Tillandsia jequiensis
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Tillandsia jequiensis
jequiensis photo from Derek Butcher
Derek Butcher ... "This is complicated as those who subscribe to Die Bromelie will already have found out. If you have already tried to link your plant to the T. streptocarpa complex you have another species to consider."
Bob Reilly ... "Thanks Derek. Do you think this species is in Australia?"
Derek Butcher ... "Robert; Anything is possible but I know of no leads. Who currently imports from Hromadnik?"

Tillandsia jequiensis spec nov L Hromradnik and H Hromradnik. Die Bromelie (#30 . 122-131. 2020)
We have been cultivating a Tillandsia L. from the Brazilian State of Bahia for almost a quarter of a century, which belongs to the alliance of Tillandsia streptocarpa Baker, subgenus Phytarrhiza (Vis.) Baker. The plants stand out due to their appressed scalinq, which gives them a very dull color impression. After years of research and evaluation of extensive literature, the taxon will now be presented as a new species. But first to the relevant literature.

The research by Bruno Faixao de Souza
Since 2012 a research by Bruno Paixao de Souza, Universidade federal de Vicosa / Minas Gerais / Brazil, about the complex of Tillandsia streptocarpa is available which he had created as part of his master thesis.
ln addition to a comparison with the related species Tillandsia arhiza Mez, which is endemic to Paraguay, specifically the species from the complex around T. streptocarpa occurring in Brazil are treated. Based on the qeoqraphical distribution the morphological and taxonomic studies of numerous locations, living and herbarium material, Paixao de Souza defines the following three species as occurring in Brazil:
1. Tillandsia graomogolensis Silveira
2. Tillandsia streptocarpa Baker
3. Tillandsia retrorsa Silveira

Tillandsia graomogolensis Silveira Floral. Mont. 2:5,26, tab. l, 11 (1931)
Here are the key conclusions for this species according to the work of Paixao de Souza:
Tillandsia graomogolensis also includes T. kurt-horstii Rauh, which is synonymous here.
It has a somewhat dlsjunct (disrupted) occurrence in the central and northeastern Minas Gerais.
The plants are described as rock-dwelling, growing in small qroups or as cushion-forming.
They only form a short stem, the simple inflorescences are 25-35 cm high, the leaf blades 10-23 cm long and 0.4-0.7 cnn wide, strongly channelled and densely covered with long, protruding scales. Flower color is purple.

Tillandsia streptocarpa Baker J. Bot. 25:241(1887)
Paixao de Souza describes the main characteristics as follows:

Due to the large distribution area (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru) and the corresponding variability, the species has been described several times under numerous synonyms.
Tillandsia streptocarpa grows epiphytically or on rocks, with a stem length of up to 10 cm it becomes flowering 10-50 cm high, the leaf blades are 8-50 cm long and 0.2-l cm wide, channeled, often bent back towards the tip. The inflorescence is usually composed of distichous spikes, the flowers are fragrant, the petals are purple.

* Author's note: The color of the flowers can also be white or very rarely yellow, as shown by collections from Bolivia in the Chuquisaca region.

Tillandsia retrorsa Silveira Floral. mont. 2: 6, 25, tab 3. 10 (1931)
This species is characterized by Paixao de Souza as follows:

PIants of this species, such as those found in Minas Gerais in the area of Diamantina, have so far been generally referred to as local variants of Tillandsia streptocarpa, although the description of T. retrorsa was published long ago.
However the dilferences to Tillandsia streptocarpa are pronounced and striking.
- The species grows terrestrially on rocks, flowering plants are up to 1 m high, the stem length is 20-50 cm, the leaf length 20-45 cm. The inflorescence is rarely simple, but usualiy composed of several two-row spikes. Some locations in the states of Minas Gerais and Bahia are given as localities.

Tillandsia retrorsa was considered a synonym of T. streptocarpa by Smith & Downs (1977) and a synonym of T. arhiza by Luther (2001). For this reason, Paixao de Souza carried out a detailed examination of living material of this species at the type locality of T. arhiza, the Cerro dAcahay, Paraguay, and made an in-depth diagnosis to distinguish it, which is subsequently largely reproduced.

Studies on Tillandsia arhiza at the type locality at Cerroc Acahay, Paraguari, Paraguay

Tillandsia arhiza Mez, in C. DC., Monogr. Phan. 9:855 (1896}. Syn. Tillandsia rupestris Mez, in C. DC., Monogr. Pflan . 9: 856. (1896).
Plant growinq saxicolous, caulescent, roots wholly lacking, flowerinq 35-60 cm high, stem 20-30 cm long, 5-7 mm in diam, leaves subdensely polystichous, 10-22 cm long, bent down to sub-erect, densely lepidote from cinereous spreading scales; sheaths broadly ovate, amplexicaulous, 2.3 x 1.4 cm, the base membranous, the center papyraceous, cinereous lepidote to the middle outside; blades narrowly triangular, 8-20 cm long, 3-4 mm wide, canaliculate, straight; inflorescence simple, rarely compound; peduncle slender, 15-20 cm long, peduncle bracts lanceolate, cinereous lepidote, the lower 7-12 cm, the middle 4.5-6 cm, the upper 2-3 cm long; primary bracts erect, elliptic, about 1.5 cm long, coriaceous, wine red, slightly longer than the sepals; flowers subsessile, slightly fragrant; sepals elliptic, 11-13 mm long, wine red, connate at the base to 3 mm, subcoriaceous; petals narrowed to the base, the plate 12 x 10.5 mm, apiculate; stamens included, ca. 8.5 mm long, filaments flat, membranous, anthers yellow; style short, 6 mm long, robust, ovary elongate, stigma lobes convolute-spiral, capsule cylindric, apiculate, greenish-brown.

The species is endemic to Paraguay, two locations are given: Cerro d'Acahay and Cerro San Tomas, Paraguari . lmages at the type locality show Tillandsia arhiza growing in dense groups on the free, not steep slopes between a large block of granite.

Paixao de Souza also notes that the large spatial distance between the occurrence of Tillandsia arhiza and the ranqe of T. streptocarpa justifies the separation of the former as a separate species.

The same argument of spatial separation also applies to our new species: the occurrence in Bahia does not overlap with localities of the comparable species from the T. streptocarpa complex, which are cited by Paixao in the specimens for Bahia and Brazil. In addition, it differs from all other previously known species of this alliance of the subgenus Phytarrhiza by numerous characteristics and will therefore now be described as new.

Tillandsia jequiensis differs from the similar T. arhiza by:
Ieaf blades to 12 cm long, very densely appressed lepidote giving a dull coloration, leaf sheaths 20 mm wide, leaf blades 10-12 mm wide at base, angled;
peduncle to 30 cm long, peduncle bracts 3.5 cm long with short foliate apex, the upper ones 2 cm long;
floral bracts 17 mm long, the upper ones 14 mm and surpassed by the sepals for 2 mm, sepals lanceolate, 16 mm long;
petal blade broadly rounded and subacute, 15 mm wide, margins slightly undulate and weakly crenulate.
Type: Brazil, State of Bahia, Region of Jequie, Muniz. Marcionilio Souza, inselberg on the way to Jaqui, 400 m above sea level.
Holotype: H. Hromadnik HR 20056, 1. Jan. 1995 (WU).
Paratypes: Brazil, State of Bahia, Region of Jequie, Muniz. Milagres, 1,000 m above sea level, HR 20085, 4. Jan. 1996 (WU). Brazil, State of Bahia, Region of Jequie, Muniz. Milagres, lnselberg Pedra do Gaviao, 600 m above sea level, HR 20085,4. Jan. 1996 (WU).

Plant caulescent, lithophytic, stems to 30 cm long, forming large pendinq clusters on stiff granite rocks, flowering to 60 cm long; stem 5 mm in diam., but appearing thicker because of the amplexicaulous sheaths wholly concealing the stem.
Leaves polystichous, to 12 cm long, densely and very appressed lepidote.
Sheaths densely imbricate amplexicaulous, 22 mm long, 20 mm wide, lanceolate ovoid, coriaceous, adaxially glabrous, lustrous, abaxially the base glabrous to 1 cm, upper part lepidote similar to the blades.
Blades narrowly triangular, 8-12 cm long, at base 10-12 mm wide and spreading rectangulous or recurved from there, straight, bent and angled horizontally.
lnflorescence simple, a single compressed spike, to 30 cm overtopping the foliate stem.
Peduncle to 30 cm long, ascendinq diagonally upwards, slender, 1.5 mm in diam., glabrous, green to reddish brown; internodes 35 mm long, not completely enfolded by the bracts.
Peduncle bracts lanceolate, the lower to 40 cm long, short lamlnate, the upper only 20 mm long and apiculate, densely spreading tomentose lepidote except the glabrous adaxlal side.
Spike 8-l0 flowered, to 7 cm long, 5 mm wide, rhachis partly visible, reddish brown, lepidote, slightly geniculate.
Floral bracts 17(-14) mm Iong, 6 mm wide, lanceolate, up to 2 mm exceeded by the sepals, appressed to the axis except for the slightly spreading apiices, papyraceous with broad hyaline margins, adaxially qlabrous, abaxially slightly nerved, densely spreadinqly flocculose lepidote, reddish brown.
Flowers short pedicellate, to 25 mm long, erect, scentless.
Sepals lanceolate, 16mm long, 5 mm wide, equally connate at base with the ovary for 2 mm, the posterior indistinctly carinate, as long as ihe floral bracts or slightly lonqer, subcoriaceous, faintly nerved, abaxially subdensely lepidote from protruding flocculose scales, adaxially glabrous, lustrous, greenish brown.
Petals narrowly lingulate at the base, 2 mm wide, white, forming a narrow tube, blade broadly rounded and subacute, 15 mm wide, pale violet, somewhat darker flamed, corolla with or without a white center, margins slightly undulate and weakly crenulate.
Stamens and style deeply included, ca. 8.5 mm long.
Filaments 7 mm lonq, filiform, white.
Anthers 2 mm long, filiform, yellow, basifixed.
0vary 3mm long, green.
Style 8 mm long, white
Stigma lobes pale green.

Tillandsia jequiensis
Leaves to 12 cm long, very densely appressed lepidote,
sheaths 20 mm wide, blades 10-12 mm wide near the base, angled.
Peduncle to 30 cm long.
Peduncle bracts 3.5 cm long, short laminate, the upper 2 cm long.
Floral bracts 17-14 mm long up to 2 mm exceeded by the sepals.
Flowers scentless.
Sepals lanceolate, 16 mm long.
Petals: the blade broadly rounded, 15mm, subacute, margins slightly undulate and weakly crenulate.
Filaments filiform.

The habit is also very similar to Tillandsia paleacea Presl, whose distribution area is on the western slopes and in dry valleys cf the central Andes. Both species have long, densely leafed stems, but T. jequiensis has a much longer and slender peduncle. The axis of the lax spike of T. jequiensis is not completely enfolded by the bracts. The leaf blades are not linear and covered with eccentric, spreading scales as in T. paleacea, but are conspicuously angular qeniculate horizontally and very densely appressed lepidote.

The holotype of Tillandsia jequiensis, HR 20056, was examined molecularly under sample numbers 8226 and B1036 respectively, the paratype HR 20075 under sample number Bl037 by M. Barfuss, Vienna, and stated to be an independent species.

Habitat and distribution
Tillandsla jequiensis prefers to inhabit the steep sections of some inselbergs in the vicinity of Milagres and Jacu. On the edges of a rocky ridge near Jacu it grows along with an extremely large, long-stemmed form (?) of T. tenuifolia L., which, however, has silvery qrey and broader leaves than regularly known from T. tenuifolia, and therefore also reminds of T. milagrensis Leme. At the sites near Milagres, T. jequiensis is accompanied on the steep edges of inselbergs by a long-leaved curly form of T. araujei (?) Mez, as well as by a compact claw form of T. chapeuensis Rauh, which shares some charecteristics with T. piauiensis Ehlers & J. Claus, described ln 2012, but is not identical to it.

Updated 05/12/20