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  1. Family: Cyperaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Rhynchospora Vahl
      1. Rhynchospora panduranganii Viji, Shaju & Geetha Kum.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is India (Kerala).


    Viji, A.R., Shaju, T. & Geethakumary, M.P. 2014. Rhynchospora panduranganii (Cyperaceae), a new sedge species from the Western Ghats of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, India. Kew Bulletin 69: 9519. DOI

    Type: India, Kerala, Wayanad Distr., 11°54'35.3""N & 75°59'09.4""E, A. R. Viji & M. P. Geethakumary 71033 (holotype TBGT!; isotypes CALl!, MH!).
    Perennial herb
    Rhizomes 1 – 2 cm long, 2 – 2.5 cm wide; roots spongy
    Culm 1 – 4 per plant, 50 – 200 × 0.5 – 1 cm at mid height, striate, trigonous to triquetrous, distally scaberulous on the angles, the bases surrounded by firm, pale brown, old leaf sheaths
    Leaves basal and cauline, 4 – 7 per culm; sheaths 4 – 10 cm long, pale brown on distal leaves; blades 35 – 180 × 0.7 – 1.5 cm, green, flat, rigid, gradually narrowed towards apex, scaberulous near margin towards apex and along the midrib beneath
    Inflorescences terminal and axillary, umbellate with subglobose heads, densely crowded; involucral bracts 4 – 7, arranged in 2 – 3 whorls, unequal, the lowest 4 leaf-like, 10 – 15 cm long, patent, sheathless, base dilated, distally scabrid; upper 3 bracts setaceous, 1 – 3 cm long; terminal inflorescence 8 – 15 × 4 – 6 cm, peduncles 6 – 10 cm long, spikelet clusters 8 – 20 per inflorescence; axillary inflorescences 2, 3 – 6 × 2 – 4 cm, peduncles 2 – 4 cm long, the spikelet clusters 6 – 13; spikelets 6 – 52 per cluster, linear-lanceolate, 6 – 8 × 1 – 2.3 mm, 1 – 2 flowered; pedicels 0.8 – 1 mm long; glumes spirally imbricate, 4 – 6 per spikelet, keeled, uninerved, hyaline, deep brown; basal sterile glumes 2 – 3, ovate-oblong, 2.5 – 3 × 1.5 – 2 mm; glumes subtending perfect flowers 2, broadly ovate, 6 – 7 × 3 – 4 mm, shortly mucronate; glume subtending staminate flower 1 or 2, linear-elliptic, 3 – 4 × 1.5 – 2.3 mm
    Perianth bristles 6, persistent, 4 – 4.8 mm long, reaching almost half of the nut beak, slender, antrorselyscabrid
    Stamens 3, 2.5 – 3 mm long, the anthers linear, 1.5 – 2 mm long, apex with acute crest, filaments c- 1 mm long
    Ovary obovoid, c- 1 mm long; style 5 – 5.3 mm long, base dilated; stigma undivided or shortly bilobed at apex
    Achenes obovoid, 3.2 – 3.5 × 1.8 – 2.5 mm, strongly dorsiventrally compressed, irregularly rugose, deep brown, epidermal cells minute, isodiametric, apex obtuse; nut beak conical, 4 – 4.5 × 1 – 1.5 mm, compressed, prominently grooved on both sides, smooth, apex obtuse to acute, scabrid
    Figs 1 and 2.
    distribution. India: Kerala, Wayanad Distr. in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is located in the Western Ghats (11°30' – 12°0'N and 76°0' – 77°15'E) and falls at the tri-junction of the states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu of the Indian Union. The reserve is within the Indo-Malayan Realm and Western Ghats Biogeographic zone. It encompasses a total area of 5,520 km2, of these the core area constitutes 1,240 km2, the buffer 3,574 km2 and transition having 706 km2. The topography is highly undulating and the altitude ranges from 300 – 2655m. The rainfall varies from 600 mm at lower elevations to over 5000 mm in high elevation Ghats. The reserve harbours a wide spectrum of ecosystems and has been noted as one of the micro ‘hotspots’ for speciation in the tropics (Pandurangan et al. 2012). The type locality (Tirunelli, Wayanad District) falls within the core area of Biosphere Reserve.
    habitat. Rhynchospora panduranganii occurs at an altitude of ± 900 m in the open marshy area and evergreen forest margins. The associated species in the community include: members of Cyperaceae such as Cyperushaspan L., Fimbristylismiliacea (L.) Vahl, KyllingabrevifoliaRottb. and K. nemoralis (J. R. Forst. & G. Forst.) Dandy ex Hutch. & Dalziel, Eragrostisunioloides (Retz.) Nees ex Steud. (Poaceae), Hygrophilaschulli M. R. Almeida & S. M. Almeida (Acanthaceae) and Ludwigiaperennis L. (Onagraceae).
    conservation status. According to IUCN criteria (IUCN 2012a & b, 2013), the extent of occurrence (EOO) between the two localities is less than 20 km and there are less than 25 individuals in the population. The area of occupancy (AOO) is less than 0.5 km2, which indicates its narrow endemic nature. Therefore we recommend a preliminary conservation assessment as Critically Endangered: CR – B1a; B2a; D. Fortunately the type locality is located within the Biosphere Reserve and thus is adequately protected.
    phenology. Flowering and fruiting was observed from August to November.
    etymology. The species is named in honour of Dr A. G. Pandurangan, Head, Plant Systematics and Evolutionary Science Division, Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI), for his contribution to plant taxonomy and conservation. recognition. When mature, Rhynchospora panduranganii closely resembles immature plants of R. corymbosa and hence may have been overlooked by earlier explorers of the Biosphere Reserve. It is similar to and undoubtedly, related to R. scutellataGriseb. but differs in its more robust habit, a well-developed rhizome, wider leaf blades, a larger inflorescence with more spikelets, and nutlets with a shorter beak (Table 1). It also lacks an inverted ‘U’ on the surface of the achenes found in R. scutellata. Its inflorescence is unique when compared to all known species from India. To illustrate these differences, an identification key to all Rhynchospora species known from India is presented below.



    Other Data

    Rhynchospora panduranganii Viji, Shaju & Geetha Kum. appears in other Kew resources:


    First published in Kew Bull. 69(3)-9519: 1 (2014)

    Accepted by

    • Govaerts, R. (2019). World Checklist of Vascular Plants (WCVP Database) The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


    Kew Bulletin

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    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
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    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.