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Encholirium agavoides is a silver-leaved bromeliad which occurs in a very specific habitat, within an area of less than 10 km². It resembles to Agave, with rosettes of spiny-edged leaves up to 12 cm wide.

Encholirium agavoides

[KBu]

Forzza, R.C. & Zappi, D. Kew Bull (2011) 66: 281. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12225-011-9283-y

Note
The most distinctive character of Encholirium agavoides is its silvery, triangular leaves, forming small, neat rosettes (Figs. 1A and 3A), resembling a miniature Agave. This species was first spotted during the first visit to Toucan Cipó Farm by Daniela Zappi and Nigel Taylor, in 2007.
Ecology
Forming large populations growing on top of flat to slightly inclined arenitic/quartzitic rocks alongside BarbaceniaglutinosaGoethart & Henrard and Vellozia spp.; c. 1500 m alt. Encholirium subsecundum (Baker) Mez also occurs within this area but it is more often found in steeper and more broken rock outcrops, in areas with larger shrubs.
Vegetative Multiplication Rhizomes
Rhizomes short
Morphology Leaves
Rosettes 6 – 10 cm in diam., growing close together to form dense mats
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Peduncles
Peduncle 12 – 22 cm long, terminal, green, erect, glabrous; bracts exceeding the internodes, 6 – 10 cm long, erect, lanceolate to oval-lanceolate, green to stramineous, apex acute to attenuate, entire to slightly serrated at base, glabrous, clasping the peduncle
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence 6 – 18 cm long, racemose, simple, flowers densely arranged, covering the rachis; rachis green, glabrous; floral bracts exceeding the pedicels, 0.8 – 1.5 (– 2.2) × 0.5 – 0.7 (– 1.2) cm, glabrous, ovate-acuminate, green at base and stramineous at apex or completely stramineous, margin entire to slightly serrulate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule 7 – 9 mm long, globose, chestnut-brown; seeds c. 2 mm long, flattened, widely falcate, surrounded by continuous wing, brown.

[KSP]

Kew Species Profiles

General Description
This striking new species of bromeliad was discovered 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 separated 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 agavoides is 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.

Native to:

Brazil Southeast

Encholirium agavoides Forzza & Zappi appears in other Kew resources:

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

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

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R., Nic Lughadha, E., Black, N., Turner, R. & Paton, A. (2021). The World Checklist of Vascular Plants, a continuously updated resource for exploring global plant diversity. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-021-00997-6 Scientific Data 8: 215.

Literature

Kew Bulletin

  • Forzza, R. C. (2001). Filogenia da triboPuyeaeWittm. e revisãotaxonômica do gêneroEncholirium Mart. ex Schult. & Schult. f. (Pitcairnioideae – Bromeliaceae). Ph.D. thesis, Universidade de São Paulo.
  • Forzza, R. C. (2005). Revisãotaxonômica de Encholirium Mart. ex Schult. & Schult. f. (Pitcairnioideae – Bromeliaceae). Bol. Bot. Univ. São Paulo 23: 1 – 49.
  • Galetto, L. & Bernardello, L. M. (1992). Extrafloral nectaries to attract ants in Bromeliaceae: structure and nectar composition. Canadian J. Bot. 70: 1101 – 1106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  • Giulietti, A. M., Harley, R. M., Queiroz, L. P., Wanderley, M. G. L. & Pirani, J. R. (2000). Caracterização e endemismosnoscamposrupestres da Cadeia do Espinhaço. In: T. B. Cavalcanti & B. M. T. Walter (eds), TópicosAtuais de Botânica, pp. 311 – 318. EMBRAPA RecursosGenéticos, Brasília.
  • Givinish, T. J., Millam, K. C., Barry, P. E. & Sytsma, K. J. (2007). Phylogeny, adaptive radiation and historical biogeography of Bromeliaceae inferred from ndhF sequence data. In: J. T. Colombus, E. A. Friar, J. M. Porter, L. M. Prince & M. G. Simpson (eds), Monocots: Comparative Biology and Evolution - Poales, pp. 3 – 26, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont, California.
  • IUCN (2001). IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. Prepared by the IUCN Species Survival Commission. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland & Cambridge, U.K.
  • Weberling, F. (1989). Morphology of Flowers and Inflorescences. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Kew Species Profiles

  • 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.

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Bulletin
Kew Bulletin
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

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

Kew Species Profiles
Kew Species Profiles
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.
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0