Papuanthes Danser

One species of New Guinea

1 species recorded from New Guinea. Click on a name to go to its species page

  1. P. albertisii Dans. New Guinea.

Description (Barlow 1974)

Papuanthes Dans. Bull. Jard. bot. Buitenz. 11: 360 (1931); Loranthus subgen. Euloranthus sect. Diplatia Krause, Bot. Jahrb. 57: 486 (1922) non Engl. Pfl. Fam.Nachtr. 129 (1897); Loranthus sect. Papuanthes Engl. & Krause, Pfl. Fam.ed. 2 16b: 162 (1935). Type Species. Papuanthes albertisii (Tiegh.) Dans.

Aerial stem-parasitic shrubs with runners; leaves opposite, penninerved. Inflor-escence capitate, consisting of (8)-12-(15) flowers in two rows at the apex of a common peduncle and enclosed between two large foliaceous bracts which are connate at the margins over them during development; each flower on a short articulate pedicel with a single small bract at the apex of the distal segment, immediately below the flower, and occasionally with a similar small bract at the apex of the proximal segment. Corolla 6-merous, nearly regular; petals in the open flower gamopetalous to well above the middle. Anthers basifixed, immobile. Basic Chromosome Number.-x = 9.

A monotypic genus endemic to New Guinea. Papuanthes albertisii was originally referred by van Tieghem (1894) to Diplatia, on the basis of its capitate inflorescence with large foliaceous bracts. However, this species differs from species of Diplatia in its large, gamopetalous, 6-merous corolla and in the arrangement of its flowers, which are on articulate pedicels with one or two bracts each, and not distinctly arranged in triads. The capitate, involucrate inflorescence is presumably the result of convergent evolution. Its frequent independent occurrence in the family (cf. also Lepidaria, Lepeostegeres, Distrianthes, Cyne and Thaumasianthes) suggests that there has been strong selection pressure favouring this character, perhaps for protection of developing inflorescences, and as guides for pollinating vectors.

The genus, when described by Danser (1931), was known only from the fragmentary type collection of 1877. However, since 1966 P. albertisii has been 'rediscovered' at several localities, and from the excellent materials now available Danser's interpretations of the structure and diagnostic characters of the genus have been mostly confirmed. Papuanthes is probably one of the most specialized Indomalayan genera of Loranthaceae, and is probably a young endemic derived from the amyeoid stock. Its inflorescence structure is so unusual that it is difficult to assess its direct affinities, but the genus with which it has most in common is perhaps Sogerianthe, also a specialized endemic of the New Guinean region.

Papuanthes Genus Page

Updated 28 June 2003