Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access


Seychellaria barbata (Triuridaceae), a new species from Marojejy National Park, Madagascar



Seychellaria barbata, a new species of Triuridaceae, is described and illustrated. The species was discovered in 2015 during fieldwork in Marojejy National Park (Northern Madagascar). Seychellaria barbata possesses long hairs at the apex and margins of the larger tepals of male flowers, whereas all its congeners are characterized by glabrous perianths. This feature is also known in a closely related genus Sciaphila, which makes the newly discovered species crucial for reassessing generic delimitations within the tribe Sciaphileae. The new species is also characterized by 6–7 flowers per inflorescence, 1 fully developed flower per node, the presence of bracteoles free from bracts, absence of connective appendages, clavate staminodes slightly longer than the stamens, and ca. 40–50 carpels in the female flowers. Distribution of the genus Seychellaria in Madagascar is discussed. An updated key to all currently known species of Seychellaria is provided. Diversity of inflorescence architecture in Seychellaria is reviewed; S. barbata is reported to possess aborted flowers in bracteole axils; presence/absence of bracteoles is suggested as the most important feature of the inflorescence in this genus as it distinguishes thyrses from racemes. The uncertain morphological nature of the bracteoles, being fused to the bracts, is highlighted and their similarity to bi- or three-lobed bracts indicated.


Seychellaria, inflorescence, bracteole, taxonomy, key, mycoheterotrophic plants, Madagascar, Marojejy National Park, flora, biodiversity, conservation, Monocots

Full Text:

PDF/A (5.46 MB)


Ambrose, B.A., Espinosa-Matías, S., Vázquez-Santana, S., Vergara-Silva, F., Martínez, E., Márquez-Guzmán, J. & Alvarez-Buylla, E.R. (2006) Comparative developmental series of the Mexican triurids support a euanthial interpretation for the unusual reproductive axes of Lacandonia schismatica (Triuridaceae). American Journal of Botany 93 (1): 15–35.

APG III (2009) An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161: 105–121.

Averyanov, L.V. (2007) The genus Sciaphila Blume (Triuridaceae) in the flora of Vietnam. Taiwania 52 (1): 12–19.

Bentham, G. (1855) On the South American Triurideae and leafless Burmanniaceae from the collections of Mr. Spruce. Hooker’s Journal of Botany and Kew Garden Miscellany 7: 8–17.

Blume, C.L. (1825) Sciaphila Bl. Bijdragen tot de flora van Nederlandsch Indië 10: 514–515.

Blume, C.L. (1851) Museum Botanicum Lugduno-Batavum, 1. Leiden, 396 pp.

Callmander, M.W., Rakotovao, C., Razafitsalama, J., Phillipson, P.B., Buerki, S., Hong-Wa, C., Rakotoarivelo, N., Andriambololonera, S., Koopman, M.M., Johnson, D.M., Deroin, T., Ravoahangy, A., Solo, S., Labat, J.-N. & Lowry II, P.P. (2009) New species from the Galoka and Kalabenono massifs: two unknown and severely threatened mountainous areas in NW Madagascar. Candollea 64: 179–202.

Champion, J.G. (1847) On two new Ceylon plants related to Sciaphila of Blume. Calcutta Journal of Natural History and Miscellany of the Arts and Sciences in India 7: 463–469.

Chase, M.W., Soltis, D.E., Soltis, P.S., Rudall, P.J., Fay, M.F., Hahn, W.H., Sullivan, S., Joseph, J., Molvray, M., Kores, P.J., Givnish, T.J., Sytsma, K.J. & Chris Pires, J. (2000) Higher-level systematics of the monocotyledons: an assessment of current knowledge and a new classification. In: Wilson, K.L. & Morrison, D.A. (eds.), Monocots: systematics and evolution. CSIRO, Melbourne, pp. 3–16.

Cheek, M. (2003) Kupeaeae, a new tribe of Triuridaceae from Africa. Kew Bulletin 58 (4): 939–949.

Cheek, M. (2006) African saprophytes: new discoveries. In: Ghazanfar, S.A. & Beentje, H.J. (Eds.) Taxonomy and ecology of African plants, their conservation and sustainable use. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, pp. 693–697.

Cheek, M. & Williams, S. (1999) A review of African saprophytic flowering plants. In: Timberlake, J.R. & Kativu, S. (Eds.) African plants: biodiversity, taxonomy & uses. Proceedings of the 1997 AETFAT Congress, Harare, Zimbabwe. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, pp. 39–49.

Dahlgren, R.M.T., Clifford, H.T. & Yeo, P.F. (1985) The families of the monocotyledons: structure, evolution, and taxonomy. Springer, Berlin, 520 pp.

Daniel, T.F. (2010) Sciaphila ledermannii (Triuridaceae), a biogeographically significant holosaprophyte newly reported from Príncipe in the Gulf of Guinea. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 61 (15): 617–622.

Endress, P.K. (2010) Disentangling confusions in inflorescence morphology: patterns and diversity of reproductive shoot ramification in angiosperms. Journal of Systematics and Evolution 48 (4): 225–239.

Giesen, H. (1938) Triuridaceae. In: Engler, A. (Ed.) Das Pflanzenreich. Regni vegetabilis conspectus IV. 18. Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann, Leipzig, pp. 1–84.

Govaerts, R., Maas-van de Kamer, H. & Maas, P.J.M. (2016) World checklist of Triuridaceae. Kew: Royal Botanic Gardens. Available from: (accessed 15 January 2016)

Guo, Y. & Cheek, M. (2010) Triuridaceae. In: Wu, Z.Y., Raven, P.H. & Hong, D.Y. (Eds.) Flora of China, 23. Science Press and Missouri Botanical Garden, Beijing and St. Louis, pp. 125–126.

Hemsley, W.B. (1907) Two new Triuridaceae, with some remarks on the genus Sciaphila, Blume. Annals of Botany 21 (1): 71–78.

Heywood, V.H., Brummitt, R.K., Culham, A. & Seberg, O. (2007) Flowering plant families of the world. Firefly books, Ontario, 424 pp.

Itô, T. (1907) Japanese species of Triuridaceae. Botanical Magazine 21: 84–85.

IUCN (2012) IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria Version 3.1. 2nd ed. IUCN Species Survival Commission, IUCN, Gland & Cambridge.

Lam, V.K., Merckx, V.S. & Graham, S.W. (2016) A few-gene plastid phylogenetic framework for mycoheterotrophic monocots. American Journal of Botany 103 (4): 692–708.

Leake, J.R. (1994) The biology of myco-heterotrophic (‘saprophytic’) plants. New Phytologist 127 (2): 171–216.

Maas, H. & Maas, P.J.M. (2005) Flora da Reserva Ducke, Amazonas, Brasil: Triuridaceae. Rodriguésia 56: 209–211.

Maas, P.J.M. & Rübsamen, T. (1986) Triuridaceae. Flora Neotropica Monograph 40: 1–55.

Maas-van de Kamer, H. (1995) Triuridiflorae – Gardner’s delight? In: Rudall, P.J., Cribb, P.J., Cutler, D.F. & Humphries, C.J. (Eds.) Monocotyledons: systematics and evolution. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, pp. 287–301.

Maas-van de Kamer, H. & Maas, P.J.M. (1994) Triuridopsis, a new monotypic genus in Triuridaceae. Plant Systematics and Evolution 192 (3): 257–262.

Maas-Van de Kamer, H. & Weustenfeld, T. (1998) Triuridaceae. In: Kubitzki, K. (Ed.) Families and genera of vascular plants, Vol. 3: Monocotyledons, Lilianae (except Orchidaceae). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, pp. 452–458.

Madagascar Catalogue (2016) Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Madagascar. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, U.S.A. & Antananarivo, Madagascar. Available from: (accessed 22 January 2016)

Makino, T. (1902) Observations on the flora of Japan. Botanical Magazine 16: 210–220.

Makino, T. (1905) Observations on the flora of Japan. Botanical Magazine 19: 131–160.

Mennes, C.B., Smets, E.F., Moses, S.N. & Merckx, V.S. (2013) New insights in the long-debated evolutionary history of Triuridaceae (Pandanales). Molecular phylogenetics and evolution 69 (3): 994–1004.

Merckx, V.S.F.T., Freudenstein, J.V., Kissling, J., Christenhusz, M.J.M., Stotler, R.E., Crandall-Stotler, B., Wickett, N., Rudall, P.J., Maas-van de Kamer, H. & Maas, P.J.M. (2013) Taxonomy and classification. In: Merckx, V.S.F.T. (Ed.) Mycoheterotrophy: The biology of plants living on fungi. Springer Science+Business Media, New York, pp. 19–101.

Miers, J. (1852) On the family of Triuriaceae. Transactions of the Linnean Society of London 21: 43–59. t. 6 & 7.

Perrier de la Bâthie, J.M.H.A. (1946) Triuridacées. Flore de Madagascar et des Comores 27: 1–4.

Remizowa, M.V., Rudall, P.J., Choob, V.V. & Sokoloff, D.D. (2013) Racemose inflorescences of monocots: structural and morphogenetic interaction at the flower/inflorescence level. Annals of Botany 112 (8): 1553–1566.

Rudall, P.J. (2003) Monocot pseudanthia revisited: floral structure of the mycoheterotrophic family Triuridaceae. International Journal of Plant Sciences 164 (S5): S307–S320.

Rudall, P.J. (2008) Fascicles and filamentous structures: comparative ontogeny of morphological novelties in Triuridaceae. International Journal of Plant Sciences 169 (8): 1023–1037.

Rudall, P.J. & Bateman, R.M. (2006) Morphological phylogenetic analysis of Pandanales: testing contrasting hypotheses of floral evolution. Systematic Botany 31 (2): 223–238.

Schlechter, R. (1912) Neue Triuridaceae Papuasiens. Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 49: 70–89.

Schlechter, R. (1923) Die Gattung Seychellaria Hemsl. der Triuridaceen. Notizblatt des Botanischen Gartens und Museums zu Berlin-Dahlem 8: 315–318.

Stevens, P.F. (2001 onwards) Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 13. Available from: (accessed: 15 January 2016).

Takhtajan, A.L. (2009) Flowering Plants. 2nd ed. Springer, New York, 871 pp.

Trias-Blasi, A., Baker, W.J., Haigh, A.L., Simpson, D.A., Weber, O. & Wilkin, P. (2015) A genus-level phylogenetic linear sequence of monocots. Taxon 64 (3): 552–581.

Tsukaya, H. & Okada, H. (2013) Two new species of Sciaphila Blume (Triuridaceae) from Kalimantan, Borneo, with a new record of S. thaidanica from Borneo. Systematic Botany 38 (3): 600–605.

Tsukaya, H. & Suetsugu, K. (2014) Two new species of Sciaphila (Triuridaceae) from Sarawak (Borneo, Malaysia). Phytotaxa 170 (4): 283–290.

Van de Meerendonk, J.P.M. (1984) Triuridaceae. In: van Steenis, C.G.G.J. (Ed.) Flora Malesiana. Ser. 1, 10. Wolters-Noordhoff, Groningen, pp. 109–121.

Vislobokov, N.A., Sokoloff, D.D., Degtjareva, G.V., Valiejo-Roman, C.M., Kuznetsov, A.N. & Nuraliev, M.S. (2014) Aspidistra paucitepala (Asparagaceae), a new species with occurrence of the lowest tepal number in flowers of Asparagales. Phytotaxa 161 (4): 270–282.

Vollesen, K. (1982) A new species of Seychellaria (Triuridaceae) from Tanzania. Kew Bulletin 36 (4): 733–736.

Vollesen, K. (1985) Triuridaceae. In: Polhill, R.M. (Ed.) Flora of Tropical East Africa. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp. 1–3.

Wright, C.H. (1912) Diagnoses Africanae: XLVII. 1339. Seychellaria madagascariensis. Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information 1912: 196–197.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 1179-3155 (print); ISSN 1179-3163 (online)

Published by Magnolia Press, Auckland, New Zealand