Reinstatement and revision of the genus Adelmeria (Zingiberaceae) endemic in the Philippines

April 5, 2019

by Rudolph Valentino Abrenica Docot, Cecilia Illucipides Banag, Axel Dalberg Poulsen

In 1909, Ridley published Adelmeria characterised by its congested terminal inflorescence with large persistent floral bracts. All five species at some point placed in Adelmeria were synonymised in Alpinia by Loesener and subsequent authors. Several phylogenetic studies revealed that Alpinia is highly polyphyletic, suggesting that it should be split into several genera. In the present study, we sampled all five species initially placed in Adelmeria plus additional with a similar morphology. The combined analysis of the ITS and trnK/matK region showed that these formed a strongly supported monophyletic group inside the Alpinia eubractea clade of the tribe Alpinieae. Although not completely diagnostic, the following morphological characters separate Adelmeria from most of the species currently inside the Alpinia eubractea clade: bilobed ligules; congested inflorescences; utricular bracteoles; sessile flowers; crestless anthers; and obovoid fruits. Considering this molecular and morphological evidence, the recognition of Adelmeria is highly justified. In this present paper, we reinstate the genus which is endemic to the Philippines and include a comprehensive taxonomic revision including a discussion of the application of the name Elmeria. A key to nine species of Adelmeria, four of which (A. dicranochila, A. isarogensis, A. leonardii, A. undulata) are new to science, is provided as well as full descriptions and preliminary conservation assessments. Interestingly, monoecy was observed in A. oblonga and reported for the first time for Adelmeria. Four lectotypes and one epitype are designated in this study.


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