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The diversity of the flora of Vietnam 16. Some more data on Tubocapsicum (Wettst.) Makino and T. anomalum (Franch. & Sav.) Makino (Solanaceae), little known genus and species of the flora

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Tubocapsicum (Wettst.) Makino and Tubocapsicum anomalum (Franch. & Sav.) Makino were not known to occur in Vietnam previously (Bonati, 1914; Kuang & A.M. Lu, 1978; Zhang et al., 1994; D'Arcy & C.I. Peng, 1998; Zhang, 1999), even though Pham Hoang Ho (1993: 968, f. 6404) cited the name Tubocapsicum anomalum in his book. Nguyen Tien Ban (1997) was the first to confirm the occurence this genus and species in Vietnam, but no further information was given. In this paper some data on the taxonomy, distribution, and ecology of these taxa are presented based on the results of field surveys and the study of collected herbarium specimens in fruit.

Members of Tubocapsicum are short-lived, perennial herbs, which are pubescent with minute simple hairs or glabrescent; the leaves are simple, petiolate, and solitary or of subequal pairs on distal branches, with the blade subentire; the inflorescences consist of solitary flowers or of few- to several-flowered clusters in branch forks, sometimes appearing axillary; the peduncle is absent; the flowers are actinomorphic and 5-merous with a slender pedicel; the calyx is short, cup-shaped, and the apex subtruncate; the corolla has a yellow color initially, later becoming brownish, broadly campanulate, lobed 1/4 way down, the tube short, not exserted above the calyx, the lobes deltoid or obtuse, recurved; the stamens inserted at the distal end of the corolla tube, with the filaments adnate to the base of the corolla limb, subulate, their bases broadened with ascending projections; the anthers are ovate, dorsifixed, cordate, dehiscing laterally; the disc inconspicuous; the ovary glabrous, 2-locular, with the ovules numerous and the stigma capitate; the fruiting pedicel pendulous, bearing a red, globose and juicy fruit (a berry), with the seeds discoid. This genus is closest to Capsicum, but differing from it mainly by the flower colour and the fruit type. Only one species, Tubocapsicum anomalum, is usually recognised, found in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia. A second species, T. obtusum (Makino) Kitamura, is considered as a variety, var. obtusum Makino, of Tubocapsicum anomalum.

Tubocapsicum anomalum (Franch. & Sav.) Makino is an erect herb to 1.5 m tall, glabrous when old; petiole 1-3 cm; leaf blade ovate, elliptic, or ovate-lanceolate, (5-) 7-18 (-40) by (2.5-) 3-7 (-10) cm, base slightly inequilateral, obtuse, margin subentire; lateral veins arcuate, mostly 3-4 on each side, forming marginal vein; inflorescences of solitary flowers or consisting of up to 12-flowered clusters in the upper leaf axils; pedicels 1-2 cm; according to published data calyx 2-2.5 by 3 mm; corolla bright yellow, later becoming brownish, 5-8 by 6-8 mm, lobes ovate-dentate, recurved, 2-3.5 mm, minutely ciliolate; filaments ca. 0.5 mm, anthers ca. 1.8 mm; style 2.5-3 mm; fruiting calyx not enlarged with 5 subapical umbos; berry shiny, scarlet, 0.6-0.8 cm; seeds numerous, pale brown, discoid to deltoid, 1.5-2 x 1.5-2 x 0.4 mm. In Vietnam, the plants are found in Ninh Binh and Thanh Hoa provinces, scattered in small groups in the understorey of the logged primary and secondary closed or open evergreen tropical seasonal broad-leaved lowland forests (250-650 m a.s.l.), on steep, heavily eroded limestone rocks, cliffs and slopes, on rich in humus holes, under monsoon tropical climate with winter of 3 cold and 4-5 dry months and summer rains. The plants bear fruits in November through January. In China, however, it is found at altitudes from sea level to 1600 m, and blooming mostly in August-October, and fruiting in September-November. Additional materials, especially flowering specimens, are needed to complete the taxonomic characterization of the species.

Hình: Tubocapsicum anomalum (Franch. & Sav.) Makino Ớt hoa vàng.
1- Cành mang quả già; 2- Quả già.
Bùi Xuân Chương vẽ theo Soejarto & Nguyễn Mạnh Cường DDS 10406

Acknowledgements. Field explorations and taxonomic studies presented in this paper have been funded by an International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups (ICBG), Grant No. 1-UO1-TW01015-01, through funds from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) of the United States, and the Foreign Agricultural Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Permit for the collection and export of plant specimens for study was granted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Hanoi, and by the Cuc Phuong National Park (Letter Ref. No. 3551/BNN/KHCN, dated September 16, 1998).

Le Kim Bien, Nguyen Tien Hiep
Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources
D.D. Soejarto
University of Illinois at Chicago & Field Museum, Chicago
Nguyen Manh Cuong
Cuc Phuong National Park
Phan Ke Loc
University of Sciences, VNU & Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources

(Genetics and Applications, No2 2004)

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