Tuesday, April 3, 2018

[Botany • 2018] Griffinia meerowiana • A Remarkable New Species of Amaryllidaceae from Espírito Santo state, Brazil

Griffinia meerowiana Campos-Rocha & M. Peixoto

in Campos-Rocha, Semir, Peixoto & Dutilh, 2018.


The Atlantic Forest, known for its high biodiversity and endemism levels, now reduced to about 7% of its original area (Myers et al. 2000, Oliveira-Filho & Fontes 2000, Ribeiro et al. 2009), is the main center of diversity for Griffinia Ker Gawler (1820: t. 444). The genus is represented by about sixteen species (Preuss 1999, Campos-Rocha 2015, Campos-Rocha et al. 2017), the majority considered threatened with extinction (MMA 2014). Griffinia is morphologically characterized by having usually pseudopetiolate leaves with reticulate venation, bluish or sometimes white zygomorphic flowers with a hypanthium of variable length, and whitish globose seeds lacking phytomelanin in the testa and with an elaiosome. Currently, it is divided into two subgenera, Griffinia, and Hyline (Herbert 1840: t. 3779) Ravenna (1969: 63), with several ecological and morphological differences (Preuss 1999, Campos-Rocha 2015), though they may not constitute monophyletic groups (Meerow et al. 2000). Subgenus Griffinia, with about fourteen small to large-sized species, are generally understory plants of the Atlantic Forest, with pseudopetiolate leaves and bluish or occasionally white flowers. Subgenus Hyline has two recognized species of the understory of Cerrado and Caatinga primarily, with fragrant and ephemeral large white flowers, rarely pink (Preuss 1999, Campos-Rocha 2015). Griffinia, together with the monotypic genus Worsleya Traub (1944: 89), constitute a strongly supported clade (Meerow et al. 2000), tribe Griffinieae Ravenna (1974: 65), the only Amaryllidaceae tribe endemic to Brazil.

Keywords: Atlantic Forest, Griffinieae, inselberg, microendemism, Monocots

FIGURE 2. Griffinia meerowiana Campos-Rocha & M. Peixoto.
A. Habit. B. Leaves (adaxial surface). C. Detail of leaf venation. D. Flower in frontal view. E. Sepals and petals: shape and apices. E1. Upper sepal. E2. Lateral petal. E3. Lateral sepal. E4. Lower petal. F. Flower with removed perigone, showing stamens and style. G. Stigma detail. H. Longitudinal section of the hypanthium tube and ovary. I. Cross-section of the ovary. Drawing: Klei Sousa.

Griffinia meerowiana Campos-Rocha & M. Peixoto, sp. nov. 

Griffinia meerowiana is similar to G. liboniana Morren (1845: 143) (Fig. 4) because of its small size, lamina shape, often spotted and occasionally with a longitudinal white stripe near the midrib. However, G. meerowiana differs from G. liboniana and all species of Griffinia by its violet flowers, spatulate sepals and petals with white spots in the middle.

Etymology:— The specific epithet was chosen in honor of our colleague Alan William Meerow, geneticist and systematist of the United States Department of Agriculture, recognizing his extensive contributions to the modern knowledge of the Amaryllidaceae.

FIGURE 3. Griffinia meerowiana Campos-Rocha & M. Peixoto.
A. Typical habitat (October 2016). B–D. Variation in lamina ornamentation. E. Individual plant flowering at type locality. F. Individual plant flowering ex situ. G. Detail of spathe bract and hypanthium tube. H. Detail of subapical apiculum (lateral sepal). I. Seed. J. Immature fruits (in situ).
 E, J: A. Campos-Rocha 1641. F: A. Campos-Rocha 1509. G, H: A. Campos-Rocha 1818.
 Photos A: D. Lima. B–H, J: A. Campos-Rocha. I: J. Dutilh.
Scales bar: 1 cm (G); 400 μm (H); 5 mm (I).

Antonio Campos-Rocha, João Semir, Mauro Peixoto and Julie Henriette Antoinette Dutilh. 2018. Griffinia meerowiana, A Remarkable New Species of Amaryllidaceae from Espírito Santo state, Brazil. Phytotaxa. 344(3); 228–238.   DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.344.3.3

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