Tuesday, May 10, 2016

[Botany • 2016] Tillandsia tecolometl • A New Species of the Mexican Tillandsia erubescens Group (Bromeliaceae)

Tillandsia tecolometl 
Granados, Flores-Cruz & Salazar


The Tillandsia erubescens group (Bromeliaceae) encompasses seven currently recognized species with reduced, pendulous inflorescences and endemic to pine-oak forests in the high mountains of Mexico. During the course of a taxonomic revision based on extensive study of herbarium specimens and detailed observations in the field, a new species of this group was discovered, which is described and illustrated here as Tillandsia tecolometl. The new entity belongs to a subgroup of species with purple corollas that also includes T. andrieuxii, T. macdougallii, T. oaxacana and T. pseudooaxacana. We present detailed morphological comparisons of the new species to the other species in the group with purple corollas, complemented with information on their habitat preferences, geographical distribution and phenology. An identification key to all the species with purple corollas belonging to the Tillandsia erubescens group is provided.

Keywords: Tillandsia erubescensTillandsia macdougallii; pine-oak forests, Monocots

FIGURE 3. (a)–(d) Tillandsia tecolometl (from the type locality in Temascaltepec, Estado de México). (a) Flowering plant. (b) Close-up of the inflorescence. (c) A solitary plant growing on Pinus. (d) Floral card showing flower parts.

Tillandsia tecolometl Granados, Flores-Cruz & Salazar, sp. nov. (Figs. 2–3, 4b)

Similar to Tillandsia macdougallii but differing in its longer, ovate to oblong leaf sheaths covered by scales with appressed wing cells; longer and fusiform inflorescence; ovate to oblong, spoon-shaped floral bracts, its sheathing part completely covering the rachis at anthesis; acute sepals; linear-oblong and acute petals; and cylindrical ovary.

Type:— MEXICO. Estado de México: municipio Temascaltepec, 500 metros sobre la desviación a Plan de Vigas que está en las Juntas, km 31 de la carretera la Puerta del Monte-Texcatitlán, 2894 m, 20 December 2006, C. Granados, M. Flores-Cruz & G. A. Salazar 415 (holotype: MEXU!).

Etymology:— The specific epithet refers to the vernacular name given to this species by local people in the Estado de México, which is derived from Náhuatl tecolotl, meaning owl, and metl, a plant of the genus Agave, perhaps alluding to the rosette of leaves suggesting agaves “perching” on the trees.

Distribution and habitat:— Endemic to Mexico (Mexico City, Durango, Estado de México, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Puebla, Tlaxcala, and Veracruz; Fig. 5). Usually epiphytic on pine trees, but also found growing on oaks in mixed pine-oak forests at 2200–3300 m elev.

Phenology:— Flowering in the field from December to July, dehiscing fruits recorded in March.

Local uses:— At the type locality, local people use the floral bracts of this species to make a sort of whistle.

Carolina Granados Mendoza, Gerardo A. Salazar Chávez and María Flores Cruz. 2016. A New Species of the Mexican Tillandsia erubescens Group (Bromeliaceae).
Phytotaxa. 260(1); 57–65. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.260.1.6