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A new Brazillian-Drosera Taxon.

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Last July I was hiking 40km north of the city of Diamantina in Minas gerais state, in the district of Inhaí, searching for some rare Encyclia natural hybrid (orquidaceae) and Cactii. But I came across an interesting large Drosera of the villosa complex, with several affinities with D. graõmogolensis, but with some very unique characteristics of its own.

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The whole population I found

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It resembles a somewhat skinny grãomogolensis, wich also forms a dead leaf - column, with tall flower scapes, short petiole and with large (for Brazillian Drosera standarts) flowers. This population was also growing in the same altitudinal range of D. Grãomogolensis (around 700 mts ).

But upon further inspection it showed some intriguing characteristics not found in other villosa group species, and in any other known Brazillian Drosera:

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The flower scapes have a unique texture of well developed Red glandular hairs that resembles a kind of "rudimentary tentacles". Its different from the simple and short glandular hairs of D. graomogolensis and D. montana and also different from the simple hairs of D. hirtella and D. tomentosa.

The scapes also form a highly ascendent curvature like D. hirtella.

It also have a more Xerophytic habit, growing in pure, dry sand under full sun at least during the dry winter months wich probably lead to the development of thick tuberous roots as seem above.

Some other shots

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It was growing near some D. tomentosa var. tomentosa

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Currently The botanists Fernando Rivadavia, Paulo M. Gonella and I are discussing this plant. It can be a new species (Wich I believe it is) or maybe an old forgotten taxon of Saint hilaire. But I'll let them talk about the issue here.

This species is provisory named Drosera sp. "inhaí".

Here's a link for the full report of the first part of this trip. More to come with some other strange Drosera taxons!

http://www.forum.clickgratis.com.br/planta...t-7255_s-0.html

Regards

Adilson

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Congratulations on the magnificent discovery Adilson, I am jealous as can be that I wasn't there with you to see it! ;)

Actually, Adilson gave us a big scare with this discovery. You see, D.sp."Inhaí" was collected very close to the Serra de Curimataí, which is the type location of D.ascendens. Athough D.ascendens is a widespread species on highlands of S & SE Brazil, it normally has an erect flower scape. Only in the Diamantina area (just S of Inhaí) have I observed ascending scapes more frequently on D.ascendens.

So here Adilson goes and finds a new taxon with strongly ascending flower scapes growing very close to the type location of D.ascendens. Could this then be the TRUE D.ascendens?? If so, this would force us to change the name of all D.ascendens presently in cultivation -- for a 2nd time! Some of you may remember that until the mid 90's true D.villosa was not in cultivation and all D.ascendens were called D.villosa.

Looking at St.Hilaire's type specimens, we do see some sort of hairyness at the base of the curved scapes of D.ascendens (ignore that they mispelled the species name on the link):

http://hvsh.cria.org.br/exsicataViewer?bar...&haspages=0

http://hvsh.cria.org.br/exsicataViewer?bar...&haspages=0

The hairs at the base of the scapes do not look like the large glandular trichomes of D.sp."Inhaí", but you can't be 100% sure from those pics... Of course I'd love to be able to drive down to the herbarium and stop for a close-up look of these specimens, but alas they are in Paris.

Fortunately St.Hilaire wrote in his description of D.ascendens that the scapes have simple hairs. This pretty much solves the problem and nails the type specimens as conspecific with the plants we've known as D.ascendens in cultivation, some forms of which are very hairy near the base of the scapes.

Therefore, it seems like we will not need to do any name-changing in this complex once again, and will only need to give this new taxon a name. But it still is a little suspicious that only the D.ascendens populations from Diamantina & surrounding areas have ascending scapes occasionally... Could the local D.ascendens be of hybrid origin with D.sp.Inhaí?? I'd like to think not, since the local form of D.ascendens tend to grow in a very different habitat: along streams and waterfalls (much wetter than D.sp."Inhaí") in areas of higher altitudes.

Either way, an amazing discovery since it is a beautiful plant! It is also a rare case of a new taxon truly discovered in the field, and not in herbaria as is often the case. Very few of the new species I've found were truly unique, without any other known collection to be found in any herbaria.

Congratulations Adilson!!! :)

Best wishes,

Fernando

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Wow this is absolutely amazing and exciting reading! :-) The flower stalk all covered with tentacles is a very interesting feature, along with the cacti-like roots... I hope taxonomic authorities will come to a conclusion it is a new species for it looks very distinctive from other related drosera. Also, that the seeds of this beautiful plant will be available soon so it can be spread to collectors without any exploitation of the natural habitat (i think 30 seeds should do the job just fine in a matter of a year or two). Beautiful amazing plant! And congratulations to the great CP discovery!

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i don't like droseras so much, but this one looks very nice! I love those little red tenctacles on the flower stem :smile:

Congratulation for the beautiful discovery!!!!

Edited by prized

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That is great news, another exciting and beautiful new species from Brasil. Thanks a lot for sharing it with us, very good pictures.

Regards,

Sebastian

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Congratulation Adilson. :smile:

Wonderful plants, a very interesting flower scape and huge flowers. I really like these glandular trichomes and the thick roots are interesting as well.

What a big luck that the plants have already been in flower, otherwise you perhaps would not have had the possibility to find out that it could be a new species, especially after there is a lot of variation in D. ascendens (some location forms are even very similar to D. graomogolensis).

Hopefully it will be soon in cultivation.

Are there existing only these plants you have shown on the pictures or are there much more plants near to this place?

I´m asking because you called it "the whole population".

In the herbaria material it really seems so as if these hairs in the lower part of the flower scape are only "normal" hairs like for example D. schwackei, D. tomentosa var. tomentosa, D. grantsaui and the plants from the D. hirtella complex.

Many thanks for sharing these pictures.

Best regards,

Dani

Edited by Daniel O.

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Nice looking plant!

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Superb! I want that plant. :)

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Thanx for all comments, folks, and its always a pleasure to share my pics with you all.

Fernando:

I'm very happy to have found such rarity, But this is just the beggining of the hard work that awaits us to get it officially published.

Also, Don't forget about those other """"weirdos""" We found in Diamantina and GM.

Daniel and Dudo:

I'll try to get this species in cultivation ASAP, Don't worry you all about that.

And Yes, that was the whole population I found in that location. There were about 70 individuals from small plantlets to full grown adults. It was as small but healthy population.

One task now is to discover other populations to find out how much rare and spread this species is. And it might lead us to find out if this hairy scape phenomena is a fixed character in this species or not, and perhaps other interesting fenotipic variations that might occur.

Cheers

Adilson

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Well done Adilson!! Gorgeous plants with very special characteristics !!!

Hopefully not the only population in that region.

Thanks for sharing them!!

Iggy

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Great discovery, really beautiful plant. And another plant i will dream of :yes:

BTW: Fernando, thank you fot that links on type specimens :smile:

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Hello Adilson,

Thank you very much for sharing your beautiful photographs here!

An intriguing plant! And some exciting news!

In contrast to the preceding comments, I really think that you have discovered the true TYPE D. ascendens! Look at St. Hilaires specimens, how large the petals even of the spent dried flowers are! They are more than twice as long as the sepals, even in crumpled and dried state! Thus flowers of the type of D. ascendens must have been fairly large! In contrast, flowers of the plants commonly cultivated as D. ascendens (or "ex-villosa" ;)) are rather small, maybe 1 cm in diameter. Spend flowers have a "tip" of dried petals which are only slightly longer than the sepals. This is not matching St. Hilaires type, but Adilson's new discovery does! You might really have revealed the true D. ascendens!

And even more convincing to me: the hairs on the base of the scape of St. Hilaires type specimens are by no means simple thin hairs, like found in other neotropical Drosera with whooly or patent hairy scapes! In all those species, including the hairy D. ascendens that I currently grow, the hairs are thin and translucent! These white hairs are staying papery white in dried specimens, or only getting light brown. But in the type specimens of D. ascendens, the haris are thick and dark, having about the same diameter and colour as the leaf borne tentalces have. And take care: I did well note some glandular tips on several of the hairs along the ascdending scape of those specimens, even at low resolution of the herbarium scans.

The reason why the cover of hairs on the herbarium specimens is rather scarce might be because the hairs on dried Drosera scapes are rather brittle and can easily break of old specimens.

For me it is rather obvious that the plants on the photos shown here match well the type of D. ascendens. Which will probably mean that Fernando will have to find a new name for the widespread plant currently called D. ascendens in cultivation... ;)

All the best,

Andreas

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What a big luck that the plants have already been in flower, otherwise you perhaps would not have had the possibility to find out that it could be a new species, especially after there is a lot of variation in D. ascendens (some location forms are even very similar to D. graomogolensis).

Dear Dani,

I am wholly convinced that while Fernando did collect several varieties of D. ascendens, one or two of them are really something else; perhaps hybrids with D. ascendens...

*EDIT*

I just read Andreas' reply, so to clarify: I think at least one of the populations (or some of the seed collected) were hybrids and/or something other than we currently think of as D. ascendens. If Andreas' theory pans out, then perhaps Fernando has found two new taxa/plants, not just one...

Edited by Dave Evans

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Hi Andreas

thanx for sharing your analisys about this plant.

Either being new or not I'm more than happy to have find such an interesting plant that arose all this exciting debate!

The villosa complex and other related groups (montana, tomentosa, hirtella) still have several misunderstandings and issues to be clarified and I hope this plant helps to bring new light and motivation for botanists to finally make a full and deep revision of villosa related drosera.

This also reminds me that the ingenious Saint Hillaire was righ about most of these species 200 years ago and despite the efforts of some botanists to ruin his work, it seems his visions might prevail in the end.

Regards

Adilson

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Andreas,

My fear is that the D.ascendens type specimen is a hybrid between what Adilson found and what we presently refer to as D.ascendens. To settle this debate, we definitely need close up shots of the base of the scapes of St.Hilaire's type D.ascendens. Fortunately, François Mey has offered to do this for us before the end of the year...

But if Adilson's plant is truly type D.ascendens (a hypothesis 1st suggested by our friend Paulo Gonella), then we would be forced to change the name of what we presently call D.ascendens - which will be a major pain-in-the-butt since we've already spent so much time over the past 15 years trying to convince people not to call them D.villosa. Oh well, we may have to begin a whole new "educational" campaign...

As for the new name, if necessary, a few synonyms already exist: D.villosa var. bifurca F.Buxb. from somewhere between the cities of Santos & S.Paulo and D.villosa var. latifolia Eichl. from the Serra dos Orgaos, Rio de Janeiro. But because they were published as varieties, I don't believe we would be forced to use either name -- which is good, 'cause I don't like either "D.bifurca" nor "D.latifolia". :)

Dave,

I have certainly seen plenty of variation between populations of what we currently call D.ascendens, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of this variation is a result if hybridization wit other species such as D.tomentosa, D.schwackei, or D.tentaculata.

But what Adilson found is definitely something I have never seen in the wild before - unless I saw flowerless plants (those glandular scapes would've definitely made my eyes pop out of their sockets if I'd seen them). I did see plants with smooth or lightly hairy ascending scapes in the Diamantina area, which I now suspect maybe have a hybrid past with this new species that Adilson discovered.

Adilson,

If your plant turns out to be true D.ascendens, it would be a pity because we wouldn't be able to give it a name worthy of it's beauty and exoticness. But it certainly would help show what a great botanist St.Hilaire was, since almost all his Drosera taxa are now being re-accepted. Last remaining on my list are his D.parvifolia (which is a hairy-scaped D.communis and may be actually be a good taxon) and D.maritima (which is a disjunct D.brevifolia, and the least likely to be a distinct taxon).

Best wishes,

Fernando

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For anybody revisiting this topic, these odd plants Adilson discovered near Inhaí did turn out to be the true D.ascendens after all (they were missing for nearly 200 years), while the plants we'd been calling by this name should now be labeled D.latifolia. See this article: http://biotaxa.org/P...ytotaxa.156.1.1

Or this link: http://www.cpukforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=51688

Best wishes,

Fernando Rivadavia

Edited by Fernando Rivadavia

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