Sunday, August 28, 2016

[Botany • 2009] Blakea attenboroughii • A New Species (Melastomataceae: Blakeeae) from Tungurahua, Ecuador

Blakea attenboroughii  Penneys 

Blakea attenboroughii, a new Ecuadorian endemic is described, illustrated, and com-pared with several allied species, including B. truncata, B. harlingii, and B. brasiliensis. The new species is remarkable for its outer floral bracts that are large, foliaceous, distinctly keeled, decurrent, and basally adpressed to each other, and also for having lavender-to blue-colored anthers. Blakea (Melastomataceae: Blakeeae) is a Neotropical genus comprised of ca. 100 species of woody root climbers, shrubs, and trees that may be terrestrial, hemiepiphytic, or epiphytic (Almeda 2000). Found from Mexico to Bolivia, including several species in the Antilles, these berry-fruited plants are characterized by their solitary to fascicled, axillary flowers, that are subtended by two pairs of decussate bracts, and laterally compressed anthers (Penneys 2007). The species proposed here is currently known only from the type locality within the Reserva Ecológica Cerro Candelaria (Fundación EcoMinga), Tungurahua, Ecuador. This species is distinctive for having large, keeled, and foliaceous outer floral bracts that are basally decurrent and adpressed to each other, as well as for having lavender-to blue-colored anthers. This combination of characters is unique in the genus. Blakea attenboroughii Penneys, sp. nov.

 Penneys, Darin S. and Jost, Lou. 2009. Blakea attenboroughii (Melastomataceae: Blakeeae): A New Species from Ecuador. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences. 60(1): 69-72.