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Ten new species and a new record for the genus Otholobium (Psoraleeae, Leguminosae) from South Africa


Ten new species of Otholobium from South Africa are described: O. accrescens C. H. Stirt. & Muasya, O. dreweae C. H. Stirt. & Muasya, O. lanceolatum C. H. Stirt. & Muasya, O. lucens C. H. Stirt. & Muasya, O. nitens C. H. Stirt. & Muasya, O. piliferum C. H. Stirt. & Muasya, O. prodiens C. H. Stirt. & Muasya, O. sabulosum C. H. Stirt. & Muasya, O. saxosum C. H. Stirt. & Muasya and O. spissum C. H. Stirt. & Muasya. One new record for South Africa is confirmed: O. foliosum (Oliv.) C. H. Stirt. subsp. gazense (Baker f.) Verdc. We provide conservation status assessments under the IUCN criteria and also adopt a scheme capturing various levels of rarity (Rabinowitz rarity code).

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This research was funded over many years in part by: the Botanical Research Institute, Pretoria (South Africa, now SANBI); B. A. Krukoff Trust for Legume Research, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (U.K.); University of Natal (now University of KwaZulu-Natal), University of Cape Town; the Mellon Foundation; and the South African National Research Fund (NRF). We thank the Directors and staff of these organisations for their financial help and facilities, without which we would not have been able to do this work. The work is based in part on a Ph.D. by the first author at the University of Cape Town and subsequently on extensive fieldwork by both authors.

We are grateful to the Curators and staff of the following 35 herbaria (AA, BM, BOL, BRUX, CN, E, G, GRA, GRAZ, HER, ISC, K, L, LE, LINN, M, MEL, MO, NBG, NH, NU, NY, OXF, P, PRE, PRU, PRC, S, SAAS, SAM, STE, TUB, U, W, WAG) for the loan of their material.

Eight local collectors have been particularly helpful to us in resolving a number of critical species: Priscilla Drewe, Anne Bean, Jan Vlok, Mike Viviers, the late Tony Abbott, the late Ian Walters, and the late Ion and Sheila Williams. Without their help we would not have been able to see living material of as many of these rare species as we did. We are particularly grateful to the late Ellaphie Ward-Hilhorst and to Angela Beaumont (who prepared the majority of the line drawings in such an exacting and meticulous manner), the B.A. Krukoff Trust and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew for sponsoring the plates and for granting permission for them to be reproduced.

A number of people have been very helpful: the late Jana Žantovská for technical help, Brian Schrire, Gwilym Lewis, and the late Anthony Hall, for critical advice. We are also grateful to Priscilla Drewe and Tom Dunstan for photos of Otholobium thomii and O. dreweae and for sharing their observations of these species in the field. We are grateful to Jan & Annelies Vlok, Brian Schrire, Samson Chimphango, Meshak Dludlu, Simon Power, Oscar Dlodlo and the late Trevor Arnold, for help in the field.

This study was undertaken under a number of different permits from the Eastern Cape Parks Board; Cape Nature (AAA008-00035-0028; 029.2011: C. H. Stirton); Department of Environmental Affairs (K 135091); and the Provincial Administration of the Cape of Good Hope (102/1984; 222/1985; 323/1985; 72/1986). We are grateful to the various Environmental and conservation agencies for their permission to study material in situ on their properties.

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Correspondence to A. M. Muasya.

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Stirton, C.H., Muasya, A.M. Ten new species and a new record for the genus Otholobium (Psoraleeae, Leguminosae) from South Africa. Kew Bull 72, 50 (2017).

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Key Words

  • conservation status
  • Fabaceae
  • Southern Africa
  • taxonomy