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This species is accepted, and its native range is Brazil (NE. Goiás).


Scatigna, A. V., Amaral, A. G., Munhoz, C. B. R., Souza, V. C., Simoes, A. O. 2016. The rediscovery of Philcoxia goiasensis (Plantaginaceae): lectotypification and notes on morphology, distribution and conservation of a threatened carnivorous species from

Type: Brazil. Goiás, Rio da Prata, c. 6 km South of Posse, 800 m, 5 April 1966, H. S. Irwin et al. 14397 (lectotype UB[stamp]33526!, selected here; isolectotypes UB!, K000096839[digital image]!, NY01163881[digital image]!).
Morphology General Habit
Annual herbs, stem subterranean, inconspicuous, bearing a delicate, slightly contorted main root
Morphology Leaves
Leaves rosulate, peltate; petioles 0.7 – 14 mm long, subterranean; blade orbicular to slightly reniform, (1.5) – 2.0 – 3.0 mm diam.; adaxial surface glandular-pubescent; abaxial surface glabrous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence a raceme with zigzag axis, simple or branched, 5 – 22 cm long, sparsely glandular-pubescent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers bilabiate, resupinate; pedicels upcurved, 0.8 – 3.2 cm long, sparsely glandular-pubescent; subtending appressed bracts narrowly ovate, 0.25 – 0.5 mm long, glabrous; sepals ovate, subequal, 0.5 – 0.9 × 0.2 – 0.4 mm, sparsely glandular-pubescent; corolla strongly 5-lobed; corolla tube c. 4 mm long, infundibuliform, wide at base, yellowish, externally glabrous, internally glandular-pubescent; corolla lobes deeply emarginate to lobate, white to lavender, upper lip trilobed, lobes 2.0 – 3.0 × 2.5 – 3.0 mm, glabrous, lower lip bilobed, lobes 3.5 – 4.0 × 2.0 – 2.5 mm, glandular-pubescent near throat
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens included; filaments curved, slightly flattened, c. 0.25 mm long, base puberulent; anthers ellipsoid, 0.3 – 0.4 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary ovoid, c. 0.5 mm long, glabrous; style terminal, base filiform, c. 1 mm long, apex obdeltoid, curved, c. 1 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule globose, c. 1.5 – 2.0 mm diam. Seeds ovoid, c. 0.3 × 0.2 mm, obscurely foveate-reticulate, glossy
Philcoxia goiasensis is endemic to the Serra Geral de Goiás range, in the northeastern portion of the State of Goiás. Recent collections come from two localities: Guarani de Goiás and São Domingos (Map 1).
Populations of Philcoxia goiasensis are close to palm swamp areas (veredas) in similar soil texture and moisture to those described for the first collection of P. goiasensis. The habitat of P. goiasensis differs from other species of Philcoxia by not being a campo-rupestre formation with open areas of quartzite sand, but more similar to Cerrado s.s. with sandy and wet soil (Figs 3B & D).

Several nematodes were observed adhered to the stalked glands on the leaves of Philcoxia goiasensis specimens. The same feature was observed in all species of the genus, including the carnivorous species P. minensis and P. rhizomatosa (Pereira et al. 2012; Scatigna et al. 2015). This indicates that carnivory is a syndrome also present in P. goiasensis.

It is possible that the original location where the type was collected no longer exists in its natural state since the construction of the main road (GO-108/BR-020) in the late 1970's (IBGE 2015). The current status of the original population of Philcoxia goiasensis from Posse is still unknown. The population from Guarani de Goiás comprises few individuals and the area is constantly disturbed by fire and grazing livestock (Fig. 3C). Old brick ovens in the location indicate that native vegetation has been exploited for charcoal production (Fig. 3A) and the original landscape may have changed in the last 50 years. The recently discovered population in the Terra Ronca State Park seems to be better conserved, since it is more abundant. According to the National System of Protected Areas (SNUC 2000), this State Park is under Full Protection, nevertheless, fire is a constant agent of disturbance and livestock grazing is a common practice in the area.

Based on IUCN (2014), this species should be classified as Critically Endangered (CR), under criteria B1ab(i, ii, iii, iv) and B2ab(i, ii, iii, iv). The species has an EOO of 8.000 km2 and an AOO of 8.000 km2, with only two locations known. The populations are severely fragmented and under continuing decline by loss of habitat due to fire, cattle grazing, road constructions and devegetation for charcoal.


The inflorescence of Philcoxia was described by Taylor et al. (2000) as a helicoid cyme, although they mentioned that “Taylor, however, originally described the inflorescence of the Goiás species to be simply racemose, or rarely paniculate, that is polytelic […]"". After our detailed examination of type specimens and recently collected material of P. goiasensis, it is clear that the inflorescence is racemose. It is formed by a zigzag-shaped main axis that bears minute and appressed bracts (Fig. 1C), each subtending a single stalked flower — as illustrated in Taylor et al. (2000) — and an accessory axillary bud that may develop into a secondary axis. As already discussed by Fritsch et al. 2007 for P. minensis, the racemose pattern is consistent with the inflorescence type of most members of tribe Gratioleae. In Taylor et al. (2000), the flower is illustrated in an inverted orientation, with a 3-lobed lower lip; it is likely that those authors had access only to herbarium material, and the resupinate condition of the flower, with a deeply bilobed lower lip (Figs 1A, 1E & 2A) could not be observed. The delicate main root presents a soft contortion and a wavy aspect (Fig. 2D) that may be involved in anchorage of the plant through inner tissue contraction; sometimes it exhibits minute root-borne buds that form new lateral rosettes.

One of the main diagnostic characters used by Taylor et al. (2000) and by Souza & Giulietti (2009) to distinguish Philcoxia goiasensis from the two other species is the length of the petioles of up to 4 mm (vs 10 – 24). Observations conducted for this study found specimens of P. goiasensis with petioles reaching up to 14 mm; furthermore, as recorded by Fritsch et al. (2007) and by Scatigna et al. (2015), distinction between petioles and stems is difficult in some species. Inflorescence length was used by Scatigna et al. (2015) to distinguish P. goiasensis from the other species (10 – 15 mm vs 6 – 9 in P. tuberosa and 14 – 30 in P. bahiensis, P. minensis and P. rhizomatosa), but we found overlapping dimensions (5 – 22 cm). P. goiasensis is distinguishable from the other species especially by the corolla with a strongly bilobed lower lip and deeply emarginated lobes (Figs 1A, 2A); also by leaves in a regular rosulate arrangement (Figs 1B, 2C & 2D). Vegetative propagation in P. goiasensis occurs by root-borne buds, whereas in P. minensis, P. rhizomatosa and P. tuberosa it is by the rhizomes. Generally, individuals from Guarani de Goiás are taller, reaching up to 22 cm, and with longer petioles (2.7 – 14 mm), whereas individuals from São Domingos rarely exceed 10 cm and have shorter petioles (0.7 – 10 mm).

Individuals of Philcoxia goiasensis were collected with flowers and fruits between March and April, but it is likely that the reproductive cycle lasts the whole wet season, from October to April in Goiás.

Native to:

Brazil West-Central

Philcoxia goiasensis P.Taylor appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Irwin, H.S. et al. [14397], Brazil K000096839 isotype

First published in Kew Bull. 55: 160 (2000)

Accepted by

  • Giulietti & al. (2009). Plantas raras do Brasil: 1-496. Conservação International, Belo Horizonte, MG.


Kew Bulletin

  • ComCERRADO (2015). Rede de Pesquisa para o Uso Sustentável e Conservação do Cerrado. Available from: (accessed: 15 July 2015).
  • IBGE (2015). Available from: (accessed: 20 August 2015).
  • IUCN (2015). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2105.2. IUCN Red List Unit, Cambridge U.K. Available from: (accessed: 20 August 2015).
  • Scatigna, A. V., Souza, V. C., Pereira, C. G., Sartori, M. A. & Simões, A. O. (2015). Philcoxia rhizomatosa (Gratioleae, Plantaginaceae): a new carnivorous species from Minas Gerais, Brazil. Phytotaxa 226: 275 – 280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  • Specieslink (2015). Available from: (accessed: 15 July 2015).
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  • Martinelli, G., Messina, T. & Santos Filho, L. (2014). Red Book of the Flora of Brazil — Rare Plants of the Cerrado. Andrea Jakobsson; Instituto de Pesquisas Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro.Google Scholar
  • MMA (2014). Ministério do Meio Ambiente. Portaria n°443, 17 de Dezembro de 2014. Available from: (accessed: 8 February 2016).
  • McNeill, J., Barrie, F. R., Buck, W. R., Demoulin, V., Greuter, W., Hawksworth, D. L., Herendeen, P. S., Knapp, S., Marhold, K., Prado, J., Prud’Homme van Reine, W. F., Smith, G. F., Wiersema, J. H. & Turland, N. J. (2012). International Code of nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants (Melbourne Code). Regnum Veg. 154.Google Scholar
  • Pereira, C., Almenara, D. P., Winter, C. E., Fritsch, P. W., Lambers, H. & Oliveira, R. S. (2012). Underground leaves of Philcoxia trap and digest nematodes. Proc. National Acad. Sci. United States of America 109: 1154 – 1158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  • Bachman, S., Moat, J., Hill, A. W., Torre, J. & Scott, B. (2011). Supporting Red List threat assessments with GeoCAT: geospatial conservation assessment tool. ZooKeys 150: 117 – 126.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  • Souza, V. C. & Giulietti, A. M. (2009). Levantamento das espécies de Scrophulariaceae sensu lato nativas do Brasil. Pesquisa Bot. 60: 7 – 288.Google Scholar
  • Fritsch, P. W., Almeda, F., Martins, A. B., Cruz, B. C. & Estes, D. (2007). Rediscovery and phylogenetic placement of Philcoxia minensis (Plantaginaceae), with a test of carnivory. Proc. California Acad. Sci. 58: 447 – 467.Google Scholar
  • SNUC (2000). Sistema Nacional De Unidades De Conservação. Lei N° 9.985, de 18 de julho de 2000. MMA/SBF. Available from: (accessed: 20 August 2015).
  • Taylor et al. 2000: 160
  • Taylor, P., Souza, V. C., Giulietti, A. M. & Harley, R. M. (2000). Philcoxia: A new genus of Scrophulariaceae with three new species from eastern Brazil. Kew Bull. 55: 155 – 163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  • Thiers, B. (continuously updated). Index herbariorum: a global directory of public herbaria and associated staff. New York Garden's Virtual Herbarium. Available from: (accessed: 15 July 2015).

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Giulietti & al. (2009). Plantas raras do Brasil: 1-496. Conservação International, Belo Horizonte, MG.

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

Kew Bulletin
Kew Bulletin

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.