The climbing milkweed discovered and named by Alexander Krings has tiny, clustered flowers
A new species of climbing milkweed has been named by Alexander Krings, curator of the North Carolina State University Herbarium (also NCSC, its international Index Herbariorum abbreviation). The species - Gonolobus tenuisepalus Krings - was first collected in the tropical rainforests of southern Costa Rica while Krings was a graduate student in the Department of Forestry.
"The flowers are tiny (about 6-8 millimeters in diameter), purplish to dark brownish-red and borne in very dense, umbellate clusters," said Krings. "Although a number of congenerics occur in Costa Rica, its apparently closest relative is known from Mexico. Based on the mildly fetid fragrance, it is likely pollinated by flies."
Climbing milkweeds constitute one of the most species-rich and interesting groups of vines in the world. Highly advanced, members exhibit a startling array of highly modified flowers. Pollen is borne in removable sacs called pollinia - a trait that has evolved in only one other plant family: the orchids.
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