Hedychium glabrum 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Zingiberales Zingiberaceae

Scientific Name: Hedychium glabrum S.Q.Tong

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2009-11-06
Assessor(s): Romand-Monnier, F.
Reviewer(s): Liu, Q.
The extent of occurrence (EOO) for Hedychium glabrum is close to the threshold for the Vulnerable category. Although there are insufficient data to estimate the area of occupancy (AOO) with any degree of accuracy, this may also be under or close to the Vulnerable threshold. With low habitat specificity, only being known from six localities and being described as a seemingly rare species it is appropriate to flag this species as of concern. It is only reported to occur within two conservation units and because of ongoing high rates of habitat loss due to shifting agriculture and logging as well as potential extraction of this attractive ornamental in the wild and potential negative impact of climate change on this species a rating of Near Threatened is given. Field surveys are needed to determine the current range and size of the population and clarify the conservation status of H. glabrum as it could quickly fall into a threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is a recently described, rhizomatous perennial herb, which is endemic to Yunnan, in China. The taxon is reported to occur in Jinghong, Mengla, Ximeng, Va, Zu, and Zizhixian (Tong 1989, Wu and Larsen 2000).
Countries occurrence:
China (Yunnan)
Additional data:
Number of Locations:5
Lower elevation limit (metres):700
Upper elevation limit (metres):2100
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is reported to occur in six localities. The taxon is described as a seemingly rare species of forest margins (Branney 2005). The size and dynamics of the population are unknown.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is reported to occur on forest margins, in subtropical/seasonally humid, montane evergreen-broadleaved forest, and sub alpine/alpine coniferous and mixed forests, between 700 and 2,100 m asl. The taxon occurs mostly within the Yunnan plateau subtropical evergreen forest and is also found in the north Indochina subtropical moist forests and Nujiang Langcang George alpine moist mixed forest (GIS data, Tong 1989, Wu and Larsen 2000, Branney 2005).

Hedychium species are usually long lived (20 years). NB: the age of the plant can be determined by the number of rings on the rhizome. Hedychium species have robust underground rhizomes. This species flowers in June (Branney 2005).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This taxon is described as an extremely attractive species with particularly fine foliage and flowers. The taxon has been recently introduced in cultivation by specialist growers.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Forests in the region have suffered from intense deforestation clearance and fragmentation. Most primary forest has been degraded and only small intact fragments remain. Thin pine forest (e.g., Pinus yunnanensis) has replaced the original vegetation in many places. Current threats to the native flora include land clearing for shifting cultivation, poppy cultivation, and logging. Fallow lands take more than thirty years to regenerate into forest, although some ecosystem function as wildlife habitat is restored in a much shorter time. If degradation is extensive, then forest regeneration will not occur at all, and the vegetation consists of a subclimax of Imperata grasslands or the exotic weed Eupatorium adenophorum (Carpenter 2001). The ability of this taxon to persist and regenerate in disturbed and secondary forest is unknown.

Gingers have enjoyed popularity as an ornamental plant in Asia and the Far East for centuries. Ornamental gingers have rapidly increased in popularity in the western world in the past few years (West Demmy and Burch 1998), which has promoted an increase in illegal collecting by unscrupulous nurserymen (Larsen 2003). This taxon is described as an extremely attractive species with particularly fine foliage and flowers. The taxon has been recently introduced in cultivation by specialist growers. Limited stocks and slow propagation may increase the incentive of collecting rhizomes in the wild. The impact of potential collection for the horticultural trade on the population is unknown.

There is evidence to assume that global warming should reduce available land to plants adapted to mountain habitats, especially those in high altitudes (Scarano 2007). How this will impact the population of this species is unknown.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species has been collected within two conservation units, including in the Xishuangbanna Nature Reserve, where large tracts of monsoon forest remain. The taxon is probably cultivated at the Xishuangbanna Botanical Garden.

Further conservation efforts are needed in the region due to the very high rate of habitat loss and degradation. Pockets of existing habitat where the taxon occurs, especially on the lower montane slopes, should be protected and restoration activities should be undertaken wherever possible. Efforts to establish an integrated conservation and sustainable development program in parts of the region are being made (e.g., the Yunnan Great Rivers Project). Surveys and censuses should be conducted to determine the range and size of the population. Micropropagation protocols should be urgently developed for this species to relieve potential pressure from collection for the horticultural trade on the population. Seeds should be collected for germplasm conservation.

Citation: Romand-Monnier, F. 2013. Hedychium glabrum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T44392464A44510123. . Downloaded on 17 August 2018.
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