Cipuropsis elata (Baker) Kessous

Kessous, Igor M. & Costa, Andrea F., 2023, Novelties in “ incertae sedis ” Vriesea (Bromeliaceae: Tillandsioideae): Redescriptions, new combinations and nomenclatural revision, Phytotaxa 585 (2), pp. 71-101 : 75-76

publication ID 10.11646/phytotaxa.585.2.1


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Cipuropsis elata (Baker) Kessous


1.2 Cipuropsis elata (Baker) Kessous & A.F.Costa, comb. nov. ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 )

Basionym: — Tillandsia elata Baker (1888: 46) View in CoL . Type: — COLOMBIA. Magdalena: Valle Dupar, Santa Marta , Purdie s.n. (lectotype K322035 ! [hic designatus], isolectotypes K322036 !, E247946 ! [hic designatus]).

Vriesea elata (Baker) Smith (1955: 288) View in CoL .

= Tillandsia exaltata Mez (1896: 766) View in CoL . Type: — COLOMBIA. Antioquia, Amalfi , 1600–2000 m elev., 23 September 1884, Lehmann XXV (holotype G!, isotypes US!, BM!, B!, LE!).

= Tillandsia excelsa Mez (1896: 766) View in CoL . nom. illeg. et nud. pro syn.

Description:—Plant terrestrial or epiphytic,flowering 1−2 m high. Leaves ca. 20 in number, forming an infundibuliform rosette; sheath oblong-elliptic, 15−32 × 6−15 cm, green, densely lepidote on both surfaces; blade linear-oblong, 30−85 × 3.5−7 cm, green, apex acute, densely lepidote on the adaxial surface, sparsely on the abaxial surface. Inflorescence compound, generally twice-branched, or rarely once-branched, multi-flowered, usually>200, 80–190 cm long, erect; peduncle erect, ca. 85 cm long and 7–10 mm in diameter, glabrous; peduncle bracts erect, generally imbricate, oblong-elliptic, 8–12 × 2–4 cm, dark red, sparsely lepidote on both surfaces; main axis straight, 50–80 cm long and 2.5–7.5 mm in diameter, glabrous; primary bracts narrowly oblong to narrowly ovate, 34–85 × 14–20 mm, reddish, inconspicuously lepidote on the adaxial surface, sparsely lepidote and lustrous on the abaxial surface; branches 20–25 in number (including the terminal one), with 3–8 spikes per branch, 12–28 cm, in an angle of (30º–) 45º (–90º) to the main axis; primary axis straight or slightly sinuous, (5–) 10–17 cm long and 1.5–3 mm in diameter; secondary bracts narrowly oblong, 30–40 × 10 mm, reddish, inconspicuously lepidote on the adaxial surface, sparsely lepidote and lustrous on the abaxial surface; spikes bearing 8–20 flowers, complanate; rachis geniculate, 10–40 mm long and 1.5–2 mm in diameter. Floral bracts oblong, acute or apiculate, 20–25 × 10 mm, carinate at the apex, red or red with white apex, exceeding the sepals, lepidote on the adaxial surface and glabrous and lustrous on the abaxial surface. Flowers 28–30 mm long, 3–5 mm apart, distichous, suberect, corolla tubular except distally; sepals narrowly ovate, 14–23 × 5–5.5 mm, free, ecarinate, symmetric, lepidote on the adaxial surface, glabrous and lustrous on the abaxial surface, cream; petals ca. 21–25 × 3–5.5 mm, white, blade recurvate, bearing two appendages at the base; petal appendages ca. 8 × 1 mm, adnate to the base of the petals for 4–6.5 mm, entire, the free lobe rounded; stamens included; filament ca. 15 mm long; anther ca. 4 × 0.8 mm, erect; pistil, shorter than the stamens; ovary conical, 5–6 × 2 mm; style 14–25 mm long, slender; stigma simple-erect. Fruits fusiform, suberect, 20–25 mm; seeds including coma ca. 15 mm long, apical coma ca. 0.3 mm and basal coma 9–12 mm.

Distribution: —This species occurs as epiphytic or terrestrial on moist sandstone banks, especially in Colombia, ca. 1,200 –2,100 m above sea level. A few individuals have been found in Venezuela.

Taxonomic and nomenclatural notes: —The combination of the following characters: simple-erect stigma (vs. convolute-bladed in Vriesea ), white petals (vs. rarely white in Vriesea ), and the short apical coma of the seeds (vs. a conspicuous apical coma) lead us to propose this combination in Cipuropsis , as suggested by Barfuss et al. (2016) and Machado et al. (2020). In addition, the geographical distribution (northern and western South America) of this taxon is similar to the occurrence of the other Cipuropsis species.

Baker (1888) did not cite the herbarium location of the type or which specimen/sheet is the holotype. In herbarium K the specimens (K322035 and K322036) Purdie s.n. are annotated as lectotype and isolectotype by Walter Till (label of March 7th, 1983). However, the lectotypification was not validly published (according to the Shenzhen code, Turland et al. 2018, Art. 7.10). Thus, we designate these specimens as lectotype and isolectotype (according to the Shenzhen code, Turland et al. 2018, Art. 9.3, see Art.7, Note 2, Ex. 13) and as previously suggested by Till.

We also noted nomenclatural problems associated with the synonyms of this taxon. Mez (1896) cited Tillandsia excelsa Mez (citing Wittmack [1890] as the author) as a synonym of Tillandsia exaltata Mez. However, Wittmack (1890) did not mention the name T. excelsa . Thus, this name is considered a nomen nudum (according to Art. 38 of the Shenzhen code, Turland et al. 2018). In addition, the name Tillandsia excelsa Mez is a later homonym of Tillandsia excelsa Grisebach (Fl. Brit. W. I. 597, 1864), considered an illegitimate name (according to Art. 53, Turland et al. 2018). In addition to the specimens analyzed to place this taxon, we used a flower dissection by E.J. Gouda at the Utrecht University Botanic Gardens (Accession: 2016GR00718 [U]) and the plate of Niesler (2016).

Etymology: —The specific epithet “ elata ” refers to the large size of the plants.

Representative Specimens Examined: — COLOMBIA. Unknown locality, Peter Bak s.n., fl. in. cult., April 1985, Leme 743 ( RB670676 ) ; Magdalena: Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, 2 October 1972, Kirkbride Jr. 2345 (US) ; Antioquia, San Luís, Piedra de Castrillón , 3–4 hours on foot S of town. 1,500–1,700 m elev. 6 o 01’N, 75 o 01’W, 8 May 1989, Daly & Betancur 5884 (US, NY) GoogleMaps ; Antioquia, San Luís, Piedra de Castrillón , Ladera Oriental , bosque nublado periodicamente, 1,300 –1,700 m.s.n.m. bmh-PM., 74 o 59.74’ Long. W; 6 o 4.30’ Lat. N, 17 September 1988, Betancur et al. 689 (US) GoogleMaps ; Caquetá: Cordillera Oriental , vertiente Oriental , Quebrada del Río Hacha , bosque abierto en Cajón de Pulido , 1,700 m, 26 March 1940, Cuatrecasas 8783 ( COL) ; Santander: Floridablanca, Sitio El Mortiño , carretera Bucaramanga-Cúcuta , kilómetro 21, 7°7’46”N, 73°3’0”W, 1,700–2,060 m elev., 21 June 2004, Betancur et al. 10785 ( COL) GoogleMaps ; Putumayo, Peter Tristram s.n. accession nr. 2016 GR00718 ( U). VENEZUELA. Bolivar. Entre Las Parchitas, Tierra Fria y Ojo de Agua, 10°20’ Lat. N. y 68°57’ Long. O. En selvas altas siempreverdes y selvas nubladas, a 1,500 – 1,600 msnm., 18 February 1985, Ortega & Smith 2485 ( W). GoogleMaps


Department of Botany, Swedish Museum of Natural History


Nanjing University


Universidad Nacional de Colombia


Nationaal Herbarium Nederland


Botanical Museum - University of Oslo


Naturhistorisches Museum Wien














Cipuropsis elata (Baker) Kessous

Kessous, Igor M. & Costa, Andrea F. 2023

Tillandsia exaltata Mez (1896: 766)

Mez, C. C. 1896: )

Tillandsia excelsa

Mez, C. C. 1896: )
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