Virotia azurea (Proteaceae: Macadamieae), a striking new species endemic to New Caledonia and notes on V. francii and V. leptophylla - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew research repository
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Virotia azurea (Proteaceae: Macadamieae), a striking new species endemic to New Caledonia and notes on V. francii and V. leptophylla

12 May 2020

Abstract

Virotia azurea H.C. Hopkins & Pillon (Proteaceae), the seventh species in the endemic genus Virotia L.A.S. Johnson & B.G. Briggs from New Caledonia is described and illustrated. A distribution map and preliminary conservation assessment are provided. This new species occurs principally on non-ultramafic substrates in a restricted area of central Grande Terre. It has relatively long narrow leaves, often with distally undulate-sinuate or bluntly toothed margins and a pointed apex, plus blue flowers and laterally flattened, markedly beaked fruits containing seeds with blue to mauve cotyledons. Its characters are compared with those of other species of Virotia and a key to species is provided. A handful of specimens previously identified as Virotia francii (Guillaumin) P.H. Weston & A.R. Mast are determinated mostly as Virotia leptophylla (Guillaumin) L.A.S. Johnson & B.G. Briggs and other species; the former is now confined to ultramafic substrates in southern Grande Terre and the latter is more widespread, principally occurring on non-ultramafic substrates though occasionally found on ultramafic ones in the south of the island as well.

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