Elton M.C. Leme

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Cryptanthus coriaceus Leme Sp. Nov.

A C. maritimo L.B. Smith, cui affinis, foliis percoriaceis rigidisque. patentibus vel fere, 25-38mm latis, subtus peradpresse et minute albo-lepedotis, haud nervatis, margine dense spinosa, inflorescentia multi flora, ramis ca.3 floribus, lobis sepalorum angustioribus differt.
PLANT stemless, propagating by short axillary shoots. LEAVES 7-10 in a somewhat flat open round rosette, the basal ones a little reduced; LEAF SHEATHS broadly ovate, about 3.5cm long, 4cm wide at base, glabrous and lustrous above, densely white-lepidote and strongly corrugate beneath, very densely spinulose; LEAF BLADES sublinear, acuminate-caudate, 25-40cm long, 2.5-3.8cm wide, very rigid and coriaceous, succulent toward base but without a distinct median portion of succulence, inconspicuously narrowed at base, densely covered by strongly adpressed minute white scales beneath, glabrous above, greenish to wine colored, margins densely serrulate with spines 0.5-1.5mm in length, usually not undulate. INFLORESCENCE with primary bracts like reduced leaves but with longer apices, centrally with about 12 staminate flowers, each one of the about 6 outer fascicles with 3 perfect flowers; FLORAL BRACTS sublanceolate, acute, and apiculate, about 18mm long, 5mm wide, about equaling the length of the ovary or slightly exceeding it, entire or remotely spinulose at apex, lepidote near apex, sharply carinate; FLOWERS sessile, 30-45mm long; SEPALS about 15mm long, greenish, strongly carinate (mainly the posterior ones), connate for 10mm, the free lobes subsymmetric, ovate, acuminate, about 5mm long and 3mm wide, entire, white-lepidote toward apex; PETALS 25-30mm long, 5mm wide, white or slightly greenish at apex, exceeding the stamen but recurved at anthesis and
14 Cryptanthus Society Journal, Vol. VI No. 1

exposing them, rounded, connate for 5-7mm, bearing 2 small callouses about 10mm above the base; FILAMENTS the epipetalous ones adnate to the petals for 10mm and the episepalous for 5-7mm; ANTHERS about 2mm long, fixed near the middle, base and apex obtuse; OVARY about 10mm long, trigonous, white, white-lepidote in life with fimbriate scales; EPIGYNOUS TUBE very shallow; PLACENTAE apical; OVULES few, obtuse. TYPE: Brazil, Espirito Santo State, County of Serra, about 6km from the City of Serra along Br 101 road. Leg. Elton M.C. Leme 1114, Roberto Menescal, and Renato Bello, May 15, 1987. Flowered in cultivation May-June 1990. Holotype HB.


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Vi turf

C. coriamaritimus C. maGuarapari




Gu a ra p ri

Cryptanthus coriaceus Leme
A) outer fascicle; B) floral bract; C) sepals; D) cross-section of ovary; E) petals; F) cross-section of leaf-blade.

Cryptanthus coriaceus was collected on a hill of about 200 meters high, situated about 30km from the City of Vitoria and 15km from the Atlantic Ocean, where a somewhat dry shruby vegetation predominates. It was growing terrestrially under the partial protection of the shade of trees, in very small spreading
Cryptanthus Society Journal, Vol. VI No. 1 15

populations. At first glance its very rigid leatherlike spreading leaves called our attention, making it different from all the previously known species. Although it has a very unusual general appearance, this new species is very closely related to C. maritimus L.B. Smith; which is known only from the type collection (Penha Hill, Vila Velha near Vitoria, Espirito Santo State 2). We were very lucky to have in hand for comparative studies, 10 living specimens of C. maritimus kindly collected by Euclidio Colnago — who was already honored with C. colnagoi3 at the type locality of the species. With such material, which presented an important pattern of variation of leaf shape as reported by Harry Luther', it was possible to establish the main differences between C. maritimus and our proposed new species. On the other hand, we also used for comparison the phototype of C. maritimus, as well as some living specimens we collected near Aracruz, Espirito Santo State (E. Leme no. 1117), and provisionally identified as C. maritimus in spite of the discrepancy of some of its characteristics when compared with the typical C. maritimus. So, C. coriaceus differs from C. maritimus by its very rigid, leatherlike, spreading leaves 25-38mm wide, (which are not nervate beneath but densely covered by smaller strongly adpressed white scales;) by densely serrulate leaf margins; by the many-flowered inflorescence with outer fascicles having 3 flowers; and by the narrower lobes of the sepals. Finally, it is important to stress here that C. incrassatus L.B. Smiths was apparently also collected by M.B. Foster at the same type place of C. maritimus on July 15, 1939 ("on road to Monastery at Vitoria, Espirito Santo, Brazil"). In spite of the lack of correspondence at the time and some collection numbers of Foster (for example: C. maritimus, coll. no. 179, July 11, 1939; Neoregelia zonata, coll. no. 197, July 11, 1939; C. incrassatus, coll. no. 172, July 15, 1939), there is a good possibility that both mentioned species can be found growing together in the same neighborhood. Thus, from the original descriptions we can conclude that C. incrassatus differs from C. maritimus only by the shorter dimorphic leaf-blades. The phototype of C maritimus reveals a very well rooted specimen with longer leaves, while the one of C. incrassatus presents a very poorly rooted specimen which possibly flowered when it was still attached to the older mother plant as often occurs with some Cryptanthus. On the basis of the rate of leaf variation of C. maritimus reported by Luther and confirmed here using fresh collected material, and considering the data mentioned above, there is urgent need of a specific field work in order to verify whether or not C. incrassatus is validly distinct when compared to C. maritimus.


Arq.Bot.S.Paulo 1(5):106,p1.105.1943. TheCrypt.Soc.jour. 3(2):14-16.1988.' Jour.ofTheBrom.Soc. 39(6):258-260.1989.

4 TheCrypt.Soc.Jour. 3(2):14.1988. 5 Arq.Bot S.Paulo 2(5):119,p1.49.1950.


Cryptanthus Society Journal, Vol. VI No. 1

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