Ficinia bolusiana Muasya & C.H.Stirt., 2022

Muasya, A. Muthama & Stirton, Charles H., 2022, Three new species in the genus Ficinia (Cyperaceae, tribe Cypereae) from the Greater Cape Floristic Region of South Africa, Phytotaxa 550 (3), pp. 287-294 : 287-290

publication ID 10.11646/phytotaxa.550.3.9


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scientific name

Ficinia bolusiana Muasya & C.H.Stirt.

sp. nov.

Ficinia bolusiana Muasya & C.H.Stirt. , sp. nov. ( Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 )

Diagnosis:— Ficinia bolusiana is characterised by its tufted perennial habit forming circles of up to 30 cm diameter but lacking a visible rhizome, culms to 30 cm tall, leaf sheaths not papery, and inflorescences capitate. Ficinia bolusiana is morphologically most similar to F. dunensis Levyns (1947: 13) , especially in its common gross morphology. These taxa differ in habit, with F. bolusiana growing in tufts comprising over 20 culms that are congested with no visible rhizome, whereas F. dunensis has a wiry rhizome and the tillers/shoots barely reach 10 culms. There are also ecological and geographical differences. Ficinia bolusiana grows inland in the Fynbos/Succulent Karoo ecotone on shale to sandy soils above 200 m, whereas F. dunensis is restricted to calcareous sands below 100 m elevation.

Type:— SOUTH AFRICA. Western Cape Province. Worcester: along R46 between Ceres and N1, 33°18’52.4”S 19°48’27.3”E, 24 September 2014, A.M. Muasya & C.H. Stirton 7168 (holotype BOL!, GoogleMaps isotype NBG!) GoogleMaps .

Perennial, forming tufts to 20 cm diameter, shortly spaced tillers/shoots comprise over 20 stems. Culms 220–400 mm tall, 0.4–0.7 mm thick, ca. 2.7 mm thick across the rim/edge of the leaf sheath, glabrous. Leaf sheath 25–83 mm long, glabrous, not papery, glossy, brown to creamish, without a ligule. Leaf blade 33–95× 0.4–0.9 mm, flat to channelled, glabrous, margin scabrid. Involucral bracts 3–5, leaf-like, and lowermost enclosing spikelets, 15–34 mm long, glabrous, margin scabrid. Inflorescence capitate, each with over 4–7 spikelets. Spikelets 4.3–5.4× 1.4–2.4 mm, terete, dark brown, florets bisexual. Glumes 3.3–5.3 mm long, ovate with a mucro up to 0.5 mm long, margins entire. Stamens 3; anthers 1.5–3.1 mm long, crested. Style trifid, 3.1–4.4 mm long. Nutlets 2.1–2.7×1.0– 1.5 mm, dark brown, papillose; hypogynous disc up to 0.2 mm long, cupular, not distinctly lobed.

Distribution and ecology: —Occurs in the Northern and Western Cape ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 ) and is found between 200–1400 m elevation in deep sandy soils in arid fynbos in the ecotonal areas of Fynbos and Succulent Karoo biomes.

Etymology: — The epithet bolusiana celebrates the Bolus herbarium, which is a hub for taxonomic studies of the Cape flora. Established in 1865, it is the oldest functioning herbarium in (South) Africa.

Conservation status: —This species is widespread and occurs in areas that are not under disruptive land use practices. Therefore, we consider it to be of Least Concern (LC) based on the IUCN (2022) criteria.

Additional specimens studied: — SOUTH AFRICA. Northern Cape Province. Springbok: Farm Kap Vley 315 (2917CD), 10 October 1986, A. Le Roux & J. W. Lloyd 714 ( PRE) ; 30 km SE of Springbok, Klipfontein 266 (2917DD), 5 July 2013, N.A. Helme 7783 ( BOL) . Kamiesberg: Studer’s Pass area (3018AC), 13 May 2013, A.M. Muasya & N. Moiloa 6940 ( BOL) ; Leliefontein to Khamieskroon (3018AC) 24 November 2015, A.M. Muasya, N. Moiloa, A. Garcia-Madrid, S. Chimphango 7040 ( BOL) . Calvinia: Botterkloof Pass, summit of Pass (3119CD), October 1975, T.H. Arnold 934 (K, PRE) . Western Cape Province. Clanwilliam: Wildshutskraal, from N7 towards Paleisheuwel (3218BD), 24 Oct 2009, A.M. Muasya & C.H. Stirton 4792 ( BOL) . Wuppertal: Cedarberg, Middelberg Plateau (3219AC), 14 December 1941, E.E. Esterhuysen 7223 ( PRE) ; Klipfonteinrand, N. of Pakhuis Pass (3219AA), 22 September 1969, E.E. Esterhuysen 32193 (K, PRE) ; Cedarberg Pass,between Citrusdal and Ceres (3219AC), October 1975, T.H. Arnold 1001 (K, PRE) ; Cedarberg State Forest, Sneeuberg shale band (3219AC), 27 October 1989, D.C. Le Maitre 627 ( PRE) ; Cedarberg, NW. of Sneeuberg hut, along track to Noordpoort (3219AC), 19 September 1984, H.C. Taylor 11066 ( PRE) ; Central Cedarberg, Welbedacht (3219AC), 30 September 1986, H.C. Taylor 11595 ( NBG, PRE) ; Citrusdal, 15 Km from Citrusdal on road to Ceres (3219CA), October 1975, T.H. Arnold 991 (K, PRE) ; Ceres Karoo, along road to Kagga Kamma (3219DC), 1 October 2009, A.M. Muasya, I. Jardine, C.H. Stirton 4595 ( BOL) ; Swartruggens, Knolfontein (3219DC), 18 November 2014, A.M. Muasya & Y. Ito 7215 ( BOL) . Worcester: Southern Witzenberg Mts., Ceres Peak (3319AD), October 1975, T.H. Arnold 972 (K, NU, PRE) ; Swartruggens (3319BA), 16 September 1964, H.C. Taylor 5877 (K, NBG, NU, PRE) ; Brandvlei Dam (3319CB), 03 August 2014, A.M. Muasya & N. Moiloa 7139 ( BOL) ; Hex River Mts., Ezelsfontein (3319DA), 01 September 1952, E.E. Esterhuysen 20366 ( PRE, K) . Oudtshoorn: Camfer Station (3322CD), 29 September 1962, J.P.H. Acocks 22858 ( BR, PRE) .


South African National Biodiversity Institute


South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)


Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science


Embrapa Agrobiology Diazothrophic Microbial Culture Collection