Spenceria ramalana is the lone species in the plant genus Spenceria, known by two varieties. S. ramalana grows from 18–32 cm. tall, and puts out yellow flowers from July through August; bearing fruit (yellowish-brown achenes) from September to October. The Chinese name, ma ti huang [马蹄黄], can be translated to mean "yellow horseshoe".
Henry Trimen, both the genus, and binomial authority of Spenceria, and S. ramalana, respectively, gave an explanation of how he arrived at these names: the genus name was given in honor of Trimen's friend, and fellow botanist, Spencer Moore, who was employed at Kew Herbarium. Trimen thought about choosing a name commemorating the collector of the species, one Captain Gill, R.E., but decided against it, as there already was a genus Gilia (Polemoniaceae), and he wished to avoid, in his words, "the formation of another of precisely similar sound."  As the species was collected from a mountain named Ra-Ma-La, it is likely that the specific epithet "ramalana" was chosen as a toponym (the suffix "-ana" meaning "belonging to", hence "from Ra-Ma-La").
- The genus Spenceria, and its type species Spenceria ramalana, were first described and published in Journal of Botany, British and Foreign. London 17: 97. 1879 GRIN (October 12, 2004). "Spenceria ramalana information from NPGS/GRIN". Taxonomy for Plants. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland: USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Retrieved June 19, 2011.
- "Spenceria ramalana". Flora of China. eFloras. 9: 384. Retrieved June 19, 2011.
- GRIN. "Species in GRIN for genus Spenceria". Taxonomy for Plants. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland: USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Retrieved June 19, 2011.
- "Spenceria ramalana at Flora of China, as translated through GoogleTranslate". Retrieved June 19, 2011.
- Henry Trimen; S. Le M. Moore, eds. (1879). "On Spenceria, A New Genus of Rosacaea, from Western China". Journal of botany, British and foreign; Illustrated with plates. London, 54, Hatton Garden: West, Newman & Co. N. S., VIII: 97–99.
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