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Frank

Abnormal seedling of Hydnophytum papuanum

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Frank   

I tipped out an overgrown 2-1/2 inch seedling pot of some Hydnophytum papuanum seedlings yesterday to transplant them into a larger pot.  The seed can be traced back to an accession at the Atlanta Botanical Garden (ABG 2001-0054).  The label in the pot at the ABG said "Hydnophytum papuanum, Wallis, Australia".  I found one seedling with an abnormally elongated caudex.  In the first photo it is the plant to the far right - the one that is slightly larger and more robust than the other seedlings. Although it is not visible in the photos the abnormal seedling did have the expected ant entry hole near the bottom of the elongated caudex.

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Derrick   

This appears to be the result of a too deeply buried seed. 

I expect that there is a genetic factor behind splitters and lumpers. The truth will probably sit somewhere between the two extremes.

H. moseleyanum Becc. (Odoardo Beccari) published in Malesia raccolta 2, p150, (1885).

Type description http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/44197923#page/264/mode/1up.

Image Tavola 35 figs 15-20 http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/44197923#page/157/mode/1up

In key http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/44197923#page/239/mode/1up .

Type, Manus Island, Admiralty Islands, north of New Guinea Island.

Synonyms, H. papuanum Becc. See Forster P. I. in Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Dicotyledons, p435, (2002) where the page may be Googled. H. moseleyanum var teysmannii Becc. in Malesia raccolta 2, p151, (1885). http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/44197923#page/265/mode/1up but its basionym of H. montanum Scheff. is a nomen illegitimum 'published' in Nova Guinea 8, part1, p54 (1906- 1907) (Nova Guinea 8) where H. crassifolium is noted as a synonym of var teysmannii.

Nova Guinea 8, http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/42443#page/536/mode/1up.

Kew Plant list http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/record/kew-100978 accepts H. papuanum Becc. as a synonym.

Of course Australian species are very well known and have extremely close contact with New Guinea through the many Australian islands in Torres Strait, some of which are only a few kilometers from the PNG coast.  I see absolutely no reason to recognise H. papuanum as a current name. Indeed, it does not even warrant the label H. moseleyanum "papuanum"  because Central Province, New Guinea specimens match Australian examples. 

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