Capsicum ceratocalyx M.Nee, Brittonia 58 (4): 326. 2006.

Barboza, Gloria E., Garcia, Carolina Carrizo, Bianchetti, Luciano de Bem, Romero, Maria V. & Scaldaferro, Marisel, 2022, Monograph of wild and cultivated chili peppers (Capsicum L., Solanaceae), PhytoKeys 200, pp. 1-423 : 1

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Capsicum ceratocalyx M.Nee, Brittonia 58 (4): 326. 2006.


9. Capsicum ceratocalyx M.Nee, Brittonia 58 (4): 326. 2006.

Fig. 44 View Figure 44


Bolivia. La Paz: Prov. Sud Yungas: 7.5 km (by road) from Huancané on road to San Isidro , 16°21'S, 067°30'W, 2225 m elev., 10 May 2001, M. Nee, L. Bohs, S. Knapp & J.M. Mendoza F. 51778 (holotype: LPB [LPB0003514]; isotypes: CORD [CORD00004289], MO [MO-2078805, acc. # 5959885], NY [01085523], USZ) GoogleMaps .


Erect shrubs 0.80-3 m tall, much branched above. Young stems angled, green, glabrous to sparsely pubescent, with antrorse, curved, simple, uniseriate, 2-4 (-5)-celled, eglandular trichomes 0.09-0.5 mm long; nodes solid, green; bark of older stems brown, glabrous; lenticels absent. Sympodial units difoliate, the leaves geminate; leaf pair markedly unequal in size, similar in shape. Leaves coriaceous, slightly discolorous, glabrescent on both sides with sparse eglandular trichomes similar to the ones of the stems, mainly along the mid-vein abaxially; blades of major leaves 10-22 cm long, 4-7 cm wide, elliptic, the major veins 6-7 on each side of mid-vein, the base attenuate and unequal, the margin slightly revolute, the apex long-acuminate; petioles 1-2 (-3) cm long, glabrous; blades of minor leaves (3-) 5.5-7.5 cm long, 2-2.7 cm wide, elliptic, the major veins 3-4 on each side of mid-vein, the base short-attenuate, the margin slightly revolute, the apex acute; petioles 0.5-0.6 cm long, glabrous. Inflorescences axillary, congested, (4-) 8-10 (-12) flowers on a short rachis; flowering pedicels 10-23 mm long, strongly angled and nearly winged, erect, geniculate at anthesis, green, glabrous; pedicels scars prominent and corky. Buds ovoid, yellow. Flowers 5-merous. Calyx 1.8-2 mm long, ca. 3 mm wide, cup-shaped, slightly 5-nerved, sparsely pubescent, with the same antrorse eglandular trichomes of the young stems and small glandular trichomes (stalk unicellular; head multicellular), the calyx appendages (3-) 5, 0.25-2.5 mm long, subequal, thick, notoriously incurved, spreading, flattened laterally, glabrescent, inserted close to the margin. Corolla 6-8.5 mm long, ca. 5 mm in diameter, yellow with green spots within, stellate to broadly campanulate with interpetalar membrane, lobed nearly or more than the halfway to the base, the tube 3-4 mm long, pubescent adaxially with sparse glandular trichomes (stalk uni-bicellular; head unicellular), glabrous abaxially, the lobes 3.2-3.7 mm long, 2-3 mm wide, triangular, erect, glabrous adaxially and abaxially, the margins involute, the tips acute, papillate. Stamens five, equal; filaments 1-2 mm long, inserted on the corolla 1-1.5 mm from the base, with auricles fused to the corolla at the point of insertion; anthers 1.4-1.8 mm long, ovoid, not connivent at anthesis. Gynoecium with ovary 1.8-2 mm long, 1.3-1.5 mm wide, ovoid; ovules more than two per locule; nectary ca. 0.3 mm tall; styles homomorphic, 5.8-6.5 mm, clavate; stigma 0.1-0.2 mm long, ca. 0.5 mm wide, discoid. Berry 8-11 mm in diameter, globose, slightly flattened at the apex, green when immature, bright red at maturity, persistent, pungent, the pericarp thick, opaque, with giant cells (endocarp alveolate); stone cells absent; fruiting pedicels (15-) 25-30 mm long, erect, conspicuously angled, winged and widened distally; fruiting calyx 3-5 (-7) mm in diameter, persistent, not accrescent, discoid, the appendages 2-5 mm long, incurved. Seeds 13-26 per fruit, 4-5 mm long, (2.6-) 3-4 mm wide, C-shaped or teardrop-shaped, brownish-yellow to brown, the seed coat reticulate (SM), reticulate-cerebelloid (SEM), the cells irregular in shape, the lateral walls strongly sinuate in the seed body, wavy at margins to nearly straight near hilum; embryo coiled.


Capsicum ceratocalyx is endemic to the Bolivian Departments of La Paz and Cochabamba (Fig. 41 View Figure 41 ).


Capsicum ceratocalyx is known from few collections, all from moist montane forest (Yungas) with little disturbance, between 700 and 2,500 m elevation.


Flowering and fruiting from November to July.

Chromosome number.

Not known.

Common names.

None recorded.


None recorded.

Preliminary conservation assessment.

EOO (3,612.392 km2); AOO (32 km2). Capsicum ceratocalyx is an endemic with relatively small EOO and AOO from the montane forests of the Bolivian Yungas, an ecoregion that deserves urgent special conservation efforts ( Mueller et al. 2002). The few collections (9) come from unprotected areas and the populations are threatened by expanding agriculture. For these reasons, it is assigned a status of Endangered (EN; B1ab(iii,iv)).


Capsicum ceratocalyx has been assigned to the Bolivian clade ( Carrizo García et al. 2016; Barboza et al. 2019), with C. minutiflorum as its sister species. Capsicum ceratocalyx is a poorly known component of the mid-altitudes of the Bolivian Yungas. It has large coriaceous leaves, a calyx with 3-5 incurved and spreading appendages, yellow corollas and winged fruiting pedicels. The affinities of this species need to be further studied, since new preliminary data, based on genome-wide DNA sequences, suggest this species may form an isolated lineage (CCG, pers. obs.).

Specimens examined.

See Suppl. material 4: Appendix 4.