Three new nettles from Southern China

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Elatostema laevicaule, a new species of nettle from Guangxi Province in SW China. The species is a small succulent plant which grows on or amongst rocks in the forest understory

All three of the new species were described in November 2013 in the journal Phytotaxa. I have been very fortunate to work with my co-authors, Wei Yi-Gang at the Guangxi Institute of Botany and Wang Wen-Tsai of the Beijing Institute of Botany for several years.  China and particularly the South West has a very diverse flora a result of its subtropical climate, diverse geology and palaeohistory. Guangxi remains one of the less explored Chinese provinces and yet has a very rich Flora. Elatostema, a group of several hundred shade-loving succulent herbs has colonized the limestone karst and associated caves.

Line-drawings are probably still the best way to illustrate newly described species as they allow certain features and structures to be amplified

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