Hyobanche thinophila

Hyobanche thinophila

This is the newest species of Hyobanche, described by me just this year. I had my suspicions about this being a new species when I started my work on the genus several years ago. The first thing I do when working on a new systematics project is to visit herbaria to look at their collections.  This species was considered to be H. sanguinea. The specimens looked different to me, though, so I found areas where this morphotype had been previously collected.  It was pretty obvious that it was different than H. sanguinea when looking a fresh plants.

Herbarium specimens of this genus tend to dry black. The plants are so fleshy and large that it is difficult to make a good herbarium specimen.  The resulting pressed plants do tend to look alike.  However, in the wild they are very distinctive.  For example, the shape of the inflorescence, the shape of the flower itself, and the color for H. thinophila are different than those of H. sanguinea.

Here’s a photo of H. sanguinea for comparison:

Hyobanche sanguinea

Hyobanche sanguinea

Check out the slide show of the new species:

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Here’s the publication where the new species is described.

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