Leptolaena masoalensis G. E. Schatz & Lowry , Schatz, G. E., Lowry, P. P. & Wolf, A. - E., 2001

Schatz, G. E., Lowry, P. P. & Wolf, A. - E., 2001, Endemic families of Madagascar. VII. A synoptic revision of Leptolaena Thouars sensu stricto (Sarcolaenaceaea)., Adansonia 23, pp. 171-189: 183-184

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Leptolaena masoalensis G. E. Schatz & Lowry

sp. nov.

5. Leptolaena masoalensis G. E. Schatz & Lowry  , sp. nov.

Haec species a congeneris ad Leptoaenam sensu stricto pertinentibus foliis glabris apice obtusis usque rotundatis, involucro ellipsoideo plerumque glabro interdum sparse albido-hirsuto c. 7 mm alto sepalos omnino includente atque staminibus tantum 6 ad 8 distinguitur.

Typus.Rahajasoa, Rabe & Bernard 790, Madagascar, Prov. Antsiranana, Masoala PN, Reserve Naturelle d'Ambato, 15° 17 ' S, 50° 21 ' E, 380 m, 8 Oct. 1994, fl. (holo-, MO!; iso-, K!, P!, TAN!).

Shrubs to 2 m tall; stems glabrous to sparsely pubescent. Leaves subcoriaceous, elliptic to slightly obovate, 2.4 - 4 X 1.1 - 1.7 cm, glabrous, discolorous when dry, dark olive brown above, lighter olive green below, base cuneate to acute, margins strongly revolute, apex rounded, venation weakly brochidodromous, secondary veins c. 8 per side, midrib flat above, raised below with very sparse scattered trichomes or glabrous; petiole 2 - 3 mm long, 0.6 - 0.8 mm diam., shallowly canaliculate, stipules caducous. Inflorescences axillary in the terminal leaves, 2 - 8 - flowered, axes sparsely to densely puberulous; peduncle 1 - 2 mm long, distinct, involucre ellipsoid to oblong, glabrous, 7 mm tall, 3 mm diam., apical margin with 8 narrowly triangular, subequal teeth 1 mm tall, 1 mm broad at base, glabrous or sometimes sparsely short whitish hirsute; sepals completely included within the involucre, 4 X 4 mm, circular, strongly inrolled, densely whitish hirsute outside, glabrous inside; petals narrowly oblong, 12 X 3 mm, clear yellow with evident venation upon drying, glabrous, exserted 5 - 6 mm beyond involucre; stamens 6 - 8, free to the base, filament 8 - 10.5 mm long, anthers unknown; ovary ellipsoid, 1 mm diam., densely whitish golden hirsutestrigose, the trichomes to 2 mm long, style 11.5 mm long, slender, exserted 4 - 5 mm above involucre, stigma capitate, 1 mm in diam. Fruit unknown.Fig. 7.

Leptolaena masoalensis  is known only from the type collection made at Ambato, a hill in the northeastern part of the Masoala Peninsula (Fig. 6) well known for its large population of Nepenthes masoalensis Schmid-Hollinger  . At first glance, L. masoalensis  may be mistaken for L. delphinensis  , with which it shares leaves with an obtuse to rounded apex. However, L. masoalensis  can be easily distinguished by its much larger, ellipsoid to oblong involucre 7 mm tall, sepals that are completely included within the involucre at anthesis, and leaves with only 8 secondary veins per side versus (8 -) 11 - 12 in L. delphinensis  .

Conservation status.With an area of occupancy <100 km 2, and only a single known population that appears to lie just outside the limit of Masoala National Park, L. masoalensis  is assigned a preliminary status of Critically Endangered (CR).