Shot taken 20 days ago in Igatu, Andaraí, Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brazil. Sept.2016
Hohenbergia igatuensis Leme, Selbyana 30(2): 129-146. 2010
Type: Brazil-Bahia: Chapada Diamantina, Igatu, May 2003, O. Ribeiro & H. Ribeiro s.n., fl. cult. Mar 2007, E. Leme 5713 (Holotype: HB; Isotype: SEL).
Species nova a Hohenbergia edmundoi L.B. Sm. & Read, cui affinis, sed laminis foliorum marginibus spinis distincte longioribus, inflorescentia apice simplicissima, bracteis floriferis brevioribus et sepalis in alam membranaceam curvatam quam pars centralis manifeste altiorem productis differt.
Plant saxicolous, flowering ca. 80 cm tall.
Leaves ca. 15 in number, coriaceous to thick coriaceous,
sheaths forming at the base an ellipsoid to broadly ellipsoid bottle-like rosette
slightly constricted at the apex with suberect blades;
sheaths broadly oblong-elliptic, 15-16 x 9-10 cm, subdensely to densely brown-lepidote on both sides, castaneous toward the base;
blades sublinear, suberect at anthesis, not narrowed at the base, 13-22 x 4.3-4.7 cm, greenish to yellowish, abaxially subdensely white-lepidote near the base and glabrescent toward the apex, trichomes arranged in rows along the intercostal area,
nerved, adaxially densely white-lepidote to sparsely white-lepidote with age, apex acuminate-caudate, darker, not pungent, margins densely spinose near the base, spines triangular to narrowly triangular, straight to suberect, antrorse, dark brown to blackish toward the apex, 4-7 x 3-5 mm, 2-5 mm apart, apical margins laxly spinose, spines triangular, dark brown to blackish, 1.5-4 X 1-3 mm, 10-20 mm apart, slightly to strongly uncinate-retrorse.
Scape erect, stout, ca. 39 cm long, 0.8-0.9 cm in diameter, bright red, sub-densely white-lanate but soon glabrous;
scape bracts lanceolate, acuminate-caudate, 7-8 X 2 cm, the basal ones sparsely spinulose at the apex, the upper ones reddish-stramineous, papyraceous, finely nervate, entire, slightly imbricate, exceeding the internodes but not completely covering the scape, white-lepidote with fimbriate trichomes.
Inflorescence narrowly paniculate, subcylindrical, tripinnate except for the simple apex, ca. 35 cm long, 10 cm in diameter at the base, erect, rachis 0.6-0.7 cm in diameter, sparsely white-sublanate to glabrescent with age, bright red;
Primary bracts resembling the upper scape-bracts but slightly smaller, lanceolate, acuminate-caudate, entire, stramineous, white-lepidote with fimbriate trichomes, suberect to spreading, slightly exceeding to distinctly shorter than the branches but always exceeding the stipes, l0-75 X 5-10 mm;
Primary branches suberect to spreading, the basal to median ones 55-70 cm long, laxly arranged, stipes 15-20 cm long, 6-7 mm wide at the base, complanate, red, glabrescent, with 1 to 5 secondary branches subdensely to sparsely arranged, the upper primary branches resembling the secondary branches, shortly stipitate to sessile, laxly to subdensely arranged;
secondary bracts resembling the floral bracts, pale rose, distinctly shorter than the secondary branches, ecarinate;
secondary branches suberect to spreading, 20-30 X 10-14 mm, ellipsoid-ovate to nearly cylindrical, terete, subacute, 2-3 x 1.5-1.8 cm, bearing 6 to l0 flowers;
floral bracts subtriangular-orbicular, suberect toward the apex, distinctly shorter to equaling the sepals, 6-7.5 X 7 mm, thinly coriaceous, green near the base, reddish-wine toward the apex, subdensely white lanate mainly at the base and toward the apical margins, nerved, entire, strongly convex, ecarinate, apex acute and long mucronate-spinescent, slightly pungent, mucro 2-2.5 mm long.
Flowers 13-15 mm long, sessile, subdensely (basal ones) to densely (apical ones) and polystichously arranged, suberect, odorless; sepals strongly asymmetrical with a subrounded, curved wing much exceeding the apical mucron, ca. 5 X 3 mm (including the extended wing), bearing at the apex an inconspicuous mucro less than 0.5 mm long, subfree, sparsely white-lanate except for the densely white-lanate apex, soon glabrous, entire, green except for the purplish-wine apical portion, ecarinate; petals subspatulate, apex rounded and emarginate, ca. 10 X 4 mm, free, purple toward the apex, suberect at anthesis, bearing at the base 2 obovate appendages ca. 3 X 1 mm, irregularly long laciniate at the apex; stamens included; fiIaments not dilated, the antepetalous ones adnate to the petals for ca. 1 mm, the antesepalous ones free; anthers ellipsoid, ca. 2.5 mm long, base sagittate, apex apiculate, fixed near the middle; pollen broadly ellipsoid, biporate, exine psillate or inconspicuously perforate ; ovary broadly obovate, 3.5-4 mm long, ca. 4 mm wide at the apex, glabrous or nearly so, green, subterete to subtrigonous; placentation apical; ovules obtusely apiculate; epigynous tube inconspicuous; stigma conduplicate-spiral, white, shorter than the anthers, blades papillose.
Comments. Hohenbergia igatuensis is closely related to H. edmundoi L.B. Sm. & Read. However, it can be distinguished from H. edmundoi by the longer spines of the leaf blades (4-7 mm long vs. ca. 3 mm), the inflorescence terminating in a distinct simple spike (vs. apex densely bipinnate), shorter floral bracts (6-7.5 mm long vs. ca. 10 mm) and by the sepals bearing a curved membranaceous wing distinctly exceeding the midnerve (vs. lateral membranaceous wing not curved and only slightly exceeding the midnerve).
This new species has a habit similar to Hohenbergia magnispina and other close relatives, and calls attention mainly by the yellowish color of its leaves when exposed to full sunlight.