Almost 40 years after its discovery in 1971 in Papua New Guinea by Mr Katik, the plant is found back by Takashige Idei. In the last decades attempts have been made to find the spot near the Kiunga airstrip but they were unsuccessful, and we did not have any pictures at all of a live plant.
New Guinea is very poorly known in respect of Cryptocoryne. The
other known species from New Guinea are C. versteegii and the well known C.
ciliata growing in both the Indonesian Papua province and Papua New Guinea.
Click on the picture to get the full image (ca 50 k)
Plants from the collection, made in 1971 by Katik, were distributed over the
Smithsonian (US), Leiden (L) and the Lae (LAE) herbaria. The description of C. dewitii is based on these three herbarium sheets.
Cryptocoryne dewitii is named in honour to professor H.C.D. de Wit, who was the leader of the Cryptocoryne studies from the fifties to the eighties in the 20th century. This rediscovery is just 10 years after his death.
Updated August 2009
Hay, Alistair, 1990. Cryptocoryne in: Aroids of Papua
New Guinea: 49 - 52, Christensen Research Institute, Madang, Papua New Guinea.
Jacobsen, N., 1977. Cryptocoryne dewitii N. Jacobsen sp.nov. (Araceae). Bot.Not. 130 :
Jacobsen, N., 1982. Cryptocorynen, Alfred Kernen Verlag, Stuttgart.
Leach, J & P.L.Osborne, 1985. Freshwater plants of Papua New Guinea. The Universtity
of Papua New Guinea Press.
Wit, H.C.D.de, 1990. Aquarienpflanzen, 2. Auflage, Ulmer, Stuttgart. ISBN 3-8001-7185-6.