focus on... New geophytic Peperomias
For a long time geophytic Peperomias have been considered as a rather small subgenus (Tildenia). Field work and extended study of herbarium specimens revealed that this group includes a lot more variety than initially thought. The description of 25 new species in the last decades almost doubled the number of known Tildenia species.
Geophytic Peperomias (only showing above ground parts in the rainy season and storing reserves in an underground tuber to survive the dry period) occur in two ‘hot spots’ (one in Mexico-Guatemala, the other one in Peru-Bolivia) with a limited number of species occurring in between. New species described from the Mexico-Guatemala area are Peperomia albonervosa, P. basiradicans, P. cavispicata, P. elatior, P. exclamationis, P. occulta, P. putlaensis, P. questionis, and P. tepoztecoana.
From Peru-Bolivia are described: P. ayacuchoana, P. cerrateae, P. gigantea, P. jalcaensis, P. klopfensteinii, P. ocrosensis, P. pseudoverruculosa, P. pugnicaudex, P. purpureonervosa, P. querocochana, P. radiatinervosa, P. wernerrauhii, P. umbrosa.
From the area in between those ‘hot spots’ three species are described: P. paramuna (Costa Rica), P. toledoana (Belize) and P. unifoliata (Costa Rica).
In addition, three former varieties have been raised to species rank, resulting in: P. ampla, P. lilliputiana and P. pseudoperuviana.
More pictures in the TRGP.
G. Mathieu, L. Symmank, R. Callejas, S. Wanke, C. Neinhuis, P. Goetghebeur, M.-S. Samain. New geophytic Peperomia (Piperaceae) species from Mexico, Belize and Costa Rica. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 82: 357-382 (2011) [pdf].
M.-S. Samain, G. Mathieu, G. Pino, L. Symmank, N. Cieza, C. Neinhuis, P. Goetghebeur, S. Wanke. The geophytic Peperomia subgenus Tildenia (Piperaceae) in the Andes with the description of new species in a phylogenetic framework. Plant Ecology and Evolution 144 (2): 148-176 (2011) [pdf].