Is this stumper-worthy?

Discussion in 'Plants and Biodiversity Stumpers' started by Ken R, Sep 9, 2006.

  1. Ken R

    Ken R Active Member

    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    Perhaps I'm a little too junior to be posting a stumper. Forgive me if this is too easy. But when I put the Latin name into the Google images search, I was shocked when I got only one image back! (Yes, I spelled it correctly and no it does not appear to be an obsolete name. There is a synonym, but an image search on that yields two images, not of plants but of old index cards from a collection.)

    I'm fairly sure of the identification because the previous owner of our garden left me with a list of some of the plants and his description and the single image from Google match this shrub.

    What do you think? Too easy?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Ken R

    Ken R Active Member

    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    No gueses yet, huh? How about a clue.

    In the spirit of Daniel's clue on the "such dainty flowers" thread, here's a musical clue: "I'd like to get you on a slow boat to ...."

    Our destination is where we might find this plant in the wild. And the genus of the plant could be the explanation of why our boat is slow.
     
  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,468
    Likes Received:
    538
    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Good stumper! I like that last clue - has me curious about the answer (and no, I don't know what it is).
     
  4. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    865
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Coquitlam, BC
    Is it a shrub?
     
  5. Ken R

    Ken R Active Member

    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    Yes, Weekend Gardener, it is a shrub. The plant in the picture is about six feet tall.

    Just to make sure my opening post doesn't mislead: I wrote "Latin name" but the roots of the name are Greek.
     
  6. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    865
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Coquitlam, BC
    So, the specific epithet has to be sinensis. But a slow boat might be a canoe, for which the Greek word is 'skaphe'. (In medical terminology, and in the animal Kingdom, including dinosaurs, the prefix equivalent is "scapho").

    Is this going in the right direction?
     
  7. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Camano Island, WA
    From Susan Loesser, daughter of the composer Frank Loesser (1910-1969)
    "..a well known phrase among poker players, referring to a person who lost steadily and handsomely... the phrase then moved to general parlance to mean anything that takes a lonnnnnnng time."
     
  8. Ken R

    Ken R Active Member

    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    The plant is from China, but that's not in the specific epithet.

    The genus doesn't name a boat so much as what might be a part of a boat. Actually, it's describing the flower, but it is using a term that also might describe part of a boat.
     
  9. David in L A

    David in L A Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    672
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Los Angeles, U.S.
    A bent keel?
     
  10. Ken R

    Ken R Active Member

    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
  11. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    865
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Coquitlam, BC
    Bent as in "ankylos"?
     
  12. Ken R

    Ken R Active Member

    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    No. Different root, I think.
     
  13. Ken R

    Ken R Active Member

    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    I thought I'd post a few more photos of the plant. One shot shows the foliage. One shows the flower (I think I can see a bent keel) and some fruit. The third is a shot of a nice group of flowers.

    David appears to know the genus. Type four or five key words from this thread into a search engine and you too will probably find the genus. From there it's not far to the species. Or is that too easy?
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Chooch

    Chooch Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SW Ontario 65 miles west of London / 33 miles sout
    Indigofera kirilowii ??
     
  15. Ken R

    Ken R Active Member

    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    Well, right family. Indigofera has pea-like flowers and compound leaves, but the mystery plant has only three leaflets per leaf. Kind of like an overgrown version of a three-leaflet, pea family plant that is all over my lawn -- which suggests a common name I've seen on the 'net for the mystery plant. (Can uncommon plants have common names?)

    By the way, according to my trusty copy of Donald Borror's Dictionary of Wood Roots and Combining Forms, Indigofera means bearer of indigo. Still looking for "bent keel."
     
  16. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    11,202
    Likes Received:
    393
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    "bent keel" . . . curvicarina? Can't think of anything that name in Fabaceae. But come to think of it, that's Latin, not Greek. I don't know what a keel is in Greek :-(
     
  17. Laurie

    Laurie Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    428
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Actually this is a great Stumper, but did we ever mention that participating in Stumpers means propagating the plant for the participants! The following link with photographs of Campylotropis polyantha - 雲南萩 - seems to fit: http://www.botanic.jp/plants-aa/unhagi.htm. For some reason, this flower seems so familiar.
    With my Greek dictionary either buried in the garage, or more likely on a shelf in a seminary library in Oregon, I found that it is difficult to work with Greek root words online. Working forwards, “kypho” (or “kyph”, “cypho”, “cyph”) led nowhere. “Anklos” was a great start as well, but had the same fate. As far as taking a long time on a slow boat, it is interesting that the Greek root for “drift” is “plankt,” which of course led nowhere, and I must say this particular hint was quite vague, but the lyrical hint was fun. Two other hints were available online: 1) Δοκός τρόπιδας (καρίνας) – “keel bar” (Dokos tropidas (karinas)); and 2) given the Family Fabaceae, this interesting abstract was most helpful:
    http://www.bz.upjs.sk/thaiszia/abstracts4.htm - MA J. S. (1994): A floristic analysis of the Chinese Fabaceae with emphasis on the Sino-Himalayan region. - Thaiszia - J. Bot., Kosice, 4:1-14.
    So working backwards given the genera listed in the abstract, Campylotropis seemed likely, and indeed “campylos” means curved or bent. (After the fact, I found this comment by a professor on the use in Greek of “karina” as opposed to “tropidos” for “keel” through history.)
     
  18. Ken R

    Ken R Active Member

    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    Well ...

    We've got the genus! Kudos to Laurie.

    By the way, I was nosing around in the dictionary for a word that might share a root with Campylotropis and I found "campylotropous," a botanical term (says the dictionary) meaning having an ovule partially inverted and curved. Who knew? Maybe the genus name descibes the ovule and not the flower petals?

    Ah, but we don't have the species yet. Looking at the photo in Laurie's link, there is a clear resemblance, but it's not quite the same.

    I would guess from the species name that the stumper plant has bigger fruit.
     
  19. Laurie

    Laurie Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    428
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
  20. Ken R

    Ken R Active Member

    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    Laurie's got it. Clovershrub it is. Campylotropis macrocarpa.

    And when I search for Campylotropis macrocarpa using Google Images, the link Laurie posted is the one and only picture to come up.

    Congratulations, Laurie.

    Thanks to all who posted and kept the stumper going.

    And if the plant looks like it might be producing healthy seeds, Laurie, I'll let you know!
     

Share This Page