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A new Vriesea species from Northern Peru.

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I hesitate to describe new Bromeliaceae which have a nebulous or unstable generic placement, but when they are already in cultivation and occur in a regional flora study site, it seems best to forge ahead. This new species is closest to taxa presently classified in Vriesea section Xiphion and Tillandsia subgenus Allardtia. More specifically, a group of mesic Andean species related to Vriesea rubra and Vriesea dubia. These of course, have nothing to do with "true" Vriesea, ie V. psittacina and relatives from Southeastern Brazil.

Vriesea altomayoensis H. Luther & K. Norton, sp. nov.

TYPE: Peru, Amazonas, Alto Mayo region, 1600 m elev, grown from field collected seed, J. Kent legit; fl. in cult. 21 April 2009, J. Kent s.n. (Holotype: SEL).

A V. dubia (L.B. Sm.) L.B. Sm. cui affinis sed planta majoribus, inflorescentia ramosisimus, bracteis florigeris et sepalis minoribus differt.

Plant flowering 35-50 cm tall. Leaves rosulate, laxly spreading, 12 to 18 in number, 30-45 cm long, thin coriaceous. Leaf sheaths narrowly elliptic, 4-6 x 3-4 cm, densely brown punctate-lepidote throughout, dark castaneous abaxially. Leaf blades lingulate, acute to attenuate, 15-24 mm wide, subdensely brown punctate-lepidote throughout, light or bright green. Scape erect, stiff, 25-30 cm x 3-5 mm, very sparsely punctate-lepidote, reddish. Scape bracts erect, densely imbricate, narrowly elliptic, acute to attenuate, subdensely brown punctate-lepidote, green or green proximally, red distally. Inflorescence bipinnate, 10-15 x 3-7 cm, 6 to 15-branched. Primary bracts like the upper scape bracts, nerved, red. Branches spreading at 15[degrees]-30[degrees] form the main axis, each with a 4-6 mm long, naked or 1 bracteate peduncle, each 5 to 10-flowered. Floral bracts elliptic, acute, 14-19 x 6-10 mm, very thin-coriaceous, nerved, carinate, glabrous, yellow-green. Flowers with a 1-2 mm long pedicel, spreading at ca 30[degrees] from the slightly flattened and excavated rachis, opening during the day. Sepals free, the adaxial pair carinate, thin coriaceous, 14-17 mm long, glabrous, green. Corolla spreading at the apex. Petals narrowly lanceolate, rounded and retuse at the apex, 18-20 mm long, each with a pair of basal appendages, cream tipped with white.

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This new species seems most closely related to Vriesea dubia, from Colombia to Peru, but differs by being larger overall with broader leaves, an inflorescence more richly branched with shorter floral bracts (14-19 vs. 28-30 mm long), that are yellow-green (not red margined white), and shorter (14-17 vs. 27 mm long) sepals. A small population grown from the wild collected seed appears uniform in all features.

We thank Mr. Jeffrey Kent for the plant material and Dr. Phil Nelson for the photography.

Harry E. Luther & Karen F. Norton (1)

(1) Mulford B. Foster Bromeliad Identification Centre, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236, USA. hluther@selby.org

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Scientific
Author:Luther, Harry E.; Norton, Karen F.
Publication:Journal of the Bromeliad Society
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:3PERU
Date:Sep 1, 2009
Words:465
Previous Article:A new Aechmea species from the mountains of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil.
Next Article:Molecular studies about two rare species of the genus Tillandsia L. (T. califanii Rauh and T. tomaselii De Luca, Sabato et Balduzzi).
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