Department of Botany, Payyanur College, Edat P.O., Payyanur, Kannur – 670 327, Kerala, India.
Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute, Karimancode P.O., Palode,
Thiruvananthapuram – 695 562, Kerala, India.
Department of Botany, N. S. S. College, Nilamel P.O., Kollam – 691 535, Kerala, India.
Botanical Survey of India, Central Botanical Laboratory, Botanic Garden P. O., Howraw –711103, West Bengal,
M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Puthoorvayal, Kalpetta, Wayanad, Kerala – 673 121, India.
Received: 12 January 2014
Published Online: March 2014
A new species of Syzygium, S. dhaneshiana is described and
yellowish-white flowers, goblet shaped hypanthium and large broadly
obovoid to subglobose fruits.
The genus Syzygium Gaertner (Myrtaceae) comprises more than 1200 species mainly distributed in the Old World
compilation revealed that ca. 55 taxa are recorded so far from India (Govaerts et al., 2008) and the Western Ghats
stands the highest concentration of the genus in India with 50 taxa (Govaerts et al., 2008; Sheeba et al., 2003;
Murugan & Manickam, 2004; Viswanathan & Manikandan, 2008; Shareef et al., 2010; Shareef et al., 2012; Shareef
revealed ca. 39 taxa occur in the Western Ghats region of Kerala (Nayar et al., 2008), among these 17 are endemic
to the Western Ghats.
During a plant exploration to the southern Western Ghats of Kerala, the authors collected a few interesting
Chanthanathodu of Wayanad district. The species resembles with Syzygium gardneri Thwaites, an Indo-Sri Lankan
species but differs in several aspects (Table 1). On critical study with the original material of S. gardneri and perusal
of authentic literature and type specimens, the collection was found to be a species new to science. Hence, it is
described and illustrated here.
Syzygium dhaneshiana Ratheesh, Shareef, & Nandakumar sp. nov. (Plate 1).
Nandakumar & Satheesh 1519 (Holotype, MH; Isotypes, TBGRI).
Syzygium dhaneshiana is similar to S. gardneri by the slender and terete branchlets, ovate lanceolate to
elliptic leaves with numerous lateral nerves and single intra-marginal nerve, shortly pedicellate flowers with
shallowly lobed calyces and calyptrate petals. But it is distinguished from the latter by the medium sized tree habit,
greyish white bark with pale pinkish-brown blaze, yellowish white flowers, goblet shaped hypanthium, and broadly
obovoid to sub-globose large fruits.
Medium evergreen tree, to 10 m high; bole straight; bark grayish- white, smooth, outer part of inner bark
to elliptic, 7–9 × 2.5–3 cm, glabrous and glossy, membranous, cuneate at base, narrowly to caudate acuminate at
apex, gland dotted on lower surface, margin wavy, slightly recurved, hyaline; midrib slightly canaliculate above,
prominently raised beneath; lateral nerves many, slender, parallel, very close, prominent below, looped near the
margin forming a prominent intra-marginal nerve, ca. 0.5 mm from margin, intercostae reticulate, not prominent
above. Petiole 8–10 mm long, slender, grooved above. Inflorescence terminal cymose panicles, 3–4 cm long,
glabrous, shorter than the leaves; bracts and bracteoles indistinct, caducous; peduncle terete, glabrous; branchlets
opposite, terete, divaricate nearly at right angles. Flowers yellowish-white, bisexual, ca. 8-10 mm across, shortly
pediceled, pedicels 2–3 mm long; hypanthium goblet shaped, to 4 x 3.5 mm. Sepals shallowly 4- lobed, obtuse.
Petals 4, calyptrate, yellowish brown, broadly orbicular, ca. 3 × 3.3 mm, membranous, margin entire. Stamens
many, free, whitish of different lengths, bent inwards at the middle when in bud; filaments ca. 4-4.5 mm long,
glabrous; anthers reniform, ca. 1×1 mm. Ovary obovoid, 2-celled, ovules many on central axile placentation; style
slender, yellowish white, ca. 5 mm long; stigma simple, acute. Fruit broadly obovoid to sub-globose, yellowish
green when young, ca. 2.5 cm across, with a shallow terminal ring, the basal end with nipple like small projection.
Seed one, grayish.
Additional specimens examined (Paratypes): INDIA, Kerala, Wayanad district, Chanthanathodu, ±700 m, 3
March 2014, Ratheesh Narayanan, Shareef & Shaju.
Flowering and fruiting: January–April
Distribution and Ecology: So far known only from the Nedumpoyi Ghat area in Kannur district and
Chantahnathode area of Periya Forest Range in north Wayanad Forest Division of southern Western Ghats, mainly
along the western slopes. Evergreen forests, at elevations between 600–800 m a.s.l. are the ideal habitat of the new
species and it is seen as a middle stratum tree. Populations of the new species are fragmented and are represented by
a few scattered mature individuals. The observations showed that the regeneration of this species is very poor and
the population is near to the Thalassery-Mysore State Highway, an area which is highly subject to various kinds of
developmental disturbances. Some of the plant species commonly found in this habitat are Myristica malabarica
Lam., Vateria indica L., Desmos lawii Safford, Goniothalamus wynaadensis Bedd., Meiogyne ramarowii Gandhi,
Orophea malabarica Sasidharan & Sivarajan, Polyalthia fragrans (Dalz.) Bedd., Arenga wightii Griff.,
Agrostistachys borneensis Becc., Dimocarpus longan Lour., Drypetes venusta (Wight) Pax & Hoffm., Epiprinus
mallotiformis (Muell.-Arg.) Croizat and Palaquium ellipticum (Dalz.) Baill.
Eponymy: The specific epithet is in honour of Mr. P. Dhanesh Kumar, Divisional Forest Officer, south Wayanad
Forest Division, Kerala who is a recipient of ‘Sanctuary Wildlife Award - 2012’, instituted by the Sanctuary Asia
Magazine for his valuable and tireless efforts for protecting the forest of the State. He is a courageous forest officer
and a visionary environmentalist who has undertaken herculean tasks to protect India’s wildernesses.
The authors are grateful to the Principal and the Head of the Botany Department, Payyanur College, Director,
Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI), Thiruvananthapuram, Director,
Botanical Survey of India, and the Director, Community Agrobiodiversity Centre, M. S. Swaminathan Research
Foundation for providing facilities and support. The logistics provided by the Kerala Forest Department for the
fieldwork are gratefully acknowledged.
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Lughadha, E., Proença, C., Soares-Silva, L.H., Wilson, P.G. & Lucas, E. (2008): World checklist of
Nayar, T.S., Beegam, A.R., Mohanan, N. & Rajkumar, G. (2006): Flowering Plants of Kerala―A Handbook.
Parnell, J.A.N., Craven, L.A. & Biffin, E. (2007): Matters of scale dealing with one of the largest genera of
Systematic of Species Rich Taxa. The Systematics Association, Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, pp. 251–
Shareef, S.M., Geetha Kumary, M.P., Santhosh Kumar, E.S. & Shaju, T. (2010): Syzygium claviflorum (Myrtaceae)
Shareef, S.M., Santhosh Kumar, E.S. and Shaju, T. (2012): A new species of Syzygium (Myrtaceae) from the
southern Western Ghats of Kerala, India. Phytotaxa 71: 28–33.
Shareef, S.M., Santhosh Kumar, E.S. & Roy, P.E. (2012a): Syzygium fergusoni (Myrtaceae) ―New record for
Sheeba Irwin, J., Narasimhan, D. & Ganeshan, R. (2003): Status of Syzygium gambleanum Rathakr. & Chithra
Sujanapal, P., A.J. Robi, P.S. Udayan & K.J. Dantus (2013): Syzygium sasidharanii sp.nov. (Myrtaceae)- A new
Viswanathan, M.B.G. & U. Manikandan (2008): A new species of Syzygium (Myrtaceae) from the Kalakkad-
Medium sized tree to 10 m. high
Slightly elevated on both surfaces
Prominent only on lower surface
Axillary and terminal, to 5 cm long
Strictly terminal, 3–4 cm long
Yellowish-white, 0.8-1.0 cm across
Filaments 4-4.5 mm long
Ellipsoid-obovoid, 0.5–0.8 cm across
inflorescence, g. Inflorescence, h. Fruit.