Curcuma pulcherrima (Zingiberaceae), a new rare species of Curcuma subgen. Ecomata from eastern Thailand




Abstract. Saensouk P, Boonma T, Saensouk S. 2022. Curcuma pulcherrima (Zingiberaceae), a new rare species of Curcuma subgen. Ecomata from eastern Thailand. Biodiversitas 23: 6635-6644. Curcuma pulcherrima Boonma, Saensouk & P. Saensouk sp. nov. (Zingiberaceae: Zingibereae, belonging to Curcuma subgenus Ecomata) distributed in Ubon Ratchathani Province, the eastern part of Thailand. The morphological characteristic of this species causes it to fall into Curcuma subgenus Ecomata due to the presence of epigynous glands, lack of coma bracts, bracts fused only at the base, and production of open-form flowers. Furthermore, this species is similar to Curcuma pierreana Gagnep., due to its similar color flowers with a pink tinge, but lighter (vs. C. pierreana maroon tip), and similar to Curcuma siamensis Saensouk & Boonma due to its characteristics of the anther and spurs. Nevertheless, after careful morphological examination and comparison of all allied species in the Curcuma genus, especially in subgenus Ecomata, it was found that this plant did not match any existing species. Therefore, we describe it here as a new species to science with the name of Curcuma pulcherrima, according to this species's very beautiful inflorescences and flowers. In contrast, its morphological characteristics description, illustrations, vernacular name, ecology, phenology, distribution, utilization, conservation status, map of distribution, and comparison table of the new species and its ally species, including a revised key to the species of Curcuma subgenus Ecomata are provided.


Boonma T, Saensouk S. 2020. Curcuma saraburiensis (Zingiberaceae), a new species from Thailand. Taiwania 64(3):
–248. DOI: 10.6165/tai.2019.64.245
IUCN 2022. Guidelines for Using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Version 15 Prepared by the Standards
and Petitions Committee. Available at: Guidelines.pdf
(Accessed on 17.03.2022).
Kew Science 2022. World checklist of selected plant families (WCSP).
Larsen K, Larsen SS. 2006. Gingers of Thailand. Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden, The Botanical Garden Organization,
Chiang Mai.
Leong-Škorni?ková J, M. Newman 2015. Gingers of Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam. Singapore Botanic Garden,
National Parks Board, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Leong-Škorni?ková J, Šida O, Záveská E, Marhold K. 2015. History of infrageneric classification, typification of supraspecific names, and outstanding transfers in Curcuma (Zingiberaceae). Taxon 64(2): 362–373.
Maknoi C, Saensouk S, Saensouk P, Rakarcha S, Thammarong W. 2021. Two new species of Curcuma L.
(Zingiberaceae) from Thailand. Biodiversitas 22(9): 3910–3921.
Nguyen D.D., Le T.A., Hoang Q.H., Le Q.T., Nguyen E. 2022. Two new taxa of Curcuma subgen. Ecomata
(Zingiberaceae: Zingibereae), from coastal Central Vietnam. Biodiversitas 23(5): 2512–2519.
DOI: 10.13057/biodiv/d230531
Saensouk P, Boonma T, Saensouk S. 2021. Curcuma siamensis (Zingiberaceae, Zingibereae), a new species of Curcuma
subgen. Ecomata from Southeastern Thailand. Biodiversitas 22(12): 5239–5246.
DOI: 10.13057/biodiv/d221201
Saensouk S, Boonma T, Saensouk P. 2021a. Six new species and a new record of Curcuma L. (Zingiberaceae)
from Thailand. Biodiversitas 22(4): 1658–1685. DOI: 10.13057/biodiv/d220410
Saensouk S, Boonma T, Thomudtha A, Thomudtha P, Saensouk P. 2021b. Curcuma wanenlueanga (Zingiberaceae),
a new species of subgenus Curcuma in Thailand. Biodiversitas 22(7): 2988–2994.
DOI: 10.13057/biodiv/d220752
Saensouk S, Boonma T, Saensouk P. 2021c. A new species and a new record of Curcuma subgen. Curcuma
(Zingiberaceae) from Northern Thailand. Biodiversitas 22(9): 3617–3626. DOI: 10.13057/biodiv/d220903
Saensouk S, Boonma T, Saensouk P. 2022. Curcuma achrae (Zingiberaceae), a new species from Central Thailand.
Rheedea 32(1): 30–45. DOI: 10.22244/rheedea.2022.32.01.03
Schumann, K.M. (1904). Zingiberaceae in Engler, Das Pflanzenreich IV, 46 (Heft 20): 1–458.
Sirirugsa 1966. The genus Curcuma L. (Zingiberaceae) in Thailand. Prince of Songkla University.
Sirirugsa 1999, Thai Zingiberaceae: Species diversity and Their Uses, Available at:
proceedings/phuket97/sirirugsa.html [Accessed on 1 July 2022]
Sirirugsa P, Larsen K, Maknoi C. 2007. The Genus Curcuma L. (Zingiberaceae): Distribution and
Classification with Reference to Species Diversity in Thailand. Gardens’ Bull. Singapore 59(1&2): 203–220.
Záveská E, Fér T, Šida O, Krak K, Marhold K, Leong-Škorni?ková J. 2012. Phylogeny of Curcuma (Zingiberaceae) based on plastid and nuclear sequences: Proposal of the new subgenus Ecomata. Taxon 61 (4): 747–763