Aiphanes buenaventurae R. Bernal & Borchs., Caldasia 32(1): 117 (2010)

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Distribution

Known from only two collections made at the bay of Buenaventura, on the Pacific coast of Colombia, near sea level. (Caldasia 32(1): 117 (2010))A

Discussion

  • In our treatment of Aiphanes erinacea we discussed a geographically isolated specimen (Moore et al. 9470) resembling Aiphanes erinacea but with longer, more narrowly cuneate pinnae, inflorescences with few rachillae inserted at long intervals along a short rachis, and spiny pollen. We indicated that future studies would reveal whether it represented a different species or a wider circumscription of A. erinacea. The study of an old collection not available to us during our revision, as well as a better understanding of the morphological variation and narrow endemism in the genus, has led us to conclude that this entity represents a distinct species. (Caldasia 32(1): 117 (2010))A

Conservation

  • Aiphanes buenaventurae has been collected only twice in 84 years, in spite of the fact that extensive collections have been made in the Buenaventura area over this period. Since forest cover in the region has changed dramatically, this species must be considered as Critically Endangered, according to IUCN parameters (IUCN 2001), following criteria A2c -an estimated reduction of population size in more than 80% in the last three generations, due to causes that are still operating and have caused a reduction in its area of occupancy. (Caldasia 32(1): 117 (2010))A

Description

  • Stem solitary or more often in clusters of 3-4, to 4 m tall, with adventitious roots up to 1 m high on the stem. Leaves 5-8, spreading; sheath ca. 22 cm long, with a thin indumentum of brown scales and with brown and yellowish bicolor spines to 3 cm long; petiole ca. 25 cm long, with scales like the sheath, with only a few scattered bicolor spines to 5.5 cm; rachis 78 cm long, adaxially ridged, abaxially with a scaly indumentum like that of the sheath, covered on both sides with a dense indumentum of brown spinules ca. 0.5 mm long, armed only toward the base with a few bicolor spines to 2 cm; pinnae 8-13 on each side, subregularly arranged in one plane, except for a basal group of five rather closely arranged pinnae, middle pinnae separated 7-11 cm, plicate, narrowly cuneate to almost linear, 4-13 times as long as wide, oblique to incised-premorse at apex, often with a 1-3 cm long finger-like projection on the distal margin, adaxially glabrous, abaxially sparsely and minutely pilose, and with a narrow marginal strip of brown scales, mostly along the distal margin, without spinules or spines; basal pinnae 12-18 x 0.5-4 cm; middle pinnae 42-52 x 4 cm; apical pinnae 5-7 ribbed, 45-47 cm long, 9-11 cm wide, occupying 15.4 cm along rachis. Inflorescences 90-123 cm long, interfoliar or infrafoliar when old; prophyll 35 cm long, 1.5 cm wide; peduncular bract (only a fragment seen) apparently thin and fibrous; peduncle 68-90 cm long, 5-6 mm wide at apex, compressed, covered with brown scales and minute spinules, unarmed or with a few scattered, brown or yellow spines to 1 cm long; rachis 21-24 cm long, with minute brown spinules; rachillae 8-12, evenly spaced 3-4 cm apart along the rachis, covered with minute brown spinules like those of the rachis, with brown scales mainly on the abaxial surface, only the pistillate portion seen; basal rachillae 25-32 cm long in the proximal, triadbearing portion, without flowers for 1.5-2.5 cm, triads loosely arranged toward base, progressively closer above, most densely arranged near the middle; apical rachillae with pistillate flowers for ca. 6-7 cm. triads sunken into pits in the rachillae. Staminate flowers not seen. Pistillate flowers 3.5 mm long; sepals broadly ovate, 1.8 mm long, glabrous; petals 3 mm long, connate for ½ their length, the lobes ovate, acute or rounded at apex, adaxially glabrous, abaxially with a few minute, scattered spinules; staminodial ring 2.1 mm long, inconspicuously toothed, adnate to petals; pistil ca. 2 mm long, glabrous; fruits not seen. (Caldasia 32(1): 117 (2010))A

Bibliography