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Genlisea stapfii in Benin


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I came across this photo of G. stapfii here:


It is a nice enough photo but what is really interesting is the location it was taken in; it was in Benin and maps showing the range of Genlisea have a big gap between Liberia and Ivory Coast to the west and Eastern Nigeria and Cameroon to the east.

Benin is squarely in the middle of that gap.

Probably Genlisea will turn up elsewhere in that gap where conditions are suitable.


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Thanks for the photograph - the plant clearly is G. stapfii. This species is widespread in tropical Western Africa, and occurs both west and east of the Dahomey Gap. I expected it for Benin (which now represents the easternmost border of the distribtuion range of this species west of the Dahomey Gap), however the country will not be listed in the Genlisea monograph unfortunately - I should have known just about 3 weeks earlier, now the book is already in print ;). Genlisea stapfii is however not to be expected to occur further to the east however, as this is where the so-called Dahomey Gap, or Dahomey dry zone starts, which does not support growth of these seasonal tropical wetland plants. The range starts in Nigeria again, and the species occurs down to Gabon.

Thus, in the forthcoming Genlisea monograph, you can already add Benin as another country in the distribution range of Genlisea stapfii.... I will update the distribution map for this species, and provide it for download soon, for those who like to have their Genlisea monograph continuoulsy updated...

Regarding G. stapfii and G. barthlottii, there is also some confusion, because the identification keys in the species description of G. barthlottii, and in the revision of Fischer et al. 2000, contain a little mistake:

G. stapfii is claimed to have a spur shorter than the corolla lower lip, and G. barthlottii a spur which is longer than the corolla lower lip. In fact, it is *exactly* the other way round (I have to re-label my photographs as well: what I have shown as "G. barthlottii" in this forum actually all is G. stapfii. Also ALL photos of G. barthlottii in cultivation are actually showing G. stapfii). Furthermore, G. africana *does* occur in Western Tropical Africa (the photos I have previously shown as "G. stapfii" are in fact the Western African form of G. africana). It took a while to sort out these things....

All the best,


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LeeBr: interesting, but not much surprising. The tropical areas are full of unknown species, an unknown distribution in already described species is a minor gap in comparison with that.

Andreas: the Genlisea monograph is finally in press? Great! Cant wait for it!


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Andreas, interesting stuff about the changes that need to be made - and which many cultivators often complain that taxonomists keep doing. But what can we do if previous taxonomists didn't do a good job and got everything mixed up? :)

Best wishes,


P.S. Anxiously waiting for the Genlisea monograph here too! :)

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Thanks for that Andreas, I can't wait to see your monograph either.

Sorry I didn't notice the photo a month ago :-(

It is an excellent idea to have a website where you can continuously update information on the species such as their distributions.

So there are three Genlisea species in west Africa, that's interesting.

I saw the species list for your book on the Redfern Natural History website; so G. subviridis and G. taylorii are no longer considered valid species?

Looks like the book will keep me busy for a while.

Now that you have got this book out of the way are you planning to publish your work on the DNA phylogeny of Heliamphora species anytime soon?


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