Researchers from the Wuhan Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and other institutions have recently discovered a new species of Fabaceae in Zhuxi and Shennongjia of Hubei, China.

The new species was named Astragalus bashanense and published in Phytokeys with the title “Astragalus bashanensis (Leguminosae), a new species from Central China.”

This new species is characterized by yellow flowers with calyx lobes longer than the calyx tube, a wing claw nearly as long as the limb and a keel-petal claw about 2/3 of the length of the limb. The white-pubescent linear pods have a long beak at the apex and orbicular-reniform or reniform dark seeds inside.

The plants are widespread along roadsides, in grasslands, on mountain slopes, or at the edge of woods at altitudes from 600 to 2,160 meters. And the populations have a large number of individuals. The species can be used for ornamental purposes or as animal fodder.

The genus Astragalus is the largest in the world. The discovery of A. bashanense will facilitate on the taxonomy, phylogeny and evolution of the genus.

Read the paper: Phytokeys

Article source: Chinese Academy of Sciences

Author: ZHANG Nannan

Image:  A. populations of Astragalus bashanense; B. floral parts, B1. standard, B2. keel-petal, B3. ovary and stamen, B4. wings; C. fruits; D. seed. Credit: GAN Qiliang