Karawata saxicola
Click thumbnails for full size, scaled to a new window.

Karawata saxicola
formerly Aechmea saxicola

Greg Kiernan 03/22
Greg Kiernan 03/22 ... "The mystery plant turns out to be a Karawata saxicola which we got many years ago from Ken Woods. Photos added to the new BSD.
It was tagged as Aechmea perforata. Definitely not.
Some years earlier, we got another one from Ken labeled Aechmea multiflora, which turned out to be perforata. Not an unpleasant surprise.
Just wondered if anybody else in Sydney has it. Also wondering where Ken got them from."

Karawata saxicola (L.B. Sm.) J.R. Maciel and G. Sousa, comb. nov. Systematic Botany 44(3): 519–535. 2019
Aechmea saxicola L.B. Sm. Arq. Bot. Estado Sao Paulo 2: 118. 1950.
TYPE: BRAZIL. Espırito Santo, Cachoeiro do Itapemirim, "colecionada esteril 07 July 1939 e florindo em Orlando, Florida 07 july 1947" (fl, fr), Foster & Foster 164 (holotype: US!; isotype: GH!, foto F!, NY!, SP!, US!).
Chevaliera saxicola (L.B.Sm.) L.B.Sm. and W.J.Kress. Phytologia 66: 78. 1989.

Plant saxicolous or epiphytic, ca. 1.5 m tall.
Leaves 120–220 cm long;
leaf sheath 20–38 x 11–18 cm, elliptical;
leaf blade 100–220 x 5–12 cm, green or yellow-green, flattened, oblong, apical spine ca. 1 cm long, prickles in margins 2–4 mm long.
Inflorescence ovate 7–20 cm long, axis elongated, enlarged;
peduncle 50–65 cm long, green to white-lepidote;
peduncle bracts 7–46 x 4–5 cm, linear-lanceolate, green to purple-green, white-lepidote, apical spine 0.8–1 cm, margins serrate;
involucral bracts red.
Floral bracts 4.2–5 x 1.2–2.5 cm, lanceolate, red, white-lepidote, apex cuspidate, straight, margins entire in basal portion, serrate in apical portion, exceeding the sepals length.
Flowers 3.5–4.5 cm long.
Sepals 1.5–1.8 cm long, green, white-lepidote, two carinate and one ecarinate, apex mucronate.
Petals connate above epigynous tube, tube 1.2–1.8 cm long, laciniae 0.8–1 x 0.4–0.6 cm long, ovate, green, apex acute;
Petal appendages free, callous, erose margins.
Stamens in two series adnate to corolla tube, free at ca. 6 mm long; anthers ca. 8 mm long, basifixed, linear.
Ovary 0.8–1 cm long; epigynous tube ca. 6 mm long; style stout; stigma ca. 2 cm long, margins digitate.
Fruits 3.5–4.5 cm long, castaneous.
Seeds 2–3 mm long, brownish. Figures 5F, 10.

Distribution, Habitat, and ConservationKarawata saxicola occurs in Espırito Santo and Rio de Janeiro states (Fig. 4) between 50 to 600 m elevation in ombrophilous forest as an epiphyte and saxicolous. Flowering and fruiting from August to February. Karawata saxicola has a wide distribution (EOO 41,188; ~88 sq.km) and several recorded populations; many of them are in natural reserves. In addition, K. saxicola is under cultivation in public collections. Despite that, it occurs in small populations (Wendt et al. 2008) and its habitats are being reduced due to anthropic pressure. Thus, Karawata saxicola is classified as Endangered (B2a1biii).

CommentsKarawata saxicola is related to K. multiflora based on its inflorescences with elongated axis, which leads to many incorrect identifications in herbaria. However, this is a superficial morphological similarity because K. saxicola has longer floral bracts and petals connate above the epigynous tube. Sousa (2004) also reports that pollen exine of K. saxicola is rugulate while in K. multiflora pollen exine is perforate.

Representative Specimens Examined — Brazil. — ESPIRITO SANTO: Aracruz, Comboios, 19 July 1992 (fl. fr.), O. Pereira & J. Gomes 3610 (VIES); Linhares, Reserva da Vale do Rio Doce, 19deg 07' 52" S, 39deg 53' 10" W, 04 September 2014 (fl, fr), J.R.Maciel et al. 2014 (UFP). — RIO de JANEIRO: Rio das Ostras, February 2000 (fl, fr), Pablo (SP 363887).

Aechmea saxicola by Canela, Paz & Wendt, Bot. Jour. Linnean Soc. 143: 190-1. 2003
Aechmea saxicola L. B. Sm., Arq. Bot. Sao Paulo II. 2: 118, tab 48 (1950).
Type: Foster & Foster 164, Cachoeira de Itapemirim, Espirito Santo, Brazil, 7.vii.1939 (US! Holotype and K! phototype; GH isotype; R isotype not localized).
= Chevaliera saxicola (L. B. Sm.) L. B. Sm. & W J. Kress, Phytologia 66 (1): 78 (1989). H. E. Luther & E. Sieff, Selbyana 15 (1): 65 (1994); pro syn.
= Aechmea hostilis E. Pereira, Bradea 1 (25): 227, tab. 3 A (1972). Type: Seidel 625, Species in own right if you follow Sousa and Wanderley 2016. Considered distinct from Aechmea saxicola L.B. Sm. and arguments given.
Domingos Martins, Espirito Santo, Brazil, 21.iii.1972 (HB! holotype); syn. nov.
= Chevaliera hostilis (E. Pereira) L. B. Sm. & W J. Kress, Phytologia 66 (1): 78 (1989). H. E. Luther & E. Sieff, Selbyana 15 (1): 65 (1994); pro syn. Aechmea hostilis E. Pereira.

PLANTS flowering to a height of c. 100 cm.
LEAF SHEATHS castaneous or purplish, elliptic, 13-35 x 11-14 cm.
LEAF BLADES green, linear, 60-217 x 7-10 cm, apex pungent 10 mm long, laxly serrate with dark spines up to 4 mm long, some of them retrorae.
SCAPE stout, 13-57 cm long.
SCAPE BRACTS imbricate, broadly ovate, apex pungent 10 mm long, serrate.
INFLORESCENCE strobiliform, 7-17 x 8-12 cm long, compressed early in development and elongating 2-3 times during development.
FLORAL BRACTS red or greenish at the apices, ovate and slightly concave, 36-55 x 10-22 mm, long-attenuate with pungent apices 5-8 mm long, margin c.2/3 minutely serrulate.
FLOWERS compressed against each other, sessile, c. 40 mm long.
SEPALS fused for 3 mm, yellow-greenish, lanceolate, slightly asymmetric, two of them carinate, 12-30 x 7-8 mm, apex acute ending in a spine of 3-4 mm long.
PETALS fused in the transition between claw and limb, white-yellowish, become dark after anthesis, spatulate, 25-35 x 5 mm, exceeding the calyx length.
STAMENS six, filaments adnate to the petals.
OVARY inferior, compressed, laterally alate-carinate, epigynous tube c. 7-10 mm long.
OVULES many, caudate, smaller than 1 mm long.
SEEDS fusiform, c. 3 mm long.

Distribution and habitat
Aechmea saxicola occurs in Espirito Santo and Rio de Janeiro (Fig. 9). It grows as an epiphyte or terrestrially in the Atlantic rainforest and on the sandy coastal plains ('restingas').

Collections examined
BRAZIL: without specific locality, in cultivation on Sitio Roberto Burle Marx at Rio de Janeiro, viii.1997, Sampaio 05 (RB); 6.iii.1998, Prado 1, Canela & Wendt (RB, RFA). ESPIRITO SANTO: Cachoeira de Itapemirim, 7.vii.1939, Foster & Foster 164 (US, K); Colatina, Monte Claro, 20.vii.1939, Foster & Foster 224 (R); Comboios, Aracruz, 27.vii,1992, Pereira 3610 & Gomes (VIES); Domingos Martins, 21.iii.1972, Seidel 625 (HB); Itapemirim, 7.vii.1939, Foster & Foster 153 (R); Presidente Kennedy, Praia das Neves, 29.iv 199R, Gomes 2392 (VIES); Santa Teresa, Estaqao Ecolbgica de Santa Lucia, 29.iv 2001, Faria 27 (RFA). RIO DE JANEIRO: Macae, Restinga de Cabiunas, 11.i. 1995, Araujo 6515 (GUA); Nova Friburgo, Santa Luzia, 30.vii.2000, Quinet 428 (RFA); 18.viii.2000, Quinet 484 (RFA); Silva Jardim, Reserva Biologica de Pogo das Antas, 14.xii.1993, Wendt 286 (RB); vii.1997, Wendt 327 (RB).

Aechmea saxicola L. B. Smith, Arq. Bot. S. Paulo II.2: 118, pl. 48. 1950.
Desc from S&D
Plants stemless, stoloniferous, densely aggregated, flowering over 1 m high.
Leaves rather few in a funnelform rosette, 6-12 dm long, covered especially beneath with appressed scales;
Sheaths elliptic, 2 dm long, dark castaneous;
Blades ligulate, acute and terminating in a slender dark spine, laxly serrate with dark curved spines 2 mm long.
Scape erect, stout;
Scape-bracts strict, very densely imbricate, the lowest foliaceous, the highest broadly ovate, abruptly acuminate, serrate, forming an involucre about the inflorescence.
Inflorescence simple, densely strobilate, 8 cm in diameter, covered throughout with white appressed scales, not notably comate at apex.
Floral bracts spreading, elliptic, acute or acuminate, about equaling the sepals, serrulate, excavated above and enfolding the base of the flower;
Flowers strongly compressed.
Sepals free, subelliptic, asymmetric, pungent, 19 mm long, entire, the lateral ones alate-carinate;
Petals 26 mm long, high-conglutinate, pale green, bearing vertical calli;
Stamens included, the filaments highly conglutinate with the petals;
Ovary broadly bialate; epigynous tube infundibuliform, 7 mm long; placentae subapical; ovules caudate.
Type. Foster 164 (holotype, US; isotypes GH, R), Cachoeira de Itapemirim, Espirito Santo, Brazil, 7 Ju1 1939.
Distribution. Saxicolous, Espirito Santo, Brazil.

BRAZIL. Espirito Santo: Vitoria, 11 Jul 1939, Foster 188 (GH).
Notes by Elton Leme in Bromelia 4(1): 40. March 1997

Aechmea saxicola L. B. Smith is rarely seen in cultivation because of its size (leaves over 1m long ending in a sharp point) which makes it awkward to handle in a home setting. This bromeliad is endemic to Espirito Santo state where it is found at low altitudes in Cachoeiro de Itapemirim and Serra municipalities. It is saxicolous, growing in the interior of the Atlantic forest, especially where light is more abundant such as near the forest edge. Although it is definitely not the most ornamental species of the subgenus Chevaliera, to which it belongs, it does have a certain charm with its attractive inflorescence, which is mostly green, including the petals.
Aechmea saxicola is easily confused with A. hostilis E. Pereira, also found in Espirito Santo, in the mountainous areas of Domingos Martins and Santa Leopoldina. However, among the few visual traits that distinguish the two species are the long floral scape in A. saxicola which raises the inflorescence well above the rosette and the green floral bracts, which are orangish in A. hostilis (a photo of this species appears in the book Bromeliads in the Brazilian wilderness by Leme & Marigo, p.52).

Aechmea hostilis E. Pereira, Bradea 1(25): 277, pI. 3A. 1972.
Treated as a synonym of A. saxicola see Canela et al above
Desc from S&D
Plant stemless, flowering perennial, to 1 m high, propagating by stolons.
Leaves many in a crateriform rosette, to 1 m long;
Sheaths oblong, 13 cm long, dark purple drying to castaneous, rigid, covered with appressed brown scales;
Blades linear, attenuate to a cylindric, black, 10 mm long spine, 10 cm wide, broadly channeled, coriaceous, rigid, laxly serrate with black, rigid spines 4 mm long, old blades turning red before anthesis.
Scape 13 cm long, 25 mm thick, erect, woody, covered by the inner leaves;
Scape-bracts strict, imbricate, the lower foliaceous, the upper forming an involucre below the inflorescence, broadly ovate, long-acuminate into a pungent, flavous spine, brown-spinose-serrate.
Inflorescence simple, strobiliform, slightly flattened at apex, 7 cm long, 10 cm wide.
Floral bracts lanceolate, 40-45 mm long, spinose-serrate, mucronate, the upper half pale green and densely white-lepidote beneath, the lower half white and glabrous, enfolding the flower;
Flowers sessile, erect, 40 mm long, strongly compressed, cleistogamous with maximum development nocturnal.
Sepals free, asymmetric, 22 mm long, acuminate-mucronate, minutely white-lepidote, the posterior conduplicate and alate-carinate with narrowly triangular sides, the anterior narrowly lanceolate;
Petals 25 mm long, the claws agglutinated, linear with 2 vertical calli each, the blades lanceolate, mucronate, 10 mm long, white-lepidote toward apex, white soon turning brown;
Stamens included; anthers subulate, 8 mm long; pollen spherical, 1-2 porate;
Ovary 10 mm long, complanate, white-lepidote; epigynous tube 7 mm long; placenta subapical; ovules numerous, obtuse.
Type. A. Seidel 625 (holotype, HB 52189; photo, HB), Domingos Martins, upper Rio Juco, Espirito Santo, Brazil, 21 Mar 1972.
Distribution. Known from the type collection only.

AECHMEA HOSTILIS n. sp. E. Pereira, Bradea 1(25): 277, pI. 3A. 1972.
Subgen. Purpurospadix Tab. III, fig. A. Acaulis, perennanter florens, stolonifera, metralis usque; foliis pluribus, crateriforme rosulatis, metralis, linearibus, apicem versus sensim angustatis; vaginis oblongis, 13 cm longis, atropurpureis (in sicco castaneis), utrinque densissime adpresseque brunneo-lepidotis, rigide lignosis; limbo lineari-lanceolato, rigide coriaceo, late canaliculato, basin versus 10 cm lato, apicem versus sensim angustato et in spinam lignosam, pungentem, cylindrican, nigram, 10 mm longam exeunte, utrinque viride et dense hialino-lepidoto, margines spinis nigris, rigidis, pungentis, 10-15 mm inter se distantis auctis, illis diminio inferiore limbi 4 mm longis, recurvatis, dimidio superiore paulo minoris et rectis; limbi vetusti sub anthesin pallide rubri; Scapus 13 cm longus, 2.5 cm diamet. erectus, lignosus, foliis internis occultus; bracteis scapalibus valde adpressis, strictis, imbricatis, inferioribus foliaceis, supremis basi inflorescentiae involucro formante, late ovatis, longe acuminatis et in spinam pungentem flavescentem exeuntis, margines spinis brunneis auctis. Inflorescentia simplex subcapitata, apice paulo aplanata, strobiliformia, 7 cm longa, 10 cm diamet.; bracteis florigeris 40-45 mm longis, lanceolatis, margines serratis, dimidio superiore pallide viridibus et dorso dense albo-lepidotis, dimidio inferiore albidis et glabris, apice in spinam pungentem, flavescentem exeuntis. Flores sessiles, erectae, valde compressae, in excavatione bracteorum inclusae, 40 mm longae, cleistogamae sed maxima evolutione petalorum nocturna est; sepalis viridibus, 22 mm longis, liberis, assimetricis, apice acuminato-spinescente, pungente, dorso minutissime albo-lepidoto; binis anticis conduplicatis et alato-carinatis vi explanatis ambito anguste et assimetrice triangulare, postico canaliculato, anguste lanciforme, in excavatione bractearum incluso; petalis alte aglutinatis, longitudinaliter bicallosis (haud ligulatis), 25 mm longis unguiculatis, unguiculo lineare, hialino, 15 mm longo, limbo lanceolato, mucronato, extus dimidio superiore allao-lepidoto, 10 mm longo, albo demum brunneo; staminibus inclusis, usque ad basin limbi connatis, antheris subulatis, base rotundato-emarginatis, niveis, 8 mm longis, fere ad medium dorso affixis; polline spherico, 1-2 porato; Ovarium 10 mm longum, ancipite complanatum, albolepidotum; tubo epigineo 7 mm longo; placenta paulo infra apicem loculi affixa; ovulis plurimis, obtusis.

HABITAT: Brasil, Estado do Espirito Santo, Domingos Martins, Alto Rio Jucu. Leg. Alvin Seidel No. 625, 21. Mart. 1972. Holotypus HB No. 52.189.

Especie afim de A. saxicola L.B.Sm. mas dela difere pelas bracteas florais bem maiores do que as sepalas e ovulos nao caudados.
Close to A. saxicola L.B.Sm. this new species differs in the floral bracts much larger than the sepals and in the not caudate ovuli.

Updated 14/04/22