Alcantarea nevaresii

Alcantarea nevaresii Leme, Bromelia 2(3):15-18. 1995.

A A. geniculata (Wawra) J. R. Grant, cui affinis, utriculo foliorum angustiore, foliis rninoribus, ramis brevioribus, pedunculis ramorum ebracteatis, bracteis floriferis ovatis, angustioribus (haud perlate ovatis vel ellipticis), supernis distincte incurvatis differt.

TYPUS: Rio de Janeiro, Teresopolis prox. a Nova Friburgo, Tres Picos; outubro de 1993, E. M. C. Leme 2227, P. Nahoum & H. Cintra; florida em cultivo, em dezembro de 1994. HOLOTYPUS: HB.

PLANT rupicolous, flowering ca. 130cm tall;
LEAVES rosulate, suberect, ca. 65cm long, coriaceous, forming a narrow funnelform rosette at base;
SHEATHS inconspicuous, ca. l0cm wide, densely but inconspicuously brown-lepidote on both sides, pale colored, or brown near the base abaxially;
BLADES sublinear, ca. 7cm wide, not narrowed at base, apex acuminate and recurved, obscurely lepidote on both sides or glabrescent, distinctly nerved adaxially, green.
SCAPE ca. 70cm long, ca. 1.2-1.5cm in diameter, stiff, erect, distinctly surpassing the leaves, red, glabrous, obscurely verrucose;
SCAPE BRACTS red at base and green toward apex, suberect with apex distinctly recurved, longer than the internodes, the basal ones subfoliaceous, the upper ones broadly ovate, acuminate, 9 x 5cm.
INFLORESCENCE shortly paniculate, subdensely bipinnate, ca. 45cm long, ca. 20cm in diameter, erect;
PRIMARY BRACTS broadly ovate, apex acuininate and recurved, 4.5-8 x 3.5-4.5cm, red, or green centrally and near the apex, glabrescent, distinctly longer than the sterile and ebracteate base of the branches;
BRANCHES ca. 13, subspreading, subdensely flowered, 7 - 11 cm long, with 5-7 flowers, bearing sterile bracts at the apex, peduncle 2.5-4cm long, ca. 0,6cm wide, complanate, stout, red;
RACHIS geniculate; glabrous, 3 4mm in diameter, green;
FLORAL BRACTS ovate, 3 x 1.8cm, apex acute, membranous, adaxially very obscurely lepidote, greenish-yellow, not enfolding and distinctly shorter than the sepals, the basal ones carinate, the upper obtuse-carinate and distinctly incurved.
FLOWERS distichous and not noticeably secund, divergent, 3.5-4cm long (excluding the petals), fragrant, shortly pedicellate, pedicels ca. 7mm long, ca. 7mm in diameter, stout, green;
SEPALS slightly asymmetric, narrowly obovate, obtuse, 30 x 12mm, glabrous, free, ecarinate, greenish-yellow, membranaceous;
PETALS linear, 70 x 8mm, yellow, apex narrowly obtuse, free, spiralescent-recurved at anthesis, then flaccidescent, bearing two linear, obtuse, 18 x 2.5mm appendages at base;
STAMENS ca. 60mm long;
ANTHERS linear, ca. 9mm long, base and apex obtuse, dorsifixed near the base;
STYLE ca. 60 mm long;
STIGMA with convolute-spreading blades, strongly papillose, white;
OVULES long caudate;
SEEDS. apical coma plumose, subspreading, short, ca. 1/3 of the whole seed's length; basal appendages ca. 1/2 of the whole seed's length, erect.

This new species is very similar morphologically to A. geniculata, but it has a narrower leaf rosette, smaller leaves, shorter inflorescence branches and no sterile bracts on the peduncle, floral bracts ovate and much narrower, the upper ones distinctly incurved. Affinity between A. nevaresii and A. duarteana (L B Smith) J R Grant is also admissible. Actually, the new species appears to be intermediate between A. geniculata from the Serros dos Orgaos and A. duarteana which is endemic to the grasslands on rocky outcrops of Diamantina, Minas Gerais. A. nevaresii is distinguished from the latter species by the well developed leaf rosette in the juvenile phase of the plant. Plants of A. duarteana have a grass-like appearance and do not have well developed rosettes throughout most of their lives. A. nevaresii also differs from A. duarteana in its wider leaves, narrower floral bracts with the upper ones incurved, larger sepals and basal appendages of the petals with obtuse, entire apices, not denticulate as in the latter species.

A. nevaresii is named in honor of Luiz Felipe Nevares de Carvalho who organized the movement to preserve bromeliads in Brazil. One of the founders of the Sociedade Brasileira de Eromelias(SBBr) and now its president, his tireless efforts have contributed to a number of projects, especially in the area of botany.
The genus Alcantarea also encompasses a characteristic group of small- to medium-sized species with simple inflorescences and whose leaves form very narrow tanks, or no tanks at all. These endemic species are restricted to high altitude grasslands or those on rocky outcrops.
The first species to be described with these traits was A. farneyi (Martinelli & Costa) J. R Grant, in 1990 (Martinelli & Costa, 1990). This bromeliad is found on the mountain tops of the Desengano State Park, in Santa Maria Madalena, Rio de Janeiro.

Updated 14/12/06