A new species of Epimedium (Berberidaceae), discovered by Associate Professor ZHANG Yanjun from Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, was published on the latest issue of Phytotaxa.
The new Epimedium species, E. xichangense, was found in Xichang, Sichuan, China. It has biternate leaves, or leaves with 7 or 5 leaflets, occasionally with 3 leaflets. The species possesses yellow flowers, petals with long spurs and obvious basal lamina. E. xichangense is most similar to E. elongatum in morphology, but the two species can be differentiated by their rhizome, foliage and flower characters.
Epimedium is a genus of basal eudicots in North Temperate Zone. Epimedium plants have been verified with activity in curing many diseases including cancer, and many species of this genus are also excellent garden plant. Under the guidance of Prof. WANG Ying and Prof. LI Jianqiang, Dr. ZHANG Yanjun has conducted a series of taxonomic studies on Epimedium. Including E. xichangense, there are about 58 recognized Epimedium species in the world, and China has about 48 species of the genus.
This research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and Key Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Photos of E. xichangense (Image by ZHANG Yanjun)