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Encholirium ctenophyllum is a newly discovered species of bromeliad with comb-like leaves, and occurs in a very specific habitat, within an area of less than 10 km2.

Encholirium ctenophyllum

[KBu]

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

Conservation
Vulnerable (VU D2 ; IUCN 2001). Similar toEncholirium agavoides, E. ctenophyllum has a very restricted extent of occurrence and is known from only one locality within a single municipality. However, despite its scarcity, its habitat is rather remote. There is evidence of cattle-grazing in the area but we do not believe that this is affecting the population.
Distribution
A narrow endemic occurring only on the western slope of the Serra do Cipó.
Ecology
Found in populations growing on top or amongst inclined arenitic/quartzitic rocks alongside Cipocereuspleurocarpus F. Ritter, Vellozia spp. and Encholirium subsecundum; 1000 – 1200 m alt.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves patent to recurved; sheaths 1.5 – 2.5 × 2 – 2.7 cm, margin entire; blade 7 – 16 × 0.4 – 1 cm, narrowly lanceolate, greyish to wine-coloured, lepidote, margins spinose, spines 6 – 8 mm long, mostly patent, rarely antrorse or retrorse
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers on 2 – 3 mm long, green pedicels; sepals 8 – 12 × 3 – 5 mm, green, ovate, apex acute, margins entire, not imbricate, symmetrical, glabrous; petals 10 – 13 × 3 – 5 mm, green, elliptic, crenate at apex, margins entire, not imbricate, symmetrical, glabrous; stamens 14 – 16 mm long, exserted; filaments free, green; ovary 3 – 5 mm long, green; style 5 – 8 mm long, green, exserted; stigma conduplicate-spiral, green
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule 1 – 1.2 mm long, globose, chestnut brown; seeds c. 3 mm long, flattened, widely falcate, surrounded by continuous wing, brown.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence 16 – 25 cm long, racemose, simple, flowers densely arranged and covering rachis; rachis green, glabrous; floral bracts exceeding the pedicels, 1.2 – 3.2 × 0.5 – 1 cm, glabrous, broadly ovate with long, attenuate apex, green at base and stramineous at apex or completely stramineous, margin serrulate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Peduncles
Peduncle 35 – 45 cm long, terminal, green, erect, glabrous; bracts of lowermost third similar to the leaves, exceeding internodes, erect, lanceolate, cinereous to wine-coloured, lepidote, apex acute to attenuate, strongly spinescent; bracts on upper part of inflorescence exceeding internodes, erect, broadly ovate, stramineous, glabrous, apex acute, margins serrate
Note
Due to their ornamental potential, both species are under cultivation at the Botanic Gardens of the FundaçãoZoobotânica, in Belo Horizonte. Both new species have similar floral features (petals and sepals not imbricate and green, stamens and styles exserted and short pedicel and stramineous floral bracts) to Encholirium subsecundum, which shows a wider distribution within the Cadeia do Espinhaço, E. magalhaesii L. B. Sm. and E. irwinii L. B. Sm., both narrow endemics within the same mountain range, but differ markedly from it, and from each other, in their vegetative features. The two localities were visited at least five different times by the second author, in search of possible intermediates. In November 2009 the second author hiked across the divide between Santana do Riacho and Santana de Pirapama at above 1000 m alt., and concluded that the different species are completely separated spatially. The triangular-lanceolate shape of the leaf-blade, with apiculate apex and spinescent margin, are characters common to almost all species of Encholirium . However, variations within size and proportions, position, density and colour of the leaves, all of which contribute to give the rosettes their general aspect, are very important for the differentiation of these closely related species. Encholirium ctenophyllum occurs along the mountain in small groups, and was observed growing together with E. subsecundum. The most striking feature of this species is the narrow leaf-blade in relation to its long marginal spines, hence its specific epithet (ctenos from the Greek, meaning comb).

[KSP]

Kew Species Profiles

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

Encholirium ctenophyllum is a newly discovered species of bromeliad with comb-like leaves, and occurs in a very specific habitat, within an area of less than 10 km2. The population of this species is just 10 to 12 km away from another new species (E. agavoides). 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 ctenophyllum is restricted to the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. It is a narrow endemic (found in a very limited area), occurring only on the west slope of the Serra do Cipó. This species is found at 1,000 to 1,200 m above sea level, in populations growing on top of, or amongst, inclined arenitic/quartzitic rocks. This species is found growing alongside Cipocereus pleurocarpus, Vellozia spp. and Encholirium subsecundum .

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

Overview:  This species has rosettes of leaves up to 12 cm wide, with long leaves that are recurved (curved backwards).

Leaves:  The leaves are silvery to reddish in colour, triangular in shape and have long spines along the edges.

Flowers:  The green to yellowish flowers are borne in terminal spikes, and are densely packed at the end of the inflorescence.

Fruits:  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), at 1,000 to 1,200 m above sea level, on or amongst inclined arenitic/quartzitic rocks.
Conservation
Rated by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as Vulnerable (D2).
Hazards

The leaves of this species have long spines at the edges.

Native to:

Brazil Southeast

Encholirium ctenophyllum Forzza & Zappi appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Forzza, R.C. [5455], Minas Gerais K000881976 isotype

First published in Kew Bull. 66: 286 (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