The new genus Quipuanthus from the foothills of the eastern Andes of Ecuador and Peru is described. Quipuanthus seems to be related to Allomaieta, Alloneuron, and Wurdastom in the tribe Cyphostyleae, but the combination of characters as an herb with haplostemonous flowers, recurved style, inferior ovary and apically dehiscent capsular fruits is unique among the Melastomataceae. The new species Quipuanthus epipetricus is described and illustrated.
Keywords: Cyphostyleae, haplostemony, Neotropics, new species, taxonomy
Quipuanthus Michelangeli & C. Ulloa, gen. nov.
TYPE: Quipuanthus epipetricus Michelangeli & C. Ulloa.
Etymology— The generic name is a combination of the Quechua quipu = cords used as record-keeping devices, andanthos = flower (Greek). The quipu (or kipu) were long, knotted strings used by pre-colonial Andean societies to encode information. The overall appearance of the long-pedunculate inflorescences and infructescences, emerging from the short stems, with flowers and fruits like knots on strings, and the puzzling combination of characters in this genus, reminded us of this enigmatic system used by the Andean societies, long before the arrival of the Spanish writing system. The specific epithet of this new species alludes to the fact that all specimens known have been collected growing on top of rocks.
Fabián A. Michelangeli, Carmen Ulloa Ulloa and Karla Sosa. 2014. Quipuanthus, A New Genus of Melastomataceae from the Foothills of the Andes in Ecuador and Peru. Systematic Botany. 39(2); 533-540. DOI: 10.1600/036364414X680924