Research Article
Research Article
Paraphlomis kuankuoshuiensis (Lamiaceae), a new species from the limestone areas of northern Guizhou, China
expand article infoRen-Bo Zhang, Tan Deng, Quan-Li Dou, Ruo-Xun Wei, Lin He, Chong-Bo Ma, Sheng Zhao, Shun Hu
‡ Zunyi Normal College, Zunyi, China
Open Access


Paraphlomis kuankuoshuiensis (Lamiaceae), a new species found in the limestone areas of northern Guizhou, China, is described and illustrated in this paper. Based on its tubular-campanulate calyx, this taxon should be a member of sect. Paraphlomis Prain. The new species resembles P. patentisetulosa C.Y. Wu & H. W. Li, P. hispida C.Y. Wu, and P. hirsutissima C.Y. Wu & H.W. Li, but differs from these three taxa in the following aspects: the stems are very short (<7 cm), with one or two short internodes, giving the impression of having a tuft of basal leaves; it has sparsely setose hairs on the outer surface of the calyces and short fruiting calyces. The florescence, fruit period, habitat, and the geographical distribution of P. kuankuoshuiensis are also quite different from the three closely related species.


Guizhou, karst, limestone flora, new taxon, Paraphlomideae, Paraphlomis kuankuoshuiensis


Paraphlomis (Prain) Prain is a genus of about 24 species in Lamiaceae (Ko et al. 2014), of which 23 Paraphlomis species and seven varieties were recorded from China (China Botanical Flora Editorial Committee 1977, Li and Hedge 1994, Xiang et al. 2010). The genus is characterized by erect galeate corollas with longer upper lips than lower lips; rounded and bearded upper corolla lips, five-toothed calyces, and two-cleft, sub-equal style apices (Ko et al. 2014).

Paraphlomis was separated from Phlomis by Prain in 1901 (Azizian and Moore 1982) and was supported as an independent genus (Pan et al. 2009). Scheen et al. (2010) placed the genus Paraphlomis in the tribe Lamioideae and they suggested that its phylogenetic position is uncertain although their analyses do place two accessions of Paraphlomis in the vicinity of Phlomis. Based on the DNA sequence data from chloroplast regions, Bendiksby et al. (2011) established a new tribe, Paraphlomideae which includes three genera: Paraphlomis Prain, Matsumurella Makino, and Ajugoides Makino. Results from Li et al. (2016) also supported the circumscription of the tribe.

In recent years, a small number of new Paraphlomis taxa were reported across mainland China, including P. breviflora B.Y. Ding, Y.L. Xu et Z.H. Chen (Ding et al. 2019) in the Zhejiang Province; P. javanica (Blume) Prain var. pteropoda D. Fang & K.J. Yan and P. javanica (Blume) Prain var. angustifolia C.Y. Wu & H.W. Li f. albinervia D. Fang & K.J. Yan (Yan and Fang 2009), are both from the Guangxi Province. In addition, Xiang et al. (2016) treated two varieties of Paraphlomis species as new synonyms: P. javanica var. pteropoda D. Fang et K. J. Yan as P. javanica (Blume) Prain var. javanica and P. javanica var. angustifolia f. albinervia D. Fang et K. J. Yan as P. javanica var. angustifolia (C. Y. Wu) C. Y. Wu et H. W. Li, respectively.

During fieldwork, a new species of Paraphlomis was discovered in Kuankuoshui National Natural Reserve, Suiyang County, Guizhou Province, China. Based on its tubular-campanulate calyces, the new species was placed in Sect. Paraphlomis. This species has bristled tubular-campanulate calyces, conspicuous calyx teeth, and oblong-elliptic and hairy leaves which resemble P. patentisetulosa C.Y. Wu et H.W. Li, P. hispida C.Y. Wu and P. hirsutissima C.Y. Wu & H.W. Li. However, the new species differs from these three taxa in a variety of ways. For instance, it has very short stems (< 7 cm), with one or two short internodes, giving the impression of having a tuft of basal leaves; it has sparsely setose hairs on the outer surface of the calyx and short fruiting calyces. Morphological characteristics indicate that this species differs from the above mentioned Paraphlomis species and should be considered a new species in this genus.

Materials and methods

All morphological characteristics were measured using dissecting microscopes. The flowering and fruiting specimens of the potential new species were checked at ZY (Thiers 2019). Three specimens of P. patentisetulosa were observed at IBSC and their collecting numbers were 37835 (Type), 163476, and 12441. One specimen of P. hispida (92449) was observed at IBK. The following traits (some of them not described in "Flora of China") were carefully surveyed: indumentum, length of the corolla, shape and length of the bracteoles, (fruiting) calyx tubes and teeth, and nutlets (92449 has no nutlet).

Digital specimens, including 33 taxa belonging to 19 Paraphlomis species (Table S1), were checked at AU, BH, BNU, FJFC, GXMG, IBK, JIU, JJF, KUN, NAS, PE, and SM herbaria through NSII platform (, with the additional consultation of online databases, including the Plant Photo Bank of China (, Chinese Field Herbarium (, and Global Plants (


Paraphlomis kuankuoshuiensis R.B.Zhang, D.Tan & C.B.Ma, sp. nov.

Figs 1, 2


Paraphlomis kuankuoshuiensis can be distinguished from the morphologically similar species P. patentisetulosa, P. hispida, and P. hirsutissima by its very short stem (< 7 cm) with one or two short internodes (giving the impression of having a tuft of basal leaves). The three closely related species have stems longer than 15 cm and more internodes. The new species has sparsely setose hairs on the outer surface of the calyces (vs. finely or densely) and short fruiting calyces (5-6 cm vs. 7 cm, 8-9 cm, and to 11 cm). There are some other diagnostic characters between the new species and its three closely related species (Table 1). The flowering from July to August and fruiting from August to September are quite different from the three species (vs. fruiting from November to January). It grows on bare steep rocks, which is a distinctive habitat. The new species distributes in Guizhou Province and is far away from the other three species (Fig. 3).

Table 1.

Comparing the diagnostics of Paraphlomis kuankuoshuiensis sp. nov., P. patentisetulosa, P. hispida, and P. hirsutissima.

Traits P. kuankuoshuiensis sp. nov. P. patentisetulosa P. hispida P. hirsutissima
Stems Height (cm) 2–7 15–25 Ca. 60 > 20
Habit Erect and tufted Ascending Slightly ascending Flexuous
Habitat Steep rock surface beside stream Beside stream In tropical forests or thickets In gravels below tropical forests
Leaf blades (cm) 10–37 × 3–8 5.5–14.5 × 2.5–7 3–20 × 1.8–11.5 5.5–13 × 2–5
Fruiting calyces Shape Tubular-campanulate Tubular-campanulate Tubular-campanulate Tubular
Length (mm) 5–6 To 11 Ca. 7 8–9
Hairs Sparsely bristly, glabrous inside Finely bristly outside Densely hispid, glabrous inside ?
Tooth length (mm) Ca. 2 Ca. 3 Ca. 5 Ca. 2
Tooth direction Erect Erect Erect Reflexed
Nutlet apices Truncate Rounded Truncate ?
Fl. Jul–Aug ? ? ?
Fr. Aug–Sep Nov Nov–Jan Jan
Distributed province in China Guizhou Guangdong Yunnan [Vietnam] Yunnan
Figure 1. 

Paraphlomis kuankuoshuiensis spe. nov. A natural habitat B flowering plant C short and tufted stems D rhizome E–F calyces G bracteoles H frontal view of verticillaster I lateral view of verticillaster J–K corolla L anthers M front view of corolla N fresh nutlets and fruiting calyx O dried nutlets. Photographed by Ren-Bo Zhang.

Figure 2. 

Paraphlomis kuankuoshuiensis sp. nov. A flowering plant B pistil C flower D front view of corolla E opened corolla F leaf G opened calyx H nutlet. Drawn by Tan Deng.

Figure 3. 

The geographical distribution of Paraphlomis kuankuoshuiensis sp. nov. and its three closely related species.


CHINA. Guizhou Province, Zunyi City, Suiyang County, Kuankuoshui National Natural Reserve, on moist rocks, 28°11'N, 107°04'E, 820 m alt., 22 July 2019, ZRB1509 (fl., holotype ZY!, isotype IBK!), 24 August 2019 ZRB1575 (fr., paratype ZY!).


Perennial herb. Rhizomes short, 2–4 cm, dense and fibrous roots. Stems 2–5 (–7), unbranched, 2–7 cm, slightly grooved, densely strigose, with 1 or 2 pairs of leaves for each stem. Leaves long elliptic or long obovate, (thickly) papery, 10–37 × 3–8 cm, apex obtuse or acute, base cuneate, margin serrulate; petioles 0.5–4 cm, adaxially slightly grooved, strigose; lateral veins in 8–12 pairs, obviously concave above and slightly raised below; adaxial surfaces and abaxial veins densely strigose. Inflorescence with one to two verticillasters; verticillasters 7-46-flowered; flowers shortly petiolate; apical opposite cymes globose, pseudoterminal; bracteoles linear-lanceolate, ca. 5 mm, margin ciliolate. Calyx tubular-campaniform, red; tube 5–6 mm, sparsely bristled, 10 veins; 5 teeth, unequal, triangular-lanceolate, 1–2 mm. Corolla white, 2-lipped, ca. 2.2 cm; tube obliquely hairy annulate inside; upper lip oblong, entire, galeate, with pink spots outside; lower lip 3-lobed, with a pink-striped interior and larger middle lobe. Stamens 4, anterior pair longer, all rising under upper corolla lip; filaments puberulent; anthers two-loculed, forked. Style filiform, exceeding stamens, apex 2-lobed, lobes subequal. Ovary 4-loculed, small ovary apex truncate, glabrous. Disc ring like, not obvious. Nutlets ca. 2.5 mm long, apex truncate, base attenuate. Fl. Jul–Aug. Fr. Aug–Sep.

Distribution and habitat

Based on current field observations, P. kuankuoshuiensis is only located in the Dazhuxi and Matixi valleys, the Kuankuoshui National Natural Reserve, Suiyang County, Guizhou Province. The area has a subtropical monsoon climate and it is wet but not seasonly dry. It grows on moist steep limestone rocks (almost bare) beside streams at an altitude of approximately 820 m, and in groups of several thousand individuals.

Conservation status

This species is currently known to only occur in two valleys, with a population numbering several thousand individuals. It is suggested it be placed in the Near Threatened IUCN category (IUCN 2017).


This new species was observed flowering from July to August and fruiting from August to September.


The specific epithet ‘kuankuoshuiensis’ is derived from the plant’s locality: Kuankuoshui National Natural Reserve, Guizhou Province, China.


This work was supported by grants from the Doctor Foundation of Zunyi Normal College (BS[2018]17), the Science and Technology Bureau of Zunyi City – Zunyi Normal College Foundation Joint Project ([2018]11), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31860162), the Innovation Ability Promotion Plan of Guizhou Higher School (QJHXTCXZ [2013]11), and the Science and Technology Project of Guizhou Province (J-LKZS[2014]04; J-LKZS[2014]14).


  • Bendiksby M, Thorbek L, Scheen AC, Lindqvist C, Ryding O (2011) An updated phylogeny and classification of Lamiaceae subfamily Lamioideae. Taxon 60(2): 471–484.
  • China Botanical Flora Editorial Committee (1977) Paraphlomis. In: Flora of China (vol 65-2). Science Press, Beijing, 545–572.
  • Ding BY, Chen ZH, Xu YL, Jin XF, Wu DF, Chen JB, Wu WJ (2019) New species and combination of Lamiaceae from Zhejiang, China. Guihaia 39(1): 10–15.
  • Ko SC, Lee YM, Chung KS, Son DC, Nam BM, Chung GY (2014) A new species of Paraphlomis (Lamiaceae) from Korea: an additional genus to the Korean flora. Phytotaxa 175(1): 051–054.
  • Li XW, Hedge IC (1994) Lamiaceae. In: Wu ZY, Raven PH (Eds) Flora of China, vol 17. , Lamiaceae through Verbenaceae. Science Press, Beijing and Missouri Botanical Garden Press, StLouis, 50–299.
  • Li B, Cantino PD, Olmstead RG, Bramley GLC, Xiang CL, Ma ZH, Tan YH, Zhang DX (2016) A large-scale chloroplast phylogeny of the Lamiaceae sheds new light on its subfamilial classification. Scientific Reports 6(1): 34343.
  • Pan YZ, Fang LQ, Hao G, Cai J, Gong X (2009) Systematic positions of Lamiophlomis and Paraphlomis (Lamiaceae) based on nuclear and chloroplast sequences. Journal of Systematics and Evolution 47(6): 535–542.
  • Scheen AC, Bendiksby M, Ryding O, Mathiesen C, Albert VA, Lindqvist C (2010) Molecular phylogenetics, character evolution, and suprageneric classification of Lamioideae (Lamiaceae). BioOne 97(2): 191–217.
  • Yan KJ, Fang D (2009) A supplement to the Paraphlomis (Lamiaceae) from Guangxi, China. Redai Yaredai Zhiwu Xuebao 17(7): 91–92.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 

Table S1. Digital Paraphlomis specimens checked at herbaria through NSII platform

Ren-Bo Zhang, Tan Deng, Quan-Li Dou, Ruo-Xun Wei, Lin He, Chong-Bo Ma, Sheng Zhao, Shun Hu

Data type: species data

This dataset is made available under the Open Database License ( The Open Database License (ODbL) is a license agreement intended to allow users to freely share, modify, and use this Dataset while maintaining this same freedom for others, provided that the original source and author(s) are credited.
Download file (43.50 kb)
login to comment