New Species of Moonseed Plant Discovered in Bolivia and Paraguay

Posted on June 5, 2014

Cissampelos arenicola

A new species of moonseed plant has been discovered in the dry forests and sand dunes in Bolivia and Paraguay. The plant, which belongs to the genus Cissampelos, was discovered by researchers from the Missouri Botanical Garden. An photograph of the new species, Cissampelos arenicola, is pictured above and an image of its curved seed is pictured below.

Seed of Cissampelos arenicola


This researchers say the new species is morphologically unique by its "small leaves, its 8 anther-cells in the male flowers, and a large endocarp - a bony tissue surrounding the curved seed -obscurely ornamented." The scientists say the new species is superficially similar in habit to C. capensis, a southern African taxon that also found in dry habitats.

A research paper on the new species by Dr. Rosa Ortiz and Dr. Michael Nee is published here in Phytokeys.

Images: Missouri Botanical Garden Herbarium (top)/Rosa del C. Ortiz (second)