- Photo. Chiapas. Photo
by Dennis Breedlove.
- Photo. Plants in full
flower, showing circumscissile dehiscence of the androecial tube. Near
Muroto-Shi, Kochi, Japan. Photograph by Michiyo Satou, published in
"World of Plants" article by Mitsuru Hirota (Weekly Asahihyakka, Jan.
22, 1995). Used with permission.
- Photo. Plants just
past flower. From the website of
the Meeting of Miyakonojo valley plant lovers, color photo album and
- Photo. On roots of
Shikoku (Okinawa shii). Photo taken 15 November 1987. From "Praising Flowers" website,
- Photo. Tokushima
prefecture Kaifu Gun. Photo taken 26 November 1989. From "Praising Flowers" website,
- Drawing (from Makino 1911) by D.
Nickrent. Emerging bud (right) and open flowers (left and middle), both
in female phase.
- Photo. Habit
of plant at Lien-hua-Chih, Taiwan. Photo taken Nov. 11, 1995 by
Series of photos of the flower. Taiwan. Photos by Mutolisp (Psilotum
Lin). Link goes to Flickr.
Series of photos of the flower. Taiwan. Photos by Mingiweng. Link goes to Flickr.
Plants in flower. Nantou region, Taiwan. Photos by Leejoseph. Link goes to Flickr.
- Photo. Close-up of plant at
Chitou, Taiwan. Photo taken Mar. 15, 1995 by Shu-Chuan Hsiao.
Names for the Asian species. A number of names
of Mitrastemon have been (and are currently being) used to
refer to Asian material: M. cochinchinensis, M.
sumatranus, M. kanehirai, M. kawasakii, and M. yamamotoi. The latter three names,
originally proposed by Yamamoto (1925, 1926), were later used by
Watanabe in a large number of publications in the 1930s (see
references). Characters used to support the specific status of these
taxa involved the number of scale leaves (up to six pairs vs. 8-12
pairs), their shape (small, elongate elliptic vs. large, oblong), and
plant aspect (cylindrical vs. 4-angled, obconic). The most recent work
to examine the taxonomy of Mitrastemon was Meijer and Veldkamp
(1993) who concluded that because many intermediates among these
"species" exist, the variation represents local forms and ecotypes and
that all Asian specimens should be regarded as one variable species.
Moreover, as pointed out by van Royen (1963), all forms can be found in
material from Papua New Guinea. Hansen (1973) stated that it was not
possible to distinguish at the specific level the southeast Asian and
Malesian populations. Although technically challenging given the rarity
of these plants, a populational biosystematic study using molecular
markers is likely required to determine whether one or more species
exist in Asia. Until then, the conservative approach taken by Hansen
(1973) and Meijer and Veldkamp (1993) will be followed here.Correct generic name. In addition to Mitrastemon, there are a couple of
orthographic variants of the generic name, including Mitrastema and
Mitrastemma (I have
not seen Mitrastemmon, but it's likely out there too!). In fact, this web page had the genus as Mitrastema for many years.
A proposal to conserve the name Mitrastemon
was published by Reveal (Taxon 2010, 59: 299-300) and ruled on by
the Nomenclature Committee in 2011 (Brummitt 2011, Taxon 60 (4): 1206).
Here's what they said:
"In 1909 Makino published Mitrastemma yamamotoi
as a new genus and species in a rather isolated English paragraph in an
otherwise extensive Japanese text. In his description on p. 327 he
included "Stamens ... mitriform ..." which was obviously the basis for
his generic name. However, stemma would refer to a crown, while stamen should have been -stemon. Mitra-
is derived from the Latin for a turban or other head-dress, which the
fused stamens resemble. In 1911, on both pp. 253 and 255, Makino wrote
"MITRASTEMON (sphalmate MITRASTEMMA) Makino ..." "Sphalmate" means "in
error", and he was clearly stating that he was correcting the
orthography of his own generic name. This correction was accepted
in the Code in 1966, when Mitrastemonaceae was conserved with Mitrastemon
as the type genus - all in accordance with Makino's action. This
has been followed by the vast majority of authors since 1966, but the
proposal quotes a few dissenters who have perversely taken up Mitrastemma. In a revision of the genus in 1993, Veldkamp & Meijer adopted a different orthographic correction, using Mitrastema with single m. They said simply that Makino "changed the name to Mitrastemon. This change is not allowed, and Mitrastemon
is a superfluous name." But Art. 60.1 clearly allows correction of
orthographic (i.e., spelling) errors, and this must be the more so when
the correction is made by the author of the original spelling giving
his arguments. Some of the Committee have considered that it would make
the matter clearer if we accept the proposal, but that might set a bad
precedent. There is a principle involved (see also Prop. 1912 on Loxsoma above). Mitrastemon
is a correction made by the original author himself and is already
accepted in the Code, and so must be adopted. A majority of the
Committee considers conservation unnecessary."
Correct family name. As indicated above MitrastemonaceaeMakino
(in Bot. Mag. Tokyo 25:252) was conserved as the family name in 1966
(ICBN App. IB). Alternate (illegitimate) versions of the family name
are also out there, such as Mitrastemataceae, which is unfortunately
used in the 2008 edition of the
Plant Book by Mabberley.
with but a single genus Mitrastema, was shown to be related
to Ericales by Barkman et al. (2004) using mitochondrial matR
gene sequences. This result is confirmed using nuclear SSU rDNA
and mitochondrial sequence data (Nickrent
et al. 2004).
SIUC / College of Science / Parasitic Plant
Connection / Mitrastemonaceae
Last updated: 11-May-13 / dln