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Boletín de la Sociedad Argentina de Botánica

On-line version ISSN 1851-2372

Bol. Soc. Argent. Bot. vol.41 no.1-2 Córdoba Jan./July 2006


Presence of Habranthus cardenasianus(Amaryllidaceae) in Argentina


Germán Roitman1, Isabel Maza1 and Alberto Castillo2

1Cátedra de Jardinería. FAUBA. Av. San Martín 4453. 1417. Buenos Aires, Argentina. E-mail:
2Jardín Botánico de Ezeiza. Jujuy 1037. 1804. Ezeiza, Prov. de Buenos Aires, Argentina. E-mail:


Summary: Habranthus cardenasianus (Amaryllidaceae), a species formerly described from Bolivia, is cited for the first time from Argentina. The distribution and ecology of the species are refered, and six Argentinian species are reduced to nomenclatural synonyms.

Key words: Habranthus cardenasianus; Amaryllidaceae; Geographical distribution; Taxonomy.

Resumen: Presencia de Habranthus cardenasianus (Amaryllidaceae) en Argentina. Esta especie originalmente descripta para Bolivia, se cita por primera vez para la Argentina. Se menciona su distribución geográfica y su ecología y se reducen a la sinonimia 6 especies argentinas.

Palabras clave: Habranthus cardenasianus; Amaryllidaceae; Distribución geográfica; Taxonomía.



Traub and Nelson (1957) described Habranthus cardenasianus, from bulbs collected by the second author near Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The species was cultivated in a private garden in California and seeds of it were sent to A. Castillo, some years ago. During the last years we collected this species in the Provinces of Córdoba, Catamarca, Jujuy, Salta and Santiago del Estero and found other specimens from Argentina belonging to it in different Herbaria, including the types of Habranthus cordobensis Ravenna, H. crassibulbus Ravenna, H. maasii Ravenna, H. spectabilis Ravenna, H. steyermarkii Ravenna and the paratype of H. niveus Ravenna, now reduced to synonims (Ravenna, 1970a, 1970b, 1978, 1999 and 2001).
Bulbs collected in the field, in the places where the original collections was made and new locations, were cultivated in the "Lucien Hauman" Botanical Garden (Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad de Buenos Aires, 34° 36' S, 58°28' W) and J. O. Hall Garden facilities (Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad de Buenos Aires, 34º35' S, 58º 30' W). We observed that plants produce bulblets and the flowers are white with the lower part greenish during the first day, turning to pinkish later. Each bulb produce 1-5 flowers per season, during a month or more. When the first flower appears leaves are not present, but the rest of floration occurs with leaves developing or well developed. In the field, we observed variation in bulb size within the same population.


Habranthus cardenasianus Traub & I.S. Nelson, Plant Life 13: 69. 1957. Holotype: UNITED STATES. California. cult. La Jolla. 24-V-1956. Traub 542. From bulbs collected by Ira S. Nelson, about 35 km E-NE Santa Cruz, Bolivia, on Hacienda Souce, in deep black sandy loam. In fields recently cleared of decidous jungle growth (MO!).
Syn: Habranthus spectabilis Ravenna, Not. Mens. Mus. Nac. Hist. Nat., Santiago, 15. No. 173, 6 1970b. ARGENTINA. Prov. Jujuy: Dpto. Ledesma. Yuto. 8 km al S. Flor blanca por dentro y lilácea por fuera. 21/X/64. A. Cabrera & H.A. Fabris 16209 (Holotypus: SI!). Habranthus niveus Ravenna, Plant Life 26: 95. 1970a. ARGENTINA: Catamarca: Dpto. Andalgalá. La Aguada; Leg. Ravenna 113, XII-1961 (Holotypus: Herbario Ravenna, not available). Habranthus maasii Ravenna, Plant Life 34: 85. 1978. Jujuy: Dpto. San Lorenzo. Río San Lorenzo, Leg. Lorentz et Hieronymus, Ende-X-1873. (Holotypus: NY!, Phototype). Habranthus steyermarkii Ravenna, Plant Life 34: 85-86. 1978. Jujuy: Dpto. Ledesma. Estación Calilegua, San Lorenzo, Leg. Joergensen- Hansen, XI-1911 (Holotypus:SI!). Habranthus crassibulbus Ravenna, Onira 3: 63. 1999. Santiago del Estero: Dpto. Robles. Beltrán, R. Maldonado- Bruzzone 522, 28-XI-1940, (Holotypus: LP!). Habranthus cordobensis Ravenna, Onira 6: 42.2001. Córdoba. Dpto. San Javier. "La Barranca". Castellano s-n, 14-I-1934. BA 30987 (Holotypus BA!).
Bulbs 30-50 mm long and 25-70 mm wide, with bulblets. Leaves ligth green, glaucescent, linear 9-30 cm long and 3-13 mm wide. Present or absent during anthesis. Scape 5-27 cm tall, glaucescent, one flowered. Spathe pinkinsh to reddish, at anthesis 3-5 cm long. Pedicel 3-8 cm long, ligth green. Ovary 6-10 mm, 3-5 mm in diameter. Flower declined, perigone 3.5-7 cm long, white during the first day, then pinkish specially in the upper 1/3 and yellowhish-greennish bellow on outside. External tepals oblanceolate, acute, up to 4.5 - 6.3 cm long., 1.5-2.0 cm wide. Internal tepals narrowly oblanceolate, acute, 4.2-5.8 cm long., 10-14 mm wide. Stamens shorter than the style, disposed at four different levels, lengths; upper episepal 11-13 mm long, lateral episepal 13-15 mm long, lateral epipetal 15-17 mm long, lower epipetal 17-19 mm long. Anthers markedly falcate after the release of pollen, 8-14 mm long. Style 25-35 mm long, stigma trifid, with filiform recurved forks 2-3 mm long. Capsule subglobose, 20-25 mm long x 17-21 mm wide, redish with a green line in the nervadures. Seeds black 7-9 mm long. (Fig 2).
Distribution and ecology: In sandy soils in decidious forest, shrublands and near rail-roads in Bolivia and Argentina. In Argentina in the provinces of Salta, Jujuy, Catamarca, Santiago del Estero and Córdoba (Fig. 1).
ARGENTINA. Catamarca: Dpto. Andalgalá. Andalgalá. Abundante en campo seco. Flor grande blanca a rosadito. 6-12-1915 P. Jörgensen (BA 16755). Cited as Habranthus niveus (Ravenna, 1970a).
Córboba: Dpto. Punilla. Escobas 15 km al N de Capilla de Monte, vias del ex ferrocarril F.C. Belgrano. A. Castillo et al. 8-XII- 1989. Flor blanca, tubo amarillo, dorso del tépalo con banda marrón clara. Abierta a mediodía, abundante. Colección de bulbos y semillas. (BAA 21703).
Jujuy: Dpto. Ledesma. Calilegua, disturbed ground beside road, bulbous perennial, periant white within tinger purple towards the tips without anthers yellow stigma cream S.S. Renvoize 3459, 14-XI-78 (SI). Dpto. San Pedro. Al E de San Lucas, 13/XI/73. Flor blanco-lila. Cabrera et al. 24038 (SI). Dpto Manuel Belgrano. Camino a San Pedro. Entre Las Lajitas y San Pedro, Cabrera et al 34583, 18-XI-1983. (SI).
Salta: Dpto. Capital. Cercanías del Aeropuerto de Salta, 11-XI-03, Roitman y Neumann sn (BAA). Dpto. Orán. Ruta 41 El Pichanal y vías del ferrocarril. 12-XI-03. Roitman y Neumann sn (BAA).
Santiago del Estero: Dpto Loreto. Loreto. M. Birabén 13, 13-XI-1939 (LP). Dpto. Ojo de Agua. Ruta 9 km 954 A. Castillo, P. O´Farrell & J.J. Valla sn 9-XII- 1990. Tépalos blancos, parte distal rosada, tubo amarillento. (BAA 21890).

Fig. 1. Geographic distribution of Habranthus cardenasianus.

Fig. 2. Habranthus cardenasianus (a-c: Castillo et al. sn BAA 21703). a. plant, b detail of the stamens, style and stygma, c fruit.


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.


RAVENNA, P. 1970a. Contributions to the South American Amaryllidaceae III. Pl. Life 26: 73-104.         [ Links ]

RAVENNA, P. 1970b. Nuevas especies de Amaryllidaceae. Mus. Nac. Hist. Nat. Notic. Mens. 15 (173): 3-11.         [ Links ]

RAVENNA, P. 1978. Contributions to the South American Amaryllidaceae VII. Pl. Life 34: 69-91.         [ Links ]

RAVENNA, P. 1999. New species of Zephyranthes and Habranthus (Amarillidaceae) II. Onira 3: 62-67.         [ Links ]

RAVENNA, P. 2001. New species of Zephyranthes and Habranthus (Amarillidaceae) III. Onira 6: 38-43.         [ Links ]

TRAUB, H.P. and I.S. NELSON. 1957. Habranthus cardenasiana sp.nov. Pl. Life 13: 69-70.         [ Links ]

Recibido el 21 de Febrero de 2006
Aceptado el 20 de Mayo de 2006.

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