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Description of five new species of the Madagascan flagship plant genus Ravenala (Strelitziaceae)

Abstract : Madagascar's emblematic traveller's tree is a monospecific genus within Strelitziaceae, the family of the South African bird of paradise. Until now, this endemic genus consisted of a single species: Ravenala madagascariensis Sonn., which is grown everywhere in the tropics as an ornamental plant. The plant is immediately recognizable for its huge fan-forming banana-like leaves and is locally referred to in Magagascar by several vernacular names. "Variants" have been mentioned in the literature, but without any attempt to recognize formal taxa based on diagnostic features. In this paper, we formally describe five new species and fix the application of the name R. madagascariensis to the populations growing on the eastern coast of Madagascar, with the epitype growing in the marshy Fort-Dauphin area in the south. This paper has numerous implications for conservation biology and other domains of life sciences, due to the importance of this genus for the conservation of Madagascan ecosystems, the ornamental plant trade, as well as for its invasive status in several tropical areas.
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https://hal-mnhn.archives-ouvertes.fr/mnhn-03423102
Contributor : Thomas Haevermans Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - 9:42:12 PM
Last modification on : Friday, December 3, 2021 - 11:43:35 AM

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Thomas Haevermans, Annette Hladik, Claude-Marcel Hladik, Jacqueline Razanatsoa, Agathe Haevermans, et al.. Description of five new species of the Madagascan flagship plant genus Ravenala (Strelitziaceae). Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2021, 11, ⟨10.1038/s41598-021-01161-1⟩. ⟨mnhn-03423102⟩

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