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  1. Family: Polygalaceae Hoffmanns. & Link
    1. Genus: Polygala Tourn. ex L.
      1. Polygala judithea J.F.B.Pastore

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


    Pastore, J.F.B. 2013. Polygala judithea (Polygalaceae), a new species from Chapada dos Veadeiros, Goiás, Brazil. Kew Bulletin 68: 301.

    Type: Brazil, Goiás, Alto Paraíso de Goiás, GO-118, c. 22 km after Alto Paraíso de Goiás to Cavalcante, 29 Aug. 2012, Pastore & Moreira 4062 (holotype CEN!; isotypes HUEFS!, K!, MO!, NY!, P!, RB!).
    Sub-shrub erect and branched to 25 cm tall, with fleshy roots, lignose stems to 8 mm diam., cylindrical, densely puberulous, trichomes short-clavate, stems with yellowish glands forming spots
    Leaves all alternate, subsessile, chartaceous; lamina 7 – 11 × 1.2 – 1.4 mm, linear-elliptical, apex and base acute, glabrous
    Racemes short, 9 – 15 × 8 – 9 mm, reaching 30 mm after fruits have fallen, flowers congested; bracts 0.7 – 0.8 × 0.4 – 0.5 mm, ovate, apex acute, ciliate, bract slender maculate with yellowish spots, deciduous simultaneously with the flowers, marginally longer than bracteoles; bracteoles ovate, ciliate; pedicel c. 1 mm, glabrous
    Flowers cream coloured, c. 4 mm long; outer sepals ciliate; lower outer sepals 1.3 – 1.4 mm, ovate, with acute apex; upper outer sepals 0.8 – 0.9 × 0.5 – 0.6 mm, ovate, with obtuse to retuse apex, free almost to the base; inner sepals (wings) 2.8 – 3 × 1.2 – 1.3 mm, elliptic, with rounded apex, margins not ciliate, longer than mature fruits; lateral petals 1.8 – 2 × 0.9 – 1.2 mm; keel 2.6 – 2.7 mm long, cristate, with yellowish spots around the dorsal central vein, persistent on mature fruits; crest 4-lobed; style arched, finished by an oblique cymbiform pre-stigmatic cavity, posterior extremity has a conspicuously crested appendix with abundant trichomes and an anterior globose stigma
    Capsules 1.9 – 2.2 × 1.4 – 1.5 mm, elliptic, with yellowish spots, style persistent in fruit; seeds c. 2.8 × 0.9 mm, ovoid, pubescent; appendages reaching approximately ½ of the seed length.
    The crested keel, persistent in mature fruit, perennial and caespitose habit, congested racemes, frequently with yellowish glands, acute sepals and the elongated gynoecium place Polygala judithea within Polygala subgenus Polygala section Timutua DC. series Ericoideae Marques (vide Marques 1988). Polygala judithea is morphologically closest to P. multiceps Mart. ex A. W. Benn. and P. obovata A. St.-Hil. & Moq. However, it is readily recognised by its linear leaves, persistent style on mature fruit, seeds with appendices to the middle of their length, smaller internal sepals (P. multiceps 4 – 4.2 × 1.5 – 1.8 mm and P. obovata 3.8 – 5 × 1.2 – 1.5 mm), and the 4-lobed crest (vs 6 – 8-lobed in P. obovata and P. multiceps). These species also can be recognised by their geographical distribution; P. multiceps occurs on the campo rupestre vegetation, endemic to the Serra do Espinhaço range and Serra da Canastra (Brazil — MG and BA states) whereas P. obovata appears associated with the mataAtlântica forest to the southeast of South America (Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil — RS, SC, PR and SP states) (see Grondona1948, Marques 1988, Lüdtke & Miotto2004), Map 1. Polygala judithea is named in honour of the geneticist and ecologist Dr Maria Judith ZuzarteCortesão, who greatly contributed to our understanding and protection of the Brazilian fauna and flora.
    Brazil, Goiás. All of the analysed specimens of Polygala judithea are likely to be derived from the same location, near GO-118 road on the borders of the CVNP. However, other populations are likely to occur inside the CVNP.
    Polygala judithea occurs in rocky savanna areas, called campo sujorupestre, in white sandy soil; c. 1500 m alt.
    Although Polygala judithea is likely to occur beyond the estimated area here, the available data used to determine the conservation status fits within the criteria VU (2C: a, b3) of IUCN (2001); the known area of occupancy is estimated to be less than 2,000 km2 and, because the only known habitat is quite near the interstate road GO-118, a continued decline of habitat quality and quantity is anticipated.
    Phenologically, Polygala from the Brazilian central savannas may be divided into two groups: (1) annual plants flowering in Jan. and dying back in May (or, more rarely, in the beginning of June) when the savannas are already dry (for example Polygala longicaulisKunth, P. herbiola A. St.-Hil. & Moq.), and (2) perennial plants flowering mainly in response to fires which occur primarily in Sept. and Oct. (for example P. poaya Mart., P. coriacea A. St.-Hil. & Moq.). Compared to other species of Polygalaceae from the savanna, P. judithea has an unusual phenology; this plant is known to occur in flower and fruit between Feb. and Aug., approximately two months before the end of the rainy season and shortly before the start of the period of fires in the savannas of Goiás (Sept. – Oct.).


    Native to:

    Brazil West-Central

    Other Data

    Polygala judithea J.F.B.Pastore appears in other Kew resources:


    First published in Kew Bull. 68: 301 (2013)


    Kew Bulletin

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    Kew Backbone Distributions

    • Forzza, R.C., Zappi, D. & Souza, V.C. (2016-continuously updated). Flora do Brasil 2020 em construção


    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. 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 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.