Typhonium is the largest genus in the aroid family (Araceae). It comprises of about 100 species of tuberous perennial herbs, and is most often found in wooded areas. 12 species in the genus Typhonium have been found in Myanmar.
During the exploration of family Araceae in Sagaing Region, Myanmar, a researcher came across an enigmatic Typhonium species collected in Monywa and Budalin Township of Monywa District in August 2020.
After careful morphological examination and comparing it with the relevant literature, the researchers confirmed that it was a new species, and named it Typhonium edule, referring to the inflorescence and the leaves of the species eaten by local people. The study was published in Phytotaxa.
“Typhonium edule is the 13th representative of the genus Typhonium in Myanmar,” said Mark Arcebal K. Naive, a Filipino PhD candidate at Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Typhonium edule is a seasonally dormant herb. It grows in tropical dry forest with open to semi open canopy at elevations between 50–85 m above sea level. The Burmese people call it ‘kyee-chay’ and cook its inflorescences and leaves.
Owing to the insufficient information on the distribution and population size of Typhonium edule in the wild, the researchers proposed that the species should be treated as ‘data deficient’ (DD) following the Red List criteria of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Typhonium edule (Image by K.Z.Hein)
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