As a result of ongoing study of the plant flora of St. Eustatius (Statia) by Dr. Frank Axelrod of the University of Puerto Rico, the New York Botanical Garden and Statia’s national park ranger Hannah Madden, a new species is discovered on the island. This gonolobus aloiensis has recently been described and illustrated by Axelrod and Dr. Alexander Krings in the Journal of Systematic Botany.
The vine is endemic to Statia and represents the first record of the genus for the island. Next to gonolobus aloiensis, the only other endemic species on the island is Statia Morning Glory.
Statia Morning Glory (picture DCNA)
Gonolobus aloiensis can be found in humid or wet evergreen forests at 275 to 400 meters elevation. On Statia the species only grows on the slopes inside the crater of the dormant volcano, the Quill. Its habitat is therefore not always easily accessible.
Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of the newly discovered species yet, but it’s similar to this one.
Gonolobus (picture Fishbein)
For more about Statia’s beautiful nature, check out Hannah Madden’s website The Flora and Fauna of St. Eustatius.