Cryptocoryne coronata Bastmeijer & van Wijngaarden

In 1998, an import shipment from Morco International, Philippines, revealed a hitherto undescribed species. Together with Cryptocoryne usteriana Engler from the Guimaras island, the firm shipped a 'lookalike', collected near Zamboanga from Mindanao island. The latter flowered in the Netherlands and was remarked by Piet van Wijngaarden in the hothouses of Aqua Fleur. It turned out to be a new species.

Click on the picture to get the full image (ca 50 k)

Rhizomes of imported plants were put on a rockwool substrate and thrived strongly, as usual for 'wild' plants. The inflorescence was apparently 'under way' when the plants were collected. Note the strongly twisted upper part of the limb of the bud.
coll. unknown, cult. W79
photo van Wijngaarden

Characteristic of the inflorescence of C. coronata are the white protuberances around the throat, resembling a crown. ('coronata').
coll. unknown, cult. B780

The limb of the spathe just after opening. Note the red colored lower part of the inflorescence (the kettle). Note the cataphyls.
coll. unknown, cult. W79
photo van Wijngaarden
The tube of the spathe is mostly strongly twisted. The top of the limb is almost rolled up, resembling a tail.
coll. unknown, cult. W79
photo van Wijngaarden
       
The upper side of the leaves is even (dark)green without purple. The lower side is deep purple red colored. In culture the lower side may turn into a pale green.
coll. unknown, cult. W79
photo van Wijngaarden
A typical limb of the spathe. This specimen has a very pronounced 'crown' around the throat. Note the strongly twisted tube, here quite reddish.
coll. unknown, cult. W79
photo van Wijngaarden
A less developed limb of the spathe. Note the rather narrow limb and the irregular development of the protuberances.
coll. unknown, cult. B780
The same inflorescence as pictured left, seen from behind. Note the 'cup' shaped lower part of the limb.
coll. unknown, cult. B780
       
A close up of the limb, showing the protuberances. Note that some protuberances are quite irregular divided.
coll. unknown, cult. B780
Sometimes the limb of the spathe opens widely.The margins are not yet folded back.
coll. unknown, cult. W79
photo van Wijngaarden
A length section of the lower part of the inflorescence, the kettle, with the female (at base) and the male flowers at top.
coll. unknown, cult. B780
C. coronata is collected near Zamboanga, the most western part of the Mindanao island
       

This new species is in some way remarkable. In the vegetative parts it strongly resembles C. usteriana. Recent information of plants of C. usteriana collected near Cebu (Jacobsen, Bogner & Christensen 1998), and an unknown collection of Bednii (private communication) made clear that C. usteriana can have leaves like C. coronata. In contrast, the well known plants collected by Josef Bogner (1984) from the Guimaras island in 1983 have bright green, narrow leaves, the lower side mostly pale green to irregular purple spotted.
But the inflorescence of C. coronata is not to be compared to C. usteriana, but have some resemblance to C. aponogetifolia Merrill. Recent imports of C. aponogetifolia, with narrow, even green leaves, may flower with a spathe which is rather close to C. coronata but missing the pronounced protuberances.

Updated April 1999.

Literature.

Bastmeijer, J.D. & P. van Wijngaarden, 1999. Cryptocoryne coronata Bastmeijer & van Wijngaarden spec. nov. (Araceae), eine neue Art von den Philippinen. Aqua Planta 24(1): 23-28.
Bogner, J.,1984. Cryptocoryne usteriana Engler und Cryptocoryne aponogetifolia Merrill. Aqua-Planta 9(4) : 7-13.
Engler, A., 1916. Cryptocoryne usteriana Engler n.sp. Bot. Jb. 54, Beiblatt z d Bot. Jb., Nr 116 : 125.
Jacobsen, N., J. Bogner & C. Christensen, 1998. Weitere Aufsammlungen von Cryptocoryne usteriana Engler auf den Philippinen. Aqua-Planta 23(3): 113-115.
Merrill, E.D., 1919. New or noteworthy Philippine plants XV. Philipp.J.Sci. 14(4) : 370-371.