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Three new species of Planchonella Pierre (Sapotaceae) with a dichotomous and an online key to the genus in New Caledonia

Jérôme MUNZINGER & Ulf SWENSON

en Adansonia 31 (1) - Pages 175-189

Published on 26 June 2009

In spite of a recent publication of eight new species of Planchonella (Sapotaceae) from New Caledonia, three additional novelties are here described and illustrated (P. cauliflora, P. ericiflora, and P. minutiflora). Planchonella cauliflora was discovered in 2006 near La Foa and is the first and sole member in the archipelago with a cauliflorous inflorescence, a genus otherwise having axillary flowers (rarely ramiflorous). The other two were discovered among herbarium material but not earlier identified as new. A recent suggested hypothesis (Swenson et al. 2007b) that fruit morphology indicates phylogenetic relationships within Planchonella is supported. A ridged fruit with acuminate apices and a short style place P. cauliflora in their Clade D1, a clade confined to New Caledonia. Fruits of P. minutiflora are unknown, but based on ITS sequence data it belongs to the same clade as P. cauliflora and it is predicted that the fruit is similar. Molecular sequences of P. ericiflora are still missing, but based on a pear-shaped fruit, round apices and a fairly long style, we believe it is closely related to a different clade of Planchonella that is also restricted to New Caledonia. All three species have very narrow distributions and match the criteria of the IUCN red list as Critically Endangered. Planchonella contains henceforth 36 species in New Caledonia to which we here provide a diagnostic and an interactive online key under Xper2, available at ftp://ftp.ird.nc/pub/outgoing/biologie/herbier-nou/.
Keywords :
Sapotaceae, Planchonella, Xper2, IUCN status, New Caledonia, new species
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