Tribe Linnaeeae is a diverse group disjunctly distributed in the northern hemisphere between China and Japan and Mexico. The tribe consists of shrubs with showy flowers that are important in the horticultural industry.
In a study published in Kew Bulletin, researchers from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) and Kew Garden present a detailed monograph of tribe Linnaeeae that includes descriptions, identification keys, botanical plates with line drawings and photographs, distribution maps, morphometric analysis of key characters, and discussion on evolution, cultivation and conservation.
The researchers recognized 20 species, as well as five new varieties and four new forms in six genera. They also listed 40 heterotypic names (not including the 218 names for Linnaea borealis) as synonyms.
They studied 1,973 specimens and databased from 13 herbaria (A, BM, CAS, E, GZAC, IBSC, KUN, KYO, MAK, PE, TNS, TOFO and TI).
The researchers have taken particular care to produce plates of scanned images of macromorphological characters, such as leaves and flowers, that can easily be compared and further developed on these platforms. Maps have been produced with the maximum number of specimens and georeferenced thoroughly to enable accurate distribution and also to allow patterns to be used and analysed without extrapolation.
“This type of data is highly relevant to botanical gardens and can be used as a resource for teaching and public engagement and ultimately can help in conservation projects by facilitating identifications”, said Dr. Sven Landrein of XTBG.
“The highly illustrated content of the monograph is intended to reach a wider audience of specialist and non-specialist readers”, added Dr. Sven Landrein.
Sven Landrein Ph.D
Department of Gardening and Horticulture, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China