Thursday, July 19, 2018

[Botany • 2018] Agave maria-patriciae (Polycephalae Group: Asparagaceae) • A New Species from Central Coastal Veracruz, Mexico

Agave maria-patriciae Cházaro & Arzaba

in Arzaba-Villalba, Cházaro-Basáñez & Viveros-Colorado, 2018

Agave maria-patriciae Cházaro & Arzaba is described and illustrated here as a new species from the central coast of the state of Veracruz in Mexico. It belongs to the subgenus Littaea and Polycephalae group, which contains tropical and subtropical species from the American continent. Agave maria-patriciae is closely related to A. pendula, but differs from the latter by having smaller rosettes, shorter and suberect stems and smaller and subsessile flowers. It is only known from a small population in the oak forest from the mountains of Sierra de Monte de Oro in the municipality of Alto Lucero in eastern Mexico.

Keywords: Agave, endemic, new species, Polycephalae, Veracruz, Monocots

FIGURE 3. Agave maria-patriciae:
 A. habit, B. Flower, C. unripe fruits, D. detail of the rosette, E. leaf with central stripe.

FIGURE 2. Agave maria-patriciae.
A. Flower, B. Tepals, C. Sagittal view of flower, D. Capsules and bracteole, E. Transversal section of the capsule, F. seed, G. Leaf, H. Denticles at margin, I, J. Habit. Illustration by first author from C. Arzaba et al. 451, XAL—holotype. The numbers beside barscales denote centimeters.

Agave maria-patriciae Cházaro & Arzaba sp. nov. 

 Agave maria-patriciae is most similar to A. pendula by sharing lanceolate to oblong leaves with a central yellow stripe, but it differs in its shorter leaves, stems and floral scape; presence of continuous reddish margins along the leaves, thicker terminal spine and larger denticles, its smaller and succulent flowers with reflexed and not broadly cucullate tepals and subsessile capsules. 

Type:— MEXICO. Veracruz: municipality of Alto Lucero, summit of Cerro La Bandera, NE of La Yerbabuena village, 660 m, 07 January 2016 (fl. & fr.), C. Arzaba 451 et al. (holotype XAL!; isotypes CHAPA!, MEXU!).

Etymology:— The species name is dedicated to Mrs. María Patricia Hernández, wife of the second author, who in the 1980s and early 1990s was a great companion in numerous field trips even to remote areas. As a result, several hundreds of botanical specimens are labeled as “M. Cházaro & P. Hernández”, deposited in the main herbaria of Mexico and the USA. She also mounted hundreds of exsiccata at the WIS and IBUG herbaria, as well as coauthored several papers on succulent plants of Mexico.

Carlos Arzaba-Villalba, Miguel Cházaro-Basáñez and César Viveros-Colorado. 2018. Agave maria-patriciae (Polycephalae Group: Asparagaceae), A New Species from Central Coastal Veracruz, Mexico. Phytotaxa. 360(3); 263–268.  DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.360.3.6

Resumen: Agave maria-patriciae Cházaro & Arzaba es descrita e ilustrada como una nueva especie de la costa central del estado de Veracruz en México. Pertenece al subgénero Littaea y al grupo Polycephalae, el cual contiene especies tropicales y subtropicales del continente americano. A. maria-patriciae está estrechamente relacionado con A. pendula pero difiere de ésta última al poseer rosetas más pequeñas, tallos más cortos y suberectos y flores de menor tamaño y subsésiles. Solo se conoce de una pequeña población en bosque de encino en la Sierra de Monte de Oro, en el municipio de Alto Lucero, en el oriente de México. 
Palabras-clave: Agave, endémica, nueva especie, Polycephalae, Veracruz

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