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Darwiniana, nueva serie

versión impresa ISSN 0011-6793

Darwiniana vol.46 no.1 San Isidro ene./jul. 2008



Habranthus neumannii (Amaryllidaceae), a new species from Argentina

Germán Roitman1, José A. Castillo2 & Isabel Maza1

1Cátedra de Jardinería, Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Av. San Martin 4453, 1417 Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina; (author for correspondence).
Jardín Botánico de Ezeiza, Jujuy 1037, 1804 Ezeiza, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Original recibido el 18 de agosto de 2006;
aceptado el 6 de marzo de 2008.

Abstract. Habranthus neumannii, a new species found in grasslands of northwestern Argentina, is described and illustrated. The new species resembles in size Habranthus salinarum, but it can be easily distinguished by its dark green leaves, pinkish-white narrow tepals with a yellowish-brown base, by the perigonium narrowly funnelform, and the shorter style. A key to identify the species of Habranthus from Jujuy province is provided.

Keywords. Amaryllidaceae; Argentina; Habranthus.

Resumen. Habranthus neumannii (Amarillydaceae), una nueva especie de Argentina.
Se describe e ilustra H. neumannii, una nueva especie de Habranthus que habita pastizales en el noroeste de Argentina. Esta nueva especie recuerda en tamaño a Habranthus salinarum, pero puede ser fácilmente distinguible por sus hojas verde oscuro, flores blanco-rosadas con la base amarillo-amarronada, por el perigonio angostamente infundibuliforme y el estilo más corto. Se incluye una clave para identificar las especies del género que habitan la provincia de Jujuy.

Palabras clave. Amaryllidaceae; Argentina; Habranthus.


Habranthus Herbert is an American genus of Amaryllidaceae with ca 35-40 species (Herbert, 1837; Baker, 1888; Sealy, 1937; Arroyo-Leuenberger, 1996) mostly from Argentina, Chile, Southern Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay, five species from Mexico, and one from the United States [Habranthus tubispathus (L´ Héritier) Traub] probably introduced from South America (Flagg et al., 2002). Habranthus belongs to the Tribe Zephyrantheae (Traub, 1963), but Meerow et al. (1999) classified Habranthus in the tribe Hippeastreae based on phylogenetic relationships. Additionally, Meerow et al. (2000) presented phylogenetic trees that showed Zephyranthes Herbert and Haylockia Herbert as sister genera to Habranthus.
During the last 6 years we have been collecting and cultivating species of Habranthus from Argentina, travelling to the places where the species mentioned for Argentina have been previously collected, including places where these plants have been collected only once, and describing new or noncited species (Roitman et al., 2006, 2007, 2008). In a trip to the Province of Jujuy, Argentina, we found a new species of Habranthus, distinguishable from other species by the narrow funnel shaped perigonium, and the presence of dark green leaves and pinkish-white narrow tepals. Bulbs collected in the field were cultivated in the J. O. Hall Garden facilities (Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad de Buenos Aires, 34º35' S, 58º 30' W). We have made observations about the growth and phenology during the last 2 years.

Habranthus neumannii Roitman, J. A. Castillo & Maza spec. nov. TYPE: Argentina, Jujuy, Depto. San Pedro, San Lucas. 12-XI-2003, Roitman G. & R. Neumann s.n. (holotype BAA-25585). Fig. 1.

Ab Habrantho salinarum, foliis basalibus linearibus, perviridibus apice acuti, sub anthesi praesentibus, 8-14 cm longis x 2-3 mm latis, flore argute infundibuliformi, alboroseo, extus usque ad 1/2 supra basim flavido-subfusco, 27 mm longo, 7 mm lato, stylo 18 mm longo, differt.

Fig. 1. Habranthus neumannii A, habit. B, flower. (From G. Roitman & R. Neumann s.n., BAA -25585, holotype).

Plant 18-20 cm. Bulb ovoid, 20-22 mm x 17-19 mm, prolonged into a 15-18 mm neck; tunics brown. Leaves present at anthesis, green, linear, 8-14 cm x 2-3 mm, with acute apex. Scape 9-11 cm x 1.5 mm, 1-flowered. Spathe membranous, tubular basally 21 mm, then bifid apically for 3-4 mm. Pedicel to 15-17 mm long. Perigonium narrowly funnel shaped. Flower white-pale pink in the apex, 27-29 mm long, with darker distal edges and brownish outside proximally. Tepals oblanceolate, joined at the base for 2 mm; the outer tepals 28 mm x 7 mm, the inner ones 26 mm x 5 mm. Filaments fascicled-declined, rather incurved above; upper episepal 7 mm long, lateral episepal 9 mm long, lateral epipetal 11 mm long, lower epipetal 13 mm long. Anthers markedly falcate after the release of pollen, 4 mm long. Style declined, ca. 18 mm long. Stigma trifid, its divisions obliquely spreading at first, then recurved, ca. 2 mm long. Ovary ellipticoblong, ca 3 mm x 2.5 mm.
This species is similar in size to Habranthus salinarum Ravenna (Ravenna, 1970) but quite distinct in its pinkish flowers with darker margins and brownish base (vs.white flowers with green base), the very narrow perigone (7 mm vs. 19 mm), the short style (18 mm vs. 30 mm) and the presence of dark green leaves (vs. glaucous leaves). The habitat is also different: H. neumannii inhabits grasslands with clay soils while H. salinarum inhabits saline or sandy soils.

Etymology. This species is dedicated to Ing. Agr. Roberto Neumann of the INTA Cerrillos, Salta, a prominent expert of the northwestern Argentinean Flora.

Distribution and habitat. It is known only from the northern Argentinean Province of Jujuy.

Inhabits shrublands and grasslands, with clay soils, in large populations, mixed with Habranthus cardenasianus Traub & I.S. Nelson. Under culture conditions both species do not flower at the same time, so the presence of hybrids is not likely to occur.

Phenology. Flowering during November and December.

Key to the species of Habranthus from the Province of Jujuy

1. Bulbs with bulblets, 30-70 mm diam., leaves 1-2.5 cm wide ........................... Habranthus cardenasianus Traub & I.S. Nelson
1. Bulbs without bulblets, 17-24 mm diam., leaves 2-6 mm wide ......................... 2
2(1). Plant 23-34 cm tall. Leaves present at anthesis, 2-3 mm wide. Flowers light pink, tepals 27-29 mm long. . .......................... Habranthus neumannii Roitman, A. Castillo & Maza
2.  Plant 18-20 cm tall. Leaves absent at anthesis, 4-5 mm wide. Flowers white, tepals 37-55 mm long........... Habranthus calderensis Ravenna


We are grateful to R. D. Tortosa for his constructive criticism on an earlier draft. We also thank to two anonymous reviewers and N. Valgañon for the illustration of the species.


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