1. Family: Bromeliaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Encholirium Mart. ex Schult. & Schult.f.
      1. Encholirium agavoides Forzza & Zappi

        Encholirium agavoides is a silver-leaved bromeliad which occurs in a very specific habitat, within an area of less than 10 km². The population of this species is just 10 - 12 km away from another new species ( E. ctenophyllum). These two species are cut off from one another by the steep descent to the gorge of the Rio das Pedras. This river divides the municipalities of Santana de Pirapama (where E. agavoides is found) and Santana do Riacho (where E. ctenophyllum occurs).

    [KSP]

    Kew Species Profiles

    General Description
    This striking new species of bromeliad was discovered during conservation-based fieldwork in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

    Encholirium agavoides is a silver-leaved bromeliad which occurs in a very specific habitat, within an area of less than 10 km². The population of this species is just 10 - 12 km away from another new species ( E. ctenophyllum). These two species are cut off from one another by the steep descent to the gorge of the Rio das Pedras. This river divides the municipalities of Santana de Pirapama (where E. agavoides is found) and Santana do Riacho (where E. ctenophyllum occurs).

    Species Profile
    Geography and distribution

    Encholirium agavoidesis restricted to the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. This species is a narrow endemic, occurring only in a very limited area on the west slope of the Serra do Cipó, at or around 1,500 metres above sea level. It is found forming large populations growing on top of flat to slightly inclined arenitic/quartzitic rocks.

    Of the 23 species of Encholirium, nine are restricted to the ‘campos rupestres’ of the Cadeia do Espinhaço in Minas Gerais, and seven of these are narrow endemics in the region of Diamantina and Serra do Cipó. The discovery of more narrowly endemic species in this relatively well explored area of the Cadeia do Espinhaço highlights the complexity of the micro-habitats and the high plant diversity and endemism of the ‘campos rupestres’.

    Description

    This striking new silver-leaved species of bromeliad bears a resemblance to an agave. It has rosettes of leaves up to 12 cm wide, with silvery-white, triangular leaves that are spiny along the edges.

    The green to yellowish flowers are borne in terminal spikes and are densely packed at the end of the inflorescence (flower-bearing structure).

    The fruits are brown and capsular, with minute seeds. This species is thought to be pollinated by insects, and the seeds dispersed by the wind.

    Threats and conservation

    This plant is a narrow endemic (occurs only in a very limited area) and is hence vulnerable to climate change, fire and habitat destruction.

    Distribution
    Brazil
    Ecology
    Campos rupestres (montane subtropical savanna).
    Conservation
    Rated by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as Vulnerable (D2).
    Hazards

    The leaves of this species are spiny at the edges.

    Images

    Distribution

    Found In:

    Brazil Southeast

    Encholirium agavoides Forzza & Zappi appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Identified Reference Herbarium Specimen Type Status
    Forzza, R.C. [5475], Minas Gerais K000881975 isotype

    First published in Kew Bull. 66: 282 (2011)

    Literature

    • [1] Giulietti, A. M., Harley, R. M., Queiroz, L. P., Wanderley, M. G. L., Pirani, J. R. (2000). Caracterização e endemismos nos campos rupestres da Cadeia do Espinhaço. In Tópicos Atuais de Botânica (T.B. Cavalcanti & B.M.T. Walter, eds.). EMBRAPA Recursos Genéticos, Brasília, p.311-318.

    Sources

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checkist of Selected Plant Families (2017). Published on the internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp
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    [B] © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checkist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Species Profiles
    Kew Species Profiles
    [C]
    [D] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Neotropikey
    Milliken, W., Klitgard, B. and Baracat, A. (2009 onwards), Neotropikey - Interactive key and information resources for flowering plants of the Neotropics.
    [E] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Science Photographs
    [F] Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/