Tillandsia ovatispicata
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Tillandsia ovatispicata
Die Bromelia 2018

Tillandsia ovatispicata Gouda, sp. nov. Die Brom. 1: 19-23. 2018
A Tillandsia cerrateana like species, but taller in most parts. Leaves 25-30 in number(vs. 20); Peduncle strongly curved (vs. erect); inflorescence elongate, open at the base, subcylindrical (vs. dense, ellipsoid); sepals 15 mm long, free (vs. 12 mm long, equally short-connate); petals 28 mm long (vs. 18 mm long).
Type: Peru, Depto. Cajamarca, border area zu Depto. Lambayeque, 3000 m elevation; Leg.: R. Rawe s.n. cultivated at the University Utrecht Botanic Gardens with number 2010GR00439, flowered Feb. 2017 (holotype U, isotype USM).

Plant short caulescent, 45-50 cm tall, subdense, with many leaves, forming an open cinereous-green rosette.
Leaves 25-30 in number, spirally arranged, thin coriaceous, 30-47 cm long, shorter than or about equaling the inflorescence.
Sheaths ample, contrasting with the blade in color especially adaxially, merging into the blade, thin- and somewhat stiff-coriaceous, ovate, slightly inflated and convex, 6-9 cm long, 4-5cm wide, with membranaceous margins, very densely lepidote, on both sides of ferrugineous scales, pale to dark brown especially adaxially.
Blades arching to recurving, soft and thin coriaceous, strongly channeled toward the base, very narrowly triangular, 25-35cm long, ca. 3 cm wide at the base, long attenuate acute, densely lepidote on both sides, with subappressed whitish or cinereous and green centred scales, strongly masking the colour of the blade, cinereous-green.
Inflorescence 35-43 cm long (incl. peduncle), bending over to ca. horizontal, branched of 7-9 spirally arranged branches; fertile part 9-15 cm long, lax at the base to subdense distally, subcylindric when elongated. Peduncle elongate, almost wholly covered by bracts, strongly curved at base, ca. 25 cm long, 8.5 mm in diameter near the middle, glabrous or very sparsely lepidote especially near the nodes, green.
Peduncle-bracts sheathing part clasping the peduncle and with divergent blade, imbricate but the upper ones slightly exposing the peduncle, the lower ones foliaceous, coriaceous, the upper ones ovate, caudate, the sheathing part exceeding the internodes, densely lepidote, cinereous-green.
Axis elongate and at least partly exposed, stout, sub-straight, obtuse angled, glabrescent, green or tinged reddish-brown.
Primary-bracts divergent with the branches, thin but stiff coriaceous, ovate, the lower acuminate with recurving acumen, but soon rounded and apiculate, the basal ones nearly wholly covering the axillary branches, shorter than the axillary branches upward, densely to sparsely lepidote toward the base in the upper ones, cinereous-green or tinged with reddish.
Stipe short, not bracteate, slightly divergent, stout, ca. 0.6 cm long, glabrous.
Spikes slightly divergent, very dense, distichous, 2-6 flowered, strongly complanate, ovate, acute, 3-4.5 cm long, 0.9-1(-1.3) cm wide (top spike wider than the lateral ones), with a sterile bract at base and apex. Rachis hidden, very stout, flexuous, obtuse four-angled, the internodes 6 mm long, glabrous, green.
Floral bracts suberect, densely imbricate, coriaceous, smooth or slightly veined, strongly carinate or ecarinate in terminal spike, ovate-elliptic, obtuse or apiculate, slightly incurved, 18-20 mm long, 12.5-13.5 mm wide, more than three times as long as the internodes, exceeded by the sepals, with hyaline margins, abaxially glabrescent except the apex and subdensely lepidote adaxially, green tinged red or red.
Flowers contiguous (erect), receptacle short.
Sepals chartaceous, surface slightly nerved especially adaxially, ovate or elliptic, obtuse or apiculate, nearly straight, 15 mm long, 8.5-9 mm wide, with broad hyaline margins, adaxial ones distinctly carinate, free, abaxially glabrous and sparsely appressed lepidote adaxially, pale green.
Corolla tubular-erect except the apex.
Petals slightly fleshy, with stiff incurved edges halfway, subrhombic-ligulate, attenuate, then narrowly rounded, 28 mm long, 6 mm wide, in upper half amethyst colored.
Ligules at the petal-claw absent.
Stamens included.
Filaments strap-shaped, straight (not plicate), all equal in length, 15.5 mm long, free, white.
Anthers dorsifixed, near the base, linear-oblong, 5.5 mm long, bilobed at base, apiculate at the apex.
Pistil exceeding the stamens.
Ovary ovoid, 5 mm long, 25 mm wide, slightly contracted into the style, superior.
Style elongate , many times longer than the ovary.
Stigmas erect-conduplicate.

About seven years ago, when visiting a meeting of the "Deutsche Bromelien-Gesellschaft", we reviewed a plant from Andreas Boeker resembling Tillandsia divaricata Benth. (1846) (Tillandsia latifolia var. divaricata ( Benth. ) Mez, 1896), but it was less caulescent and showed darker gray-green leaves. Recently the plant flowered for the first time and seems to be closer to T. cerrateana L.B.Sm. (1955, subgen. Allardtia). This new species is a larger plant with the peduncle strongly curved to turn the inflorescence horizontal (erect in T. cerrateana) and has a sub-cylindrical inflorescence with the lower branches remote (dense and ovoid in T. cerrateana) and a much larger attractive amethyst coloured corolla. The branches are slightly divergent, but not at all secund, unlike Tillandsia divaricata, where the branches are turning sideways (second) from the primary bracts.
We provided several Tillandsia latifolia Meyen (1835) specimens from our Tillandsia collection at the University Utrecht Botanic Garden for molecular research of the T. latifolia complex (and Tillandsioideae in general). They were made by Michael Barfuss and colleagues in 2016.
These samples included a leaf of the type collection of this new species. The consensus tree clearly shows this species outside the T. latifolia clade (including T. divaricata), proving it to be unrelated to this group. T. cerrateana is not very common in collections and was not tested yet.

The epithet "ovatispicata" is a combination of "ovatus" (Lat. "egg-shaped") and "spicatus" (Lat. "bearing spikes"), so it means "bearing ovate spikes".

There are still several plants in collections that cannot be named because they do not fit any of the known named and described species. For example there were several imports of Tillandsia from a nursery in Peru, owned by Karel Knize, especially to Germany but also to the Netherlands. Though focussed on cacti, they collected and sold many Tillandsia sp. They were mainly collected by Juan Garcia, who could supply me with information about collecting localities of some of these plants. Unfortunately Juan Garcia died some time ago. Further information can be found in the description of Tillandsia cees-goudae (Gouda 2017). In this article two new species of Tillandsia are described and illustrated.

Updated 07/09/18