Overlooked genera and species in the Malesian Flora: The case of Crocosmia (Iridaceae) and some others
Flora Malesiana Bulletin , Volume 11 - Issue 8 p. 511- 514
Much has been said and written about the global loss of biodiversity, and that of the Malesian area in particular. Very little notice has been taken of additions, of which there are probably many more than realized. This is due to the fact that these species are considered to be weeds or ornamentals, and therefore hardly worthy of any consideration. Especially the latter are usually not mentioned in our floras and checklists. It must be remembered that the large collections of such weeds date from the colonial times, when the Europeans with their late-Victorian upbringing were avid plant collectors, also in their close vicinity. The Flora of Java, for instance, is based on Backer’s manuscript that was finished before the Second World War, so most of the specimens on which it is based were collected at least 60 or more years ago. Things surely have changed since then! Being an European and a grass man, I am particularly interested in ‘nasty weeds’, and I have noticed during my visits to the Malesian area that some that are represented by single or few collections in the herbaria are actually quite common outside. A few examples may serve and perhaps this note may induce you to take a better look at the ‘weeds’ in your own street or garden! Unless otherwise indicated the collections mentioned are deposited in L. Lawn grasses are of great economic importance, but are hardly ever collected. Axonopus compressus (Sw.) Beauv. is probably the most common species, but the latest collection from Java in the herbaria is from 1972, so judging from our holdings it seems to have become extinct there. It is a pity that it has not been more often collected, for there is another species, closely resembling it, A. affinis Chase [now to be called A. fissifolius (Raddi) Kuhlm.], that seems to be more successful under shade at higher altitudes, but lack of collections do not confirm this. The latter can best be distinguished by the absence of any hairs on the nodes (handlens, or hold against the light!).
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Veldkamp, J. F. (1997). Overlooked genera and species in the Malesian Flora: The case of Crocosmia (Iridaceae) and some others. Flora Malesiana Bulletin, 11(8), 511–514.