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6 new plant species discovered in China's Guangxi

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-18 08:53
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NANNING -- Six new plant species have been discovered in South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, according to the Guangxi Institute of Chinese Medicine and Pharmaceutical Science.

The six new species, namely Vernicia calcicola, Paraphlomis caloneura, Mitreola quanruii, Walsura guangxiensis, Lysimachia cavicola and Aletris guangxiensis, were found during the fourth national survey of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) resources and Guangxi's first grass and shrub germplasm resources survey.

The relevant research was published in the scientific journals Phytotaxa, Systematic Botany and PhytoKeys, in 2023 and 2024.

Hu Renchuan, a member of the research team and an associate researcher from the Guangxi Key Laboratory of TCM Quality Standards, said that the main varieties of Vernicia, or tung oil tree, have been mainly grown in areas of China with acidic soil, but the new species Vernicia calcicola was discovered in limestone areas along the China-Vietnam boundary in Guangxi. He said the discovery can contribute to industries that use the tung oil tree and the cultivation of new tung varieties, as well as providing a new method to control desertification in limestone areas.

Huang Yunfeng, another team member and vice head of Guangxi Institute of Chinese Medicine and Pharmaceutical Science, said that Aletris guangxiensis was discovered at a relatively low altitude of 320 meters above sea level, while the genus it belongs to generally grows in higher altitude areas. Thus the discovery has certain significance to research on the phytogeography and population diversity of the genus.

The discovery of the new species further enriches China's biodiversity resources, contributing to further research on the relevant plant's ecological functions, economic value and medicinal functions, according to the research team.

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