Killi Shrimp Plant species Enclycloaquaria CoF Invert Taxa

Aqua-Planta 27: 152-154						2002

Cryptocoryne Xpurpurea Ridley, nothovar. borneoensis N. Jacobsen, Bastmeijer & Y. Sasaki (Araceae)a new hybrid from Sarawak

Niels Jacobsen, Copenhagen, Denmark


Cryptocoryne Xpurpurea Ridley nothovar. borneoensis N. Jacobsen, Bastmeijer & Y. Sasaki is new variety found in South Kalimantan. The leaf blade is cordate, brown purple, flat to somewhat bullate. The spathe is 10-20 cm long, the limb 3-6 cm long, ovate and long acuminate, somewhat rugose, shiny bright red, sometimes dark red; the collar/collar zone is distinct, somewhat narrow, dotted towards the opening.


Cryptocoryne Xpurpurea Ridley nothovar. borneoensis N. Jacobsen, Bastmeijer & Y. Sasaki Aqua-Planta 27: 152-154 (2002). (C. cordata Griffith var. zonata (De Wit) N. Jacobsen C. griffithii Schott)

Rhizome slender, often with long internodes; runners long, slender; cataphylls only present in flowering specimens. Leaves 15-25 cm long, lamina cordate with a brown purple colour, lower surface paler, 5-12 cm long, 2-6 cm broad, surface smooth to some¬what bullate; petiole 10-15 cm long, longest in continuously submerged speci¬mens. Spathe 10-20 cm long, the upper part purplish green on the outside, lower part white; pedun¬cle 1-3 cm; kettle 1.5-2.0 cm long, inside purple spotted in the upper half, flap white; tube 8-12 cm long, outside purple tinged in the upper part; limb 3-6 cm long, ovate, long acuminate, somewhat rugose, shiny bright red, sometimes dark red; collar/collar zone distinct, somewhat narrow, dark red but turning into dots downwards into the opening. Spadix with about 6 dark green distinctly rugose female flowers, stigmas elliptic to emarginated; olfactory bodies irregularly rounded, yellow; male flowers 30-40, smooth, apex of the spadix densely purple spotted. Chromosome number: 2n = 51 (Vaucher at C). Type: Sasaki no. sp. 2, Indonesia, Kalimantan, ca. 60 km N of Sampit, Sg. Lawak. Original collection: 23 May 1999, specimen cultivated in Copenhagen, April 2002 (L, holotype).


Cryptocoryne Xpurpurea Ridley nothovar. borneoensis is found in two places in southern Kalimantan, in a region where the two parent species also are found. At the locality at Sg. Koru both parents and the hybrid are found growing in the same area in the river, while in Sg. Lawak only the hybrid has been reported.


Cryptocoryne Xpurpurea Ridley nothovar. borneoensis is found on muddy ground in small rivers and streams with rather slow running water.


Seen from an aquatic point of view Borneo is very interesting, as there are e.g. four main centres for Labyrinth fish on the island, and the Cryptocoryne reported from there are also very different. The large area and the few diverse reports from Kalimantan suggest that there are still new discoveries to be made.

There had previously been reports of C. Xpurpurea from southern Kalimantan, but no documented material has been known to us.

Travelling in southern Kalimantan proved to be very difficult, but with good help from the local people the trips had successful results. It took a 2 week round trip (Y. Sasaki & Co.) with extremely punishing roads in the exploration of the area from Sampit to Banjarmasing in May 1999. This is the area where nothovar. borneoensis, with the bright purple spathe, was found both at the Sg. Lawak (Cryptocoryne sp. 2), and at Sg. Koru (Cryptocoryne sp. 3a). However, Cryptocoryne cordata var. zonata, with the yellow limb of the spathe, was also found at Sg. Koru in 1999. The leaves of the two plants at Sg. Koru looked very much alike, and it was confusing trying to tell the two apart without flowers.

Therefore a renewed survey of the Sg. Koru waters was undertaken in 2002 (by Y. Sasaki & Co.). It was thus very surprising and exciting that not only were the nothovar. borneoensis and C. cordata var. zonata found flowering, but also C. griffithii, and yet another plant resembling nothovar. borneoensis with a lighter red limb of the spathe, and a broad collar zone were found within a river stretch of just 1 km. This latter plant could be another form of nothovar. borneoensis. The new discoveries like those of Sg. Koru are surprising, and at the same time create an enthusiasm for these mysterious plants that are both so alike and yet so different.

It is hoped that there will be little invasive activity on this very interesting river in the future, so that it may reveal some more of the secret life of the Cryptocorynes living there.

Cryptocoryne Xpurpurea from the southern Malay peninsula has for many years bees considered to be a hybrid between C. griffithii (2n=34) and C. cordata var. cordata (2n=34), because it has completely sterile pollen. The new plant from Sg. Lawak in southern Kalimantan also has sterile pollen, but turns out to be a triploid, and is therefore considered to be a hybrid between the diploid C. griffithii and the tetraploid C. cordata var. zonata.

Nothovar. borneoensis differs from nothovar. purpurea in the darker, shiny red colour of the limb of the spathe, the more narrow collar/collar zone that becomes spotted downwards into the tube, the kettle wall which is spotted in the upper half, and a red spotted sterile appendix of the spadix.


We would like to thank Mrs. Anne-Marie Ramsdal for making the chromosome count, and Mrs. Charlotte Schoemacker and Mr. Helmut Roessler for the translation of the Latin diagnose, and Mr. Hidekazu Morisaki for translating the Japanese test into English.


Jacobsen, N., J.D. Bastmeijer & Y. Sasaki, 2002. Cryptocoryne Xpurpurea Ridley nothovar. borneoensis N.
Jacobsen, Bastmeijer & Y. Sasaki (Araceae), eine neue Hybridvarietät aus Kalimantan. - Aqua-Planta 27: 152-154.

Copyright 2024 Richard J. Sexton
Aquatic Aroids