Two new species from Gabon show the need to reduce Commitheca to the synonymy of Pauridiantha (Rubiaceae, Pauridiantheae)


Corresponding Author. E-mail: steven.dessein@


Two new Pauridiantha species (Pauridiantheae, Rubiaceae) from Gabon are described and illustrated. Pauridiantha pleiantha is characterized by a combination of entirely glabrous stems, stipules with a narrow base, and large inflorescences. Pauridiantha smetsiana is characterized by entirely glabrous stems, narrow, early deciduous stipules, leaves red-tinged when dry, and small inflorescences. The two new species, especially P. smetsiana, close the morphological gap between Commitheca and Pauridiantha in combining typical Commitheca characters, such as glabrous stems and a narrow stipular base, with Pauridiantha characters, such as eucamptodromous venation. A detailed morphological comparison (including ovary structure, seed morphology, exotesta anatomy, and pollen morphology) between the two genera is given; in conclusion, Commitheca is relegated to the synonymy of Pauridiantha. The necessary new specific combinations are provided. © 2003 The Linnean Society of London, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2003, 141, 105–117.