Saturday, November 12, 2016

[Botany • 2016] Blakea nangaritzana • A New Species of Blakea (Blakeeae, Melastomataceae) from Ecuador

Flower in anthesis, Blakea nangaritzana 
D. Fernández, C. Ulloa & Penneys  

Photo: E. Cueva  DOI:  


A new species, Blakea nangaritzana D. Fernández, C. Ulloa & Penneys from Nangaritza canton, Zamora-Chinchipe, southern Ecuador is described and illustrated. It differs from all other species of the genus by the character combination of terrestrial trees up to 25 m tall, outer and inner floral bracts free, narrowly oblanceolate to linear, hypanthium ca. 7 × 8 mm, and calyx lobes 4–5 mm long.

Keywords: Blakea, Melastomataceae, Ecuador, endemic, Eudicots

Diagnosis:— Blakea nangaritzana is similar to Blakea campii Wurdack, but distinguished from that species by being terrestrial trees 4–25 m tall (vs. mostly lianescent hemiepiphytes), hypanthium ca. 7 × 8 mm (vs. ca. 4 × 5 mm), and calyx lobes 4–5 mm long (vs. 0.5–1 mm long). Blakea nangaritzana is also similar to B. calyptrata Gleason, but differs in having distinct, valvate calyx lobes (vs. calyx lobes completely united and calyptrate).

Habitat and Distribution:— Blakea nangaritzana is only known from a small area in Zamora-Chinchipe province, between 900 and 1840 m. The area is a dense wet forest on a sloping sandstone plateau in the Cordillera del Cóndor protected by the Bosque Protector Alto Nangaritza, the Conservation Area of Los Tepuyes, and adjacent to the Podocarpus National Park. It is expected to occur across the border in Peru.

 Conservation status:— The Area of Occurrence is of 36 and the Extension of Occurrence (EOO) of 20 The species has been collected over a 30 year period, but remained undescribed until now, stressing the importance of long-term exploration, detailed studies, well-maintained herbaria, and most importantly, well conserved forests. Based on our current knowledge, we assigned this taxon a provisional IUCN (2012) conservation status of Endangered (EN) because of the small size of the population

Etymology:— The species name refers to the Nangaritza river watershed where this species occurs. 

Diana Fernández Fernández, Carmen Ulloa Ulloa and Darrin S. Penneys. 2016.   A New Species of Blakea (Blakeeae, Melastomataceae) from Ecuador.
 284(1); 69–74. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.284.1.7

Resumen: Se describe e ilustra una nueva especie, Blakea nangaritzana D. Fernández, C. Ulloa & Penneys, del cantón Nangaritza, Zamora-Chinchipe, sur de Ecuador. Se diferencia de todas las demás especies del género por la combinación de caracteres de árboles terrestres de hasta 25 m de alto, brácteas florales externas e internas libres y estrechamente oblanceoladas a lineares, hipanto ca. 7 × 8 mm, y lóbulos del cáliz 4–5 mm de largo.
Keywords: Blakea, Melastomataceae, Ecuador, endemic

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