib (and petiole), otherwise glabrescent after drying; abaxial surface fairly densely tomentose on midrib and veins (and petiole), intervenium sparsely hirsute, the hairs ± straight and adpressed, to 2 mm long; secondary veins 5 – 6 on either side of midrib, forming an angle of c. 30° – 45° with the latter; primary and secondary veins prominent below, sunken above, tertiary veins clearly distinct on both surfaces; secondary venation semicraspedodromous, the veins branching toward the margin, each branch ending at the sinus of a tooth Leaves opposite, simple, 1 – 2 (– 4) pairs at the tip of each twig
Morphology Leaves Petiole
Petioles 2 – 8 mm long
Morphology Leaves Stipules
Stipules cordate-ovate, to 10 × 8 mm, rounded at base and apex, with abaxial surface densely hairy, the hairs ± adpressed, 1.5 mm long, and adaxial surface glabrous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers: sepals 5, ovate, 1.2 × 1 mm, minutely hairy on abaxial surface; petals 5, reddish, ovate, 2 – 2.5 × 1.2 – 1.5 mm, glabrous; stamens 10, filaments to 4 mm long, anthers c. 0.5 mm long; disc 0.2 mm high; ovary ovoid, 1.5 mm long, hairy; styles 2, each 3 mm long, glabrous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Pedicel
Pedicel short, < 1 mm, hairy
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruits not seen.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences of 2 opposite simple racemes (type 2 of Hoogland et al-1997), with an apical bud between their bases Inflorescence axis 1 – 5.5 cm long including a peduncle of 1 – 10 mm, covered with curly and erect hairs, to 2 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts
Floral bracts lanceolate, 3 × 1 mm, hairy on abaxial surface
Morphology Stem
Young twigs c. 3 mm diameter, with semi-erect, wavy trichomes (hereafter hairs) 1 mm long, older stems glabrescent
This species is named to commemorate William C. Dickison, who conducted extensive anatomical studies on Cunoniaceae and other New Caledonian plant families. The high altitude maquis of Mts Humboldt and Kouakoué is particularly rich in Cunoniaceae, including several rare species. Besides Cunonia dickisonii and C. rotundifolia, two species of Pancheria, both invalidly published by Guillaumin (1964) under the names P. humboldtiana and P. multijuga are restricted to these two mountains, the latter occurring also on Montagne des Sources. Pancheria robusta Guillaumin and Cunonia pseudoverticillata Guillaumin occur only on Mt Kouakoué and Montagne des Sources, whereas Acsmithia elliptica (Pamp.) Hoogland, C. alticola and C. bullata are more widespread on the mountain tops of the southern ultramafic massif of New Caledonia, including Mts Humboldt and Kouakoué. Endemic species in various other families, such as Cupressaceae, Myrtaceae and Proteaceae, are also known only from the montane maquis of Mts Humboldt and Kouakoué. Some of these taxa were initially known only from Mt Humboldt, as Mt Kouakoué is less accessible and has been less well collected in the past, but several have now been found on the latter mountain during recent expeditions (2000 onwards). Few if any are only known from Mt Kouakoué. As in Cunonia and Pancheria (Bradford & Jaffré 2004), micro-endemism at high altitude is common in several genera in other families, with species endemic to Mts Humboldt, Kouakoué and other mountains, such as Roche Ouaïème or Mt Panié: e.g. Beauprea (Proteaceae, Virot 1967), Dracophyllum (Ericaceae, Virot 1975) and Metrosideros (Myrtaceae, Dawson 1992).
McPherson, Munzinger & Labat 19340, New Caledonia, Province Sud, Mt Kouakoué, 21°58′6′′S 166°30′16′′E, 1200 m, 7 Nov. 2004, fl. (holotypus P!; isotypus MO!).

Native to:

New Caledonia

Cunonia dickisonii Pillon & H.C.Hopkins appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Kew Bull. 63: 420 (2008 publ. 2009)

Accepted by

  • Hopkins, H.C.F., Pillon, Y. & Hoogland, R.D. (2014). Flore de la Nouvelle-Calédonie et Dépendances 26: 1-455. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris.


Kew Bulletin

  • Barnes, R. W. & Rozefelds, A. C. (2000). Comparative morphology of Anodopetalum (Cunoniaceae). Austral. Syst. Bot. 13: 267 – 282.
  • Bradford, J. C. & Jaffré, T. (2004). Plantspecies microendemism and conservation of montane maquis in New Caledonia: twonew species of Pancheria (Cunoniaceae) from the Roche Ouaïème. Biodivers.Conserv. 13: 2253 – 2273.
  • Bradford, J. C. (2002). Molecularphylogenetics and morphological evolution in Cunonieae (Cunoniaceae). Ann.Missouri Bot. Gard. 89: 491 – 503.
  • Bradford, J. C., Hopkins, H. C. F. & Barnes,R. W. (2004). Cunoniaceae. In: K. Kubitzki (ed.), The families and genera ofvascular plants, pp. 91 – 111. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  • Coates Palgrave, K. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2003). Trees of Southern Africa. Struik publishers, Cape Town.
  • Dawson, J. W. (1992). Myrtaceae — Leptospermoideae. Flore de la Nouvelle-Calédonie et Dépendances vol. 18. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris.
  • Guillaumin, A. (1964). Résultats Scientifiques de la Mission Franco-Suisse de Botanique en Nouvelle-Calédonie (1950 – 1952). sér. 3, Mém. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. B, Bot. 15: 1 – 93.
  • Hoogland, R. D., Jérémie, J. & Hopkins, H. C. F. (1997). Le genre Cunonia (Cunoniaceae) en Nouvelle-Calédonie. Description de cinq espèces nouvelles. Adansonia 19: 7 – 19.
  • Jaffré, T., Bouchet, P., Veillon, J.-M. (1998). Threatened plants of New Caledonia: is the system of protected areas adequate? Biodivers. Conserv. 7: 109 – 135.
  • Lescot, M. (1980). Flacourtiacées. Flore de la Nouvelle-Calédonie et Dépendances 9: 3 – 134. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris.
  • Paris, J. -P. (1981). Géologie de la Nouvelle-Calédonie: un essai de synthèse. Editions du B.R.G.M., Orléans.
  • Pintaud, J. -C. & Hodel, D. R. (1998). Three new species of Burretiokentia. Principes. 42: 152 – 155, 160 – 166.
  • Robertson, A. & Sydes, C. (2006). Sorbus pseudomeinichii, a new endemic Sorbus (Rosaceae) microspecies from Arran, Scotland. Watsonia 26: 9 – 14.
  • Stace, C. A. (1997). New Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Virot, R. (1967).Protéacées. Flore de la Nouvelle-Calédonie et Dépendances, vol. 2. MuséumNational d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris.
  • Virot, R. (1975).Epacridacées. Flore de la Nouvelle-Calédonie et Dépendances, vol. 6. MuséumNational d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris.

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