Wednesday 6 June 2012

New species of Vochysia from Brazil.

Vochysias are waxy, evergreen shrubs in the Myrtle (Myrtales) Order, which in turn are members of the Subclass Rosidae (Roses) within the Magnoliopsida (Magnolias). They are restricted to tropical regions of the Americas.

In a paper published in the journal Phytotaxa on 28 May 2012, Gustavo Shimizu of the Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biologia Vegetal at the Departamento de Biologia Vegetal at the Instituto de Biologia at Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Licléia da Cruz Rodrigues of the Laboratório de Ornitologia at the Departamento de Zoologia at the Instituto de Ciências Biológicas at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais and Kikyo Yamamoto of the Departamento de Biologia Vegetal at the Instituto de Biologia at Universidade Estadual de Campinas, describe a new species of Vochysia from the Serra do Cipó National Park in Minas Gerais state, Brazil.

The new species is named as Vochysia microphylla, the small-leaved Vochysia, as it has the smallest leaves of any known member of the genus, at most 2 cm in length.

Vochysia microphylla. (A) Flowering branch. (B) Lateral petals. (C) Central petal. (D) Calyx, with spurred sepal apart. (E) Anther. (F) Gynoecium. (G) Fruit. (H) Seed. Shimizu et al. (2012).

Vochysia microphylla is a 1.5 m evergreen shrub, growing in dense clusters in the Campos Rupestres montane savanna of eastern Brazil. It produces numerous slender branches with densely packed leaves and terminal inflorescences.

Vochysia microphylla. (A) Population showing the cespitose growth habit. (B) Well-branched individual. (C) Flowering branch with flower buds. (D) Flowering branch with open flowers. Shimizu et al. (2012).

Due to the very small number of plants discovered Shimizu et al. suggest that it might be appropriate to place Vochysia microphylla on the IUCN Red List as critically endangered.

See also New species of parasitic Broomrape from South KoreaA new species of Custard Apple from the Western Ghats Mountains of IndiaNew species of Bromiliad from BrazilA Permian forest preserved in volcanic ash and Insect borings in Triasic wood.

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