(2010): 25 –27
Shortia sinensis
Hemsley (Diapensiaceae): a new species and family
for the fl ora of Vietnam
Maxim S. Nuraliev
A population of
Shortia sinensis
Hemsley was found in Hoang Lien mountains (Northern
Vietnam, Lao Cai prov.). This is probably the fi rst fi nding of a representative of the family Diapensiaceae
for the Vietnamese fl ora.
is one of the temperate fl oristic elements that can be found in
northern tropical mountains because of the appropriate climate.
Diapensiaceae, Hoang Lien,
Shortia sinensis
, fl ora of Vietnam
The small family Diapensiaceae (Ericales: APG III 2009) comprises about twenty species in fi ve
genera (Takhtajan 2009). The family is restricted to temperate and cold regions of the northern
hemisphere. The southernmost genera whose geographical ranges reach the mountains of tropical
regions are the monospecifi c genus
Decne. (southwestern China and Upper Burma)
and the oligotypic genus
Torr. & A. Gray (southwestern China, Taiwan, Japan, and
southeastern United States) (Takhtajan 2009).
includes six species, only two of which
have been recorded from the territories adjacent to Vietnam:
Shortia sinensis
Hemsley in SE
Yunnan and
Shortia rotundifolia
(Maxim.) Makino in Taiwan. Both species prefer wet rocky
forests at altitudes about 1000–2000 m (Haining & Bartholomew 2005).
During the expedition to the Hoang Lien National Park (Lao Cai province, Sa Pa district) in
November–December 2009 plants of
Shortia sinensis
(Fig. 1) were found. The locality is not far
from the Tram Ton Station at the bank of Thac Bac river, around N 22°20’ E 103°47’ at an
elevation of about 1600 m a.s.l. This location is 30 km far from the Chinese border.
The determination of the species was carried out by using the Flora of China (Haining &
Bartholomew 2005). The family Diapensiaceae is absent in the Illustrated Flora of Vietnam
(Pham Hoang Ho 1999 –2000) as well as in the checklist of Phan Si Pan (Nguyen & Nguyen
1998), which includes the place of our fi nding.
Shortia sinensis
in Vietnam is only mentioned
once in www.botanyvn.com. However, there are no details or references about this species there.
Therefore, our fi nding seems to be the fi rst documented record from Vietnam.
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam mainly lies in the Palaeotropical kingdom, but its northern part
mostly belongs to the Holarctic kingdom (Takhtajan 1978; Averyanov et al. 2003b). That’s
why some territories within northern Vietnam possess signifi cant elements of the Holarctic fl ora.
Therefore, fi ndings of new species for the Vietnamese fl ora can be expected in the very north of
the country, especially in mountain areas along the Chinese border.
The Hoang Lien mountains are famous for their unique fl oristic features which are caused by
the interaction of temperate, subtropical and tropical elements. The monsoon climate of Hoang
Lien mountains with moderately warm summer, cold winter and year-round suffi cient humidity
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