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A New Rare Species of Impatiens Discovered in Yunnan

Oct 08, 2015     Email"> PrintText Size

Impatiens L, a genus of Balsaminaceae, is famous for its high ornamental value. Up to now, the genus contains over 1000 species, and over 260 species have been reported in China. It is notorious for its taxonomic difficulty and taxonomic research on it is not yet sufficient till now. 

Prof. HU Guangwan, current curator of the Herbarium of Wuhan Botanical Garden, initially found an unusual kind of Impatiens in Tongbiguan Nature Reserve, southwestern Yunnan, in 2007.  

After several years of study, no proper scientific name had been found for it.  In 2011, another field survey was carried out especially for this plant in the place where Dr. HU found it for the first time and its neighboring areas. Adequate specimens and research materials have been collected in this survey. Micro-morphological characters of pollen grains and seeds using SEM were presented for detailed comparison in addition to morphological studies.  

After a careful comparison in morphology and micro-morphology with its closely related species, and consulting the literature, the species was confirmed to be new to science. Under the cooperation with Dr. CAI Xiuzhen and Dr. CONG Yiyan from Hunan Normal University, description of this new species was published in Phytotaxa entitled “Impatiens xanthinoides (Balsaminaceae), a new species from Yunnan, China”.  

Morphologically, the new species is similar to Impatiens xanthina. However, it is easy to be distinguished from I. xanthina by having glabrous and galeiform dorsal petal without purple dot at base, and the lateral united petals stipitate with fan-shaped, apex acute lower lobes. 

Due to its similarity to I. xanthina, Prof. HU nominated it as I. Xanthinoides. The holotype of the new species was deposited at the herbarium of Wuhan Botanical Garden, CAS (HIB). Isotypes were deposited in the herbariums of Institute of Botany, CAS (PE) and Hunan Normal University (HNNU). 

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Hunan Provincial Construct Program of the Key Discipline in Ecology and the Cooperative Innovation Center of Engineering and New Products for Developmental Biology of Hunan Province. 


Imaptiens xanthina H. F. Comber (Image by Prof. HU)  


 Impatiens xanthinoides G. W. Hu (Image by Prof. HU)  


(Editor: CHEN Na)


Prof. HU Guangwan

Wuhan Botanical Garden

E-mail: guangwanhu@wbgcas.cn

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