A herbarium-based revision is provided for Paepalanthus pilosus and allies, five commonly confused species of cushion plants native to Andean paramo. These are placed in the recircumscribed Paepalanthus subsect. Cryptanthella Suess. The group includes P. pilosus, P. dendroides, and P. lodiculoides. An additional two species and one variety are newly described: Paepalanthus caryonauta, P. huancabambensis, and P. pilosus var. leoniae. The latter two are Peruvian endemics, while P. caryonauta is known from four countries, and has long been confused with other species. An additional, possibly undescribed taxon is noted from the Serrania de Perijá, Colombia. Five new synonyms and three lectotypes are proposed, and the common misapplication of some names is noted. Within the P. pilosus complex, species differences were found in timing of peduncle elongation, sex ratio, and leaf, perianth, diaspore and nectary morphology. Ecological differences are suggested by specimen data and a review of ecological literature. Descriptions, photographs and maps are provided for all species, as is a key to the groups of eriocaulaceous cushion plants from Andean South America.
Keywords: Andes, cushion plants, diaspores, leaf anatomy, nectaries, new species, paramo, taxonomy
|Figure 1. Cushion habit of Paepalanthus pilosus var. pilosus in Venezuela, November 2012.|
A P. pilosus cushions with bunchgrasses, Páramo Batallón B Individual cushion, with graminoids emerging, Páramo Los Conejos.
Nancy Hensold. 2016. The Andean Paepalanthus pilosus complex (Eriocaulaceae): A Revision with Three New Taxa. PhytoKeys. 64: 1-57. DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.64.6864