Mycoheterotrophic Plants

How many of them are there?

Afrothismia kupensis Cheek and S.A. Williams

Afrothismia kupensis (Cheek et al. 2019) had been collected in 1995 and 1996 already but was misinterpreted for long as A. pachyantha or A. gesnerioides, to both of which it resembles superficially (resemblance to A. pachyantha in fruit only). Not only the sigmoidal flower shape but also the root tubercles with very short root extensions are identical in A. kupensis and A. gesnerioides. However, the perianth lobes, the annulus inside the perianth tube, the staminal flange, the stigma, the placentation and the fruit dehiscence differ between these two species. Moreover, the type locality of A. gesnerioides is 200 km apart from the one of A. kupensis (endemic to Mount Kupe/Cameroon).
As a matter of fact, the thumbnail picture at the head of this website displays A. kupensis, but was photographed by the author of these lines (Stephan Imhof) as "Afrothismia cf. gesnerioides". This picture was also used in a chapter on the subterranean morphology of mycoheterotrophic plants (Imhof et al. 2012) in order to depict A. gesnerioides. The anatomical investigations concerning that species (Imhof 2006, Imhof et al. 2012), however, were done on isotype material of A. gesnerioides, kindly provided by Hiltje Maas-van de Kamer.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith