Alexander Krings, 919/515-2700 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul K. Mueller, News Services, 919/515-3470 or email@example.com
Finds, Names New Species of Climbing Milkweed
new species of climbing milkweed has been named
by Alexander Krings, curator of the North Carolina
State University Herbarium (also NCSC, its international
Index Herbariorum abbreviation). The species
- Gonolobus tenuisepalus Krings - was first
collected in the tropical rainforests of southern
Costa Rica while Krings was a graduate student
in the Department of Forestry.
flowers are tiny (about 6-8 millimeters in diameter),
purplish to dark brownish-red and borne in very
dense, umbellate clusters," said Krings.
"Although a number of congenerics occur in
Costa Rica, its apparently closest relative is
known from Mexico. Based on the mildly fetid fragrance,
it is likely pollinated by flies."
climbing milkweed discovered and named by Alexander
Krings has tiny, clustered flowers.
milkweeds constitute one of the most species-rich and
interesting groups of vines in the world. Highly advanced,
members exhibit a startling array of highly modified
flowers. Pollen is borne in removable sacs called pollinia
- a trait that has evolved in only one other plant family:
discoveries such as this highlight the continued importance
of herbaria - collections of dried, pressed, mounted,
and labeled plants," said Krings. All plant species
names are governed by an international code of nomenclature.
One of the most important requirements of the code is
that a physical specimen must be designated for each
new species described. This specimen serves as the voucher
for the name and is considered the "type"
specimen. As each botanical name must be linked to a
type, the herbaria of the world maintain literally millions
of type-specimens as the basis of all plant names.
of research herbaria, the NC State Herbarium also maintains
a collection of type specimens. Founded in 1898, NCSC
is maintained by the Department of Botany and serves
in a teaching, research, and extension capacity. A brief
history, as well as links to its type catalogue, can
be found at: http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/botany/ncsc/history.htm.