About this site
Grant no's 279981, 279984 & 279970. Period, Nov./Dec. 2010 to Oct./Nov. 2013.
It’s very difficult to choose a personal favourite but I would opt for Mapania cuspidata. It’s a member of the sedge family (Cyperaceae). It doesn’t have showy flowers but has broad, shiny dark green leaves and the young emerging leaves are a beautiful salmon-pink colour on the underside. It’s a common species in SE Asia but in appearance it’s very unlike other Cyperaceae. It’s part of pantropical group that is taxonomically distinct from other sedges and grows exclusively in rainforest. M. cuspidata was the first sedge that I came across when botanising in Malaysia many years ago. I was immediately struck by its unusual appearance and this led to a career-long interest in these plants
Dave Simpson is a plant taxonomist at RBG, Kew specialising in Cyperaceae and related monocot familes. He is a co-investigator on the project and a member of the Content Team Board.