Tag Archives: Rubiaceae

Mussaenda sp. ‘Nuku Hiva’

Marquesan Mussaenda (Mussaenda sp.)

This form is known from subfossil seeds that were recovered from an archeological site in the Ho’oumi Valley on the island of Nuku Hiva, Marquesas.

The next relative is most likely the Raiatean Mussaenda (Mussaenda raiateensis J. W. Moore) (see photo below), which is still found in other parts of Polynesia, including the Society Islands; the seeds of the Marquesan form, however, differ from the living one and thus represent a distinct, now extinct form that most likely was endemic to the archipelago. [1]

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Photo:  Peter de Lange
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/pjd1
(public domain)

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References:  

[1] Melinda S. Allen; Tara Lewis; Nick Porch: Lost bioscapes: Floristic and arthropod diversity coincident with 12th century Polynesian settlement, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands. PLoS ONE 17(3): e0265224. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0265224

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edited: 26.01.2024

Psychotria sp. ‘Rapa Nui’

Rapa Nui Psychotria (Psychotria sp.)

The Rapa Nui Psychotria is known from subfossil pollen that was collected from deposits on the island of Rapa Nui. [1]

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References:

[1] Catherine Orliac: Données nouvelles sur la composition de la flore de l’île de Pâques. Journal de la Société des Océanistes 107: 135-143. 1998

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edited: 03.09.2020

Breonia richardsonii Razafim.

Richardson’s Breonia (Breonia richardsonii)

This species has been described in 2002 on the basis of herbarium material that had been collected in 1965 from a lowland forest in the Maroantsetra District in the Toamasina Province of Madagascar.

This species is very different from other species of Breonia because of its tubular, ap- pressed inflorescence bracts with 3 to 4 broadly triangular lobes and post-anthesis fusion of adjacent ovaries.” [1]

The species has not been recorded since the type material was collected and is either extremely rare or even already extinct.

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The photo below shows a related species, Perrier’s Breonia (Breonia perrieri Homolle), which is likewise endemic to Madagscar.

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Perrier’s Breonia (Breonia perrieri)

Photo: merveille
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/bmerveille
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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References:

[1] Sylvain G. Razafimandimbison: A systematical revision of Breonia (Rubiaceae-Naucleeae). annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 89(1): 1-37. 2002

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edited: 26.02.2024

Psychotria cuneifolia DC.

Wedge-leaved Psychotria (Psychotria cuneifolia)  

This species is known only by the type material that was collected in the Guayaquil area of the Guayas province in Ecuador.

The area where this species was known from is relatively well collected, yet this species was apparently never found again since the type collection more than 180 years ago

The species is considered most likely extinct.

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The photo below shows an unspecified congeneric species that was photographed in the same locality.

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unspecified Psychotria (Psychotria sp.)

Photo: Raúl Tomalá
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/rault_bosqueseco
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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edited: 03.09.2020

Prismatomeris fragrans ssp. andamanica (Ridl.) J. T. Johanss.

Andaman Islands Prismatomeris (Prismatomeris fragrans ssp. andamanica)

This subspecies of the Fragrant Prismatomeris (Prismatomeris fragrans E. T. Geddes) was originally described as a distinct species in 1940; as its name implies, it is restricted to the Andaman Islands.

This plant was not found recently and is thought to be possibly extinct.

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edited: 24.08.2022

Hedyotis evenia Thwaites

Evenia’s Hedyotis (Hedyotis evenia)

This species was described in 1859; it was collected in the forests of the Samanala Kanda (Adam’s Peak) in the central highlands of Sri Lanka

A small shrub, yellow when dry; branches acutely 4-angled. Leaves 1/2-3/4 in., coriaceous above, varnished and with a few scattered raised points. Cymes few-fld. – Fruit unknown, and hence the position of the species in the genus.” [1]

The species’ name appears in lists of extinct plant species; thus, I will mention it here briefly; unfortunately, I have no further information.

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References:

[1] Joseph Dalton Hooker: The Flora of British India. London: L. Reeve 1875-97

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edited: 28.04.2022

Danais corymbosa Balf. f.

Corymbose Danais (Danais corymbosa)

This species was described in 1879, it is endemic to the island of Rodrigues in the Mascarene Islands.

This species is not common on the island and only occurs in the higher districts.

The Rodrigues plant is not unlike some of the forms of D. fragrans, Comm., but differs conspicuously in the form and long petiolation of its leaves and its longer paniculate inflorescence, the rachis exceeding considerably the petiole.
” [1]

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References:

[1] An Account of the Petrological, Botanical, and Zoological Collection Made in Kerguelen’s Land and Rodriguez during the Transit of Venus Expeditions. Botany. 302-419. 1874-75

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edited: 15.05.2021

Coprosma sp. ‘Rapa Nui’

Rapa Nui Coprosma (Coprosma sp.)

This taxon is known on the basis of pieces of subfossil wood that were found in bore cores collected on the island of Rapa Nui.

The genus Coprosma contains nearly 100 species in Polynesia alone, thus it is not surprising that remains of it were also recovered from Rapa Nui.

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References:

[1] Catherine Orliac: Données nouvelles sur la composition de la flore de l’île de Pâques. Journal de la Société des Océanistes 107: 135-143. 1998

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edited: 05.02.2024

Hedyotis cinereoviridis Thwaites

Grey-green Hedyotis (Hedyotis cinereoviridis)

The Grey-green Hedyotis was described in 1864; it is endemic to Sri Lanka.

The species’ name appears in lists of extinct plant species, thus I will mention it here briefly; unfortunately I have no further information about it.

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edited: 28.04.2022

Hoffmannia modesta Diels

Rio Pastaza Hoffmannia (Hoffmannia modesta)  

This species is known only from the type, that had been collected in 1933 in the Río Pastaza valley, near the town of Río Negro in the Tungurahua Province, Ecuador.  

The status of this species is unknown, the type was destroyed during World War II, it may be extinct or may turn out to be identical with another species.  

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edited: 22.03.2018

Pausinystalia brachythyrsum (K. Schum.) W. Brandt

Dense-flowered Pausinystalia (Pausinystalia brachythyrsum)  

The Dense-flowered Pausinystalia, described in 1901, is known only from the type that was collected in 1746 (?) near Bipindi, a town in Cameroon.  

This species is very likely extinct.

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edited: 20.09.20

Pavetta oblanceolata Bremek.

Oblanceolate Pavetta (Pavetta oblanceolata)  

The Oblanceolate Pavetta is known only from the type material which was collected in 1847 in Kerala, India.

It was a shrub with terete branches and 17 cm long and 5 cm wide oblanceolate, shortly acuminate leaves, the flowers appeared in terminal, short peduncled cymes and were about 3 cm long and greenish-white.

The species appeares to be extinct. [1]

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References:

[1] Sharad Singh Negi: Biodiversity and Its Conservation in India. Indus Publishing 1993

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edited: 19.06.2020

Psychotria banaoana Urb.

Banao Psychotria (Psychotria banaoana 

The Banao Psychotria is or was apparently endemic to a place named Banao, a mountainous area east of the Agabama River in the Sancti Spíritus Province in central Cuba.

The habitat is rather dry and harbors a semi-deciduous forest. [1]

The species is now considered extinct. [2]

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References:  

[1] A. Borhidi; O. Muñiz: The phytogeographic survey of Cuba. Acta Bonatnica Hungarica 32(1-4): 3-48. 1986
[2] R. Berazaín: The extinct Flora of Cuba. Bissea 3(2). 2009

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edited: 03.09.2020

Danais sulcata Pers.

Furrowed Danais (Danais sulcata)

This species was described in 1805, it is endemic to the island of Mauritius in the Mascarene Islands.

The species’ name appears in lists of extinct species and thus will also be mentioned here, unfortunately I did not find any further information about it.

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edited: 15.05.2021

Psychotria acutiflora DC.

Sharp-leaved Psychotria (Psychotria acutiflora)  

The Sharp-leaved Psychotria is or was restricted to the dry coastal forests in the Guayaquil area in the Guayas Province, Ecuador.

The species was not found again and might well be extinct.

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edited: 03.09.2020

Guettarda retusa C. Wright

Cuero (Guettarda retusa)

This tree was discovered sometimes during the 19th century in the Cajálbana region in the Province Pinar del Río, Cuba.

The species has never been found since and is considered extinct.

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The photo below shows a congeneric species, Linden’s Guettarda (Guettarda lindeniana A. Rich) which occurs in Cuba and Hispaniola.

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Linden’s Guettarda (Guettarda lindeniana)

Photo: Miguel Ernesto Suárez Blancart
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/mig_ernesto
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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edited: 29.01.2024

Timonius salsedoi Fosberg & Sachet

Malakal Timonius (Timonius salsedoi)

The Malakal Timonius was described in 1987 based on material that had been collected in 1965 on the tiny island of Malakal in the Koror urban district of Palau, which is situated almost in the middle of the Palauan archipelago, and which consists of the three islands of Koror, Ngarakebesang and Malakal.

The species was not found since and the authors, while describing it, made the assumption that it might in fact have just been some sort of variant of another Palauan Timonius species.

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C. Costion, a post doctoral research fellow on the department of Plant Biodiversity and Conservation Research, James Cook University in Queensland, Australia, had the opportunity in 2011 to undertake a field trip to the Koror urban district of Palau to search for this enigmatic plant species, and he actually found at least three Timonius species on the island, with two plants resembling the herbarium material.

The DNA of these two individuals was tested and they turned out to indeed be a distinct species.

The Malakal Timonius was rediscovered – but the whole population of this species consited of just two plants restricted to a single tiny island of less than 1 km² with only little remaining bits of native vegetation.

When C. Costion had the chance to revisit the island in 2014, he found the already small patches of remaining forests heavily destroyed with many of the larger trees fallen due to the typhoon Bopha that had hit the Palau Islands two years prior. 

The Malakal Timonius this time was not found again, the last two plants had vanished, ensuring that this species is another entry to the ever-growing list of recently extirpated life forms. [1][2][3]

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References:

[1] F. R. Fosberg; Marie-Hélène Sachet: The genus Timonius (Rubiaceae) in the Palau Islands. micronesica 20(1-2): 157-164. 1987
[2] Craig M. Costion; W. John Kress; Darren M. Crayn: DNA barcodes confirm the taxonomic and conservation status of a species of tree on the brink of extinction in the Pacific. PLoS ONE 11(6): e0155118. 2016
[3] Craig M. Costion: Plant discovery and extinction: The narrow window. Plant Press 19(4). 2016

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edited: 16.05.2019

Argocoffeopsis lemblinii (A. Chev.) Robbr.

Lemblin’s Coffee (Argocoffeopsis lemblinii 

Lemblin’s Coffee is known only from the type material that was collected in 1907 in the Vallée de l’Agnéby, Ivory Coast. [1]

The species was a small shrub that reached a heigth of only about 50 cm.

Lemblin’s Coffee was never recorded again since and is considered extinct.

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References:  

[1] Aaron P. Davis; Rafael Govaerts; Diane M. Bridson; Piet Stoffelen: An annotated taxonomic conspectus of the genus Coffea (Rubiaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 152: 465-512. 2006

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edited: 20.09.2020

Hedyotis beddomei Hook. f.

Beddome’s Hedyotis (Hedyotis beddomei)  

This species, which was restricted to the Palghat Hills in Kerala in southwestern India, was described in 1880 and is still known only by the type material.

The species is considered extinct. [1][2] 

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References:  

[1] J. D. Hooker: The flora of British India. London: L. Reeve 1875-97 
[2] S. S. Negi: Biodiversity and Its Conservation in India. South Asia Books 1993

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edited: 06.09.2020

Hedyotis cyanescens Thwaites

Bluish Hedyotis (Hedyotis cyanescens)  

This species was described in 1859.  

The Bluish Hedyotis was a shrub that grew in the undergroth of the forests, the leaves of this species were slightly bluish to purplish colored.

The species is considered likely extinct.  

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References:  

[1] Joseph Dalton Hooker: The flora of British India. London: L. Reeve 1875-97 
[2] MOE 2012. The National Red List 2012 of Sri Lanka; Conservation Status of the Fauna and Flora. Ministry of Environment, Colombo, Sri Lanka. VIII + 476 pp

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edited: 24.04.2011