Tuesday 9 July 2013

A new species of Bromeliad from Tamaulipas State, Mexico.

Bromeliads are herbaceous Monocotyledons native to the Americas (with a single species known from West Africa) and related to the Sedges and Grasses. They have a distinctive rosette shape, with blade-like leaves spiraling out from a central point. In some cases the centre of this rosette forms a water reservoir held in place by tightly overlapping leaf-bases, which can contain entire miniature ecosystems. Many Bromeliads are epiphytes, living on the branches of trees, particularly in rainforests, but others live on the ground and many are found in deserts.

In a paper published in the journal Phytotaxa on 19 June 2013, Ivón Ramírez Morillo and Carlos Jiménez Nah of the Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán and Jacinto Treviño Carreón of the Facultad de Ingeniería y Ciencias at the Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas describe a new species of Bromeliad from Tamaulipas State in northeast Mexico.

The new species is placed in the genus Hechtia, and given the specific name hernandez-sandovalii, in honour of Luis Hernández Sandoval, who collected the specimens from which the species is described. Hechtia hernandez-sandovalii is a 1-1.8 m high Bromeliad with rosettes up to 35 cm in diameter. New rosettes bud off at the bottom of established plants, forming large colonies. The plant produces 1.15-1.53 m inflorescences with whitish flowers. The plant was found living in a restricted area of the southwest of Tamaulipas State, living both in the open on limestone hills and rocky areas, and as an understory plant in Pine and Yucca forests. Hechtia hernandez-sandovalii was found living at altitudes if between 1800 and 2200 m, in areas where the temperature could range from -4℃ to 41℃.

Individual rosette of Hechtia hernandez-sandovalii. Ramírez Morillo et al. (2013).

Colony of Hechtia hernandez-sandovalii. Ramírez Morillo et al. (2013).

Flowers of Hechtia hernandez-sandovalii. Ramírez Morillo et al. (2013).

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