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Sauropus calcareus M.R.Hend. (Phyllanthaceae)
by Nor Ezzawanis Abdullah Thani

Sauropus is the genus to which ‘cekur manis’ (Sauropus androgynus (L.) Merr.), a popular vegetable in Peninsular Malaysia, belongs. There are nine species of Sauropus in Peninsular Malaysia of which a few are endemic. One of these is Sauropus calcareous that is endemic to the limestone hills in the Gunung Senyum area, Pahang.

The species name calcareous derives from the Latin word meaning chalky that reflects its preference for growing on limestone. It was first described in 1933 by Henderson based on his own collection Henderson 22316 . He mentioned that it is distinct from other Sauropus species by its pale round leaves with conspicuous reticulation. It is a very rare species that has not been photographed before.

During our fieldtrip to this area in February 2011, we found a few patches at the foot of Gunung Senyum and the neighbouring hill, Gunung Jebak Puyuh. Its conservation status is Near Threatened (NT).

References

  1. Henderson, M.R. (1933). Additions to the flora of the Malay Peninsula. The Gardens' Bulletin, Straits Settlements 7 (1-3): pp. 87-127
  2. Kiew, R., Nor-Ezzawanis, A.T., Saw, L.G. & Lau, K.H. (2011). Inside the Quail Trap: A Botanical Snapshot of Gunung Jebak Puyuh. Malaysian Naturalist , Vol. 64 (4): pp. 32-36
  3. Stearn, W.T. (1966). Botanical Latin. Nelson, London, England. pp. 566.
  4. Turner, I. (1995). A Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Malaya. The Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 47 (1 & 2): pp. 265
  5. Whitmore, T.C. (1972). Tree Flora of Malaya, Volume 2. Longman Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., Malaysia. pp. 444.
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