Diospyros phillipsonii G.E. Schatz & Lowry,, 2020

Schatz, George E. & Lowry II, Porter P., 2020, Taxonomic studies of Diospyros L. (Ebenaceae) from the Malagasy region. IV. Synoptic revision of the Squamosa group in Madagascar and the Comoro Islands, Adansonia (3) 42 (9), pp. 201-218: 213-215

publication ID

http://doi.org/ 10.5252/adansonia2020v42a10



persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Diospyros phillipsonii G.E. Schatz & Lowry,

sp. nov.

Diospyros phillipsonii G.E. Schatz & Lowry,   sp. nov.

( Fig. 9 View FIG )

Diospyros phillipsonii G.E. Schatz & Lowry   , sp. nov. is distinguished from other species in the Squamosa group by its oblong leaves with a length:width ratio of 3-4:1 and a usually rounded apex.

TYPUS. — Madagascar. Melaky Region [Prov. Mahajanga], Réserve naturelle de Bemaraha, SE of Antsalova, 18°45’S, 44°48’E, 400 m, 23.VIII.1987, fr., Phillipson 2238 (holo-, MO [ MO3514688]!; GoogleMaps   iso-, K!, P [ P04539530]!, TAN [ TAN001834 View Materials ]!) GoogleMaps   .

PARATYPES. — Madagascar. Melaky Region [Prov. Mahajanga]: Beanka , partie centrale, Andranatsiritsy , forêt galerie, dans le cours d’eau, 17°58’23”S, 44°29’43”E, 206 m, 12.XII.2011, fr., Nusbaumer et al. 3090 ( G, MO, P [ P00872431], TEF) GoogleMaps   ; Rives boisées de l’Anapondy, affluent de droite de la Sofia , [15°26’S, 47°20’E], VIII.1905, ♀ fl., Perrier de la Bâthie 8774 ( P [ P00541700, P00541701]) GoogleMaps   ; Rocailles près des torrents, bassin moyen du Bemarivo ( Boina ), sur gneiss, [16°58’12”S, 44°24’00”E], 600 m, IX.1907, ♀ fl., Perrier de la Bâthie 8784 ( P [ P00541702, P00541703, P00541704]) GoogleMaps   ; Bemaraha RNI, 28.II.1960, fr., Réserves Naturelles 11132 ( P [ P04539531])   .

ETYMOLOGY. — This species is named in honor of our good friend and colleague Peter B. Phillipson, with whom we have had the pleasure of collaborating since 1987, when he first started working in Madagascar at the Beza Mahafaly Reserve. Pete joined the staff of the Missouri Botanical Garden in 2003, and has contributed in numerous ways to our growing knowledge of the Malagasy flora, including through his field work, especially in the drier parts of the island, as well as taxonomic studies of dozens of groups, and has played a key role in the development of the on-line Catalogue of the Plants of Madagascar.

DISTRIBUTION AND ECOLOGY. — Diospyros phillipsonii   , sp. nov. is distributed along rivers in dry forest in western Madagascar from Bemaraha to the Sofia River basin ( Fig. 2 View FIG ), from 206 to 600 m elevation.

PHENOLOGY. — Diospyros phillipsonii   , sp. nov. has been recorded in flower in August and September, and in fruit in August and December.

VERNACULAR NAME. — Lepingo (RN 11132).

CONSERVATION STATUS. — Diospyros phillipsonii   , sp. nov. has a geographic range in the form of an EOO of 36 124 km 2 and a minimum area of occupancy of 16 km 2. It is present in the protected areas of Beanka, Bemaraha, and Bemarivo. Outside of these protected areas it is threatened by fire, forest clearing for agriculture, and collection of firewood and construction material. With respect to the principal threat of forest clearing for agriculture, D. phillipsonii   , sp. nov. exists at four locations. With projected continuing decline in habitat quality, D. phillipsonii   , sp. nov. can therefore be assessed for its risk of extinction as Endangered [EN B2ab(iiii)] ( IUCN 2012).


Shrub to tree 4-15 m tall. Young stems densely covered with very short (0.1-0.2 mm), erect gray trichomes or glabrous. Lamina 4.2-10.3 × 1.1-3.8 cm, oblong, the first leaves of a shoot 4.0-4.5 × 2.4 cm, ovate, coriaceous, with scattered very short erect gray trichomes above or glabrous, base rounded to obtuse, margin slightly revolute, apex rounded to rarely acute and then the acumen rounded, midrib slightly sunken above, covered with dense, matted, appressed gray trichomes or glabrous, raised below, venation weakly brochidodromous, with 11-13 secondary veins per side, faintly visible and only slightly raised above and below; petiole 3-5 mm, densely covered with short erect gray trichomes or glabrous, terete to slightly flattened above. Male flowers not seen. Female flowers in axillary, 1-3-flowered inflorescences from axils of fallen leaves, enclosed within 11-15, distichous, overlapping, cucullate bracts, collectively broadly ovate, 8 × 12 mm, the largest bract 6 × 6 mm, triangular to rounded, densely covered with semi-appressed, golden trichomes 0.5-0.8 mm long both inside and outside; peduncle 2-4 mm, 2-3 mm in diam.; flowers sessile; calyx urceolate to globose, 10-12 mm tall, 10-12 mm in diam., with 4 broadly triangular lobes, 4 × 9 mm, densely covered with semi-appressed, golden trichomes, less densely so just below the rim of calyx; corolla 10 mm tall, fused for basal 2-3 mm, the 4 lobes broadly triangular, 7 × 5 mm, base of the lobes auriculate, apex obtuse, glabrous, minutely verruculose outside; staminodia 4, 4 mm long, attached at the base of the corolla, filament 2 mm, antherode 2 mm; ovary globose, 3.5 mm, 3.5 mm in diam., verruculose, style 2.5-3 mm long, 1.5 mm in diam.; stigma 4-lobed, the lobes narrowly triangular, 1 × 0.6 mm. Pedicel in fruit 3-4 mm × 2.5-3 mm; calyx in young fruit densely covered with very short golden, semi-appressed trichomes, in mature fruit the calyx lobes 7 × 12-15 mm, the apex and margins reflexed, the apex rounded to obtuse, the fused portion of the calyx 10-12 mm tall, the surface with 4 ridges extending from each sinus to the base; fruit 20-25 mm tall, 20 mm in diam., glaucous.


Diospyros phillipsonii   , sp. nov. can be recognized from other members of the Squamosa group by its oblong leaves with a length:width ratio of 3-4:1 and a usually rounded apex, the latter feature shared with D. sennenii   , sp. nov. which, however, has elliptic lamina with a length:width ratio of 2-3:1. As here circumscribed, D. phillipsonii   , sp. nov. includes two of the original syntypes of D. cinnamomoides H. Perrier   (Perrier de la Bâthie 8774 and 8784), which were excluded at the time that species was lectotypified ( Schatz & Lowry 2011).


Missouri Botanical Garden


Royal Botanic Gardens


Museum National d' Histoire Naturelle, Paris (MNHN) - Vascular Plants


Parc de Tsimbazaza


Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève


Centre National de la Recherche Appliquée au Developement Rural