Will the real Cyp. subtropicum please stand up!

Discussion in 'Taxonomy' started by KyushuCalanthe, Aug 1, 2009.

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  1. Aug 1, 2009 #1

    KyushuCalanthe

    KyushuCalanthe

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    Well, there may be a new Cyp in our midst. Check out this link for photos of the new described Cyp. singchii. Be sure to read the responding post by Michael Weinert - it has a pdf file describing the plant, habitat, and a good photo of the flower.

    Cypripedium appendiculatum/subtropicum/singchii

    There will be some debate about this plant for a while I'd imagine since good specimens of the nearly mythical C. subtropicum are few and far between. To wit, it may be in fact that species growing at a new location.
     
  2. Aug 1, 2009 #2

    Rick

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    The color pic on the PDF shows a stunning and unusual flower.

    They were very stingy with any site local data (SE Yunan seems like a big place). I'm sure they don't want whatever plants are there to get pillaged, but whatever happened to GPS?

    I don't know much about subtropicum. Where is it supposed to come from in relation to this new find?
     
  3. Aug 1, 2009 #3
    What a beautiful flower!
    Is subtropicum supposed to be more yellow?
    I have Cribb's book packed away somewhere, but I'm having trouble quickly finding descriptions on the internet.
     
  4. Aug 2, 2009 #4

    KyushuCalanthe

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    Rick, exact reporting of these finds have lead in recent years the absolute pillaging of sites. I know of an instance last year when a site containing a dozen or so plants of the alba form of C. tibeticum were taken after pics of them in habitat were posted on the web. The pictures were posted in the summer and by fall all the plants were gone. This form has not been seen before or since. So, I think any specific information should be kept secret.

    The first location of C. subtropicum was in Tibet, in an alluvial forest of a tributary of the Tsangpo River. The new find is south of this area.

    Well, exactly what color the original C. subtropicum was is indeed an interesting question. It was collected only once, never was photographed, and the type site was destroyed by a flood! Add to that, it was collected among hundreds of other plants and so nobody even remembers the plant very well. So, flower color is a matter of memory....
     
  5. Aug 2, 2009 #5

    SlipperFan

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    And color memory is very unreliable. Just try to find a color to match something in your home or clothing without taking a sample!

    Thanks for the info, Tom. Very interesting.
     
  6. Aug 2, 2009 #6

    Rick

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    The Tsangpo River is a big one that flows into the Brahmaputra in N India. Has there been much exploration of India looking for subtropicum?

    Tibet and Yunan province do share a border, and it looks like several river systems that flow west-east through Tibet end up funneling through Yunan too.

    Still its allot of miles involved. Maybe just allot of disjoint populations of closely related very very rare plant species.

    Hopefully they at least kept a small piece of this plant for DNA analysis
     
  7. Aug 2, 2009 #7

    KyushuCalanthe

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    Rick, accessing the area in which C. subtropicum was found is highly restricted because it lies along the disputed border between India and China. Indeed, it is very possible that these are disjunct populations of the same, or very similar species. Cyps in general have relic distributions and with many in western China this pattern can be severe.

    There is of course more to this story than is being revealed, though I haven't heard anything more through the grapevine as yet. I'll let you know if I find out any juicy tid-bits.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  8. Aug 2, 2009 #8

    Rick

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    Pretty exciting huh!!

    Going through the jungles and never leaving my computer screen.

    That's the only way this 50+ year old is going to compete with Indiana Jones!

    I did find it amusing given the security issues you mentioned that the river you mentioned seems to be a white water, kayaking mecca. Kind of like the Mt Everest of the white water rapids.
     
  9. Aug 2, 2009 #9

    SlipperKing

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    Nice find. Enjoyed the read.
     
  10. Aug 3, 2009 #10

    yijiawang

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    very similar to subtropicum except color.There are many high mountain between southeast of Yunnan and southeast of Tibet, several mountain over 4000meters. so these 2 areaes got very different flora. southeast of Yunnan is not a big area and without very high mountain, mountains between 500~2000meters.and special climate in there, not very warm and without frozen in winter,typical lime stone, many rain and foggy, so many special plants can grow there. another, this area is belong to war area between China and Vietnam in year 1980, many landmines in the earth until now---who dare walk on the ground? so many new species in there that person never see.
    sorry for my pool English, hope bring some interesting things to you all!
     
  11. Aug 3, 2009 #11

    KyushuCalanthe

    KyushuCalanthe

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    Thanks for the extra information Yijiawang! Yes, it does sound very dangerous there indeed. Except for the limestone, the climate seems similar to where I live in southern Japan. The photograph in the pdf looks just like the mountains here - short and covered in subtropical broadleaf evergreen forest.

    Question - have you ever seen C. subtropicum flowers in person?
     
  12. Aug 3, 2009 #12

    NYEric

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    Mines and difficult conditions, thanx and good luck!
     
  13. Aug 3, 2009 #13
    Eric, when du we plan a trip to Southeast Yunnan? seems to be a paradise "Adventure Tourism" with orchids appeal...
     
  14. Aug 7, 2009 #14

    yijiawang

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    never, I hope I can see it when I live~ but a friend of mine who find several plants from some henryi, but these plant become dry sample for science:sob:
     
  15. Aug 7, 2009 #15

    Rick

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    Your English is just fine.

    Keep the reports coming in.
     
  16. Aug 8, 2009 #16

    KyushuCalanthe

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    Thanks for the response. I have a feeling very few people have ever seen these in person. Hopefully some will be propagated from seed before they are completely stripped from the wild.
     
  17. Aug 16, 2009 #17

    Hakone

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  18. Aug 16, 2009 #18

    KyushuCalanthe

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    Hakone, thanks for showing the update on Frosch's site. It is interesting to see he is supporting the the idea these are in fact just a new population of C. subtropicum, but also gives nearly zero information about the plant* I'm sure there will be a battle to come this year about the identity of these new plants - keep your eyes open for new publications this year from opposing camps. One thing's certain, this plant is radically different from any other Cypripedium, perhaps enough to warrant a new genus altogether.

    *I just noticed that on the distribution map he put a big red blotch in the southern Yunnan/Myanmar region far away from the original dot in SE Tibet where the species was first found. Perhaps this signifies that plants have been found over a large area...or it is just a guess.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
  19. Aug 17, 2009 #19

    kentuckiense

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    Also, check out the colors.

    So far, we've got plants with dark brown, orange, and green sepals/petals.
     
  20. Aug 20, 2009 #20

    kentuckiense

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    My copy of Dr. Eccarius' monograph on the genus arrived today. I was interested to see if he was able to give suptropicum any additional treatment. I didn't detect anything notably new (ie. singchii) while deciphering the German text, but I did notice on the range map that he has the type location AND a location on the Vietnam border. I can't find an explanation in the text for that second site, though.
     

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