A new species of Vaccinium has been found on the summit of Mt. Victoria in Palawan.
According to a Facebook post by the Philipine Taxonomic Initiative, Vaccinium exiguum “was encountered during a fieldwork of PTI led by R. Bustamante last February 2021. Named after its small statute “exiguum”, it’s the 36th species in the country and the third Vaccinium on the island of Palawan. Aside from its small morphology, its crenate leaf margins, floriferous branches, calyx lobes as long as or longer than the hypanthium, and deeply 5-7 ribbed (sulcations) corolla easily distinguishes it from the rest of the Philippine species. It is currently known only from a single location on the summit of Mt. Victoria.”
The finding, published in the journal PhytoKeys, was authored by Maverick N. Tamayo, Rene Alfred Anton Bustamante, Peter W. Fritsch, and is the result of research collaboration between the Phillipine Taxonomic Initiative, University of the Philippines Baguio, and the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. The study was accomplished with financial support from nonprofit organization Fins and Leaves.
Photos courtesy of Rene Bustamante