Saracha andina Rob.Fernandez, I.Revilla & E.Pariente, Rob. Fernandez, I. Revilla & E. Pariente, 2017

Fernandez-Hilario, Robin & Smith, Stacey D., 2017, A new species of Saracha (Solanaceae) from the Central Andes of Peru, PhytoKeys 85, pp. 31-43: 33-36

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Saracha andina Rob.Fernandez, I.Revilla & E.Pariente

sp. nov.

Saracha andina Rob.Fernandez, I.Revilla & E.Pariente   sp. nov. Figures 1 View Figure 1 , 2 View Figure 2

Saracha andina   affine S. punctata   Ruiz & Pav., sed foliis coriaceus parvus, corolla tubularis et bacca ovoideus differt.


PERÚ. Ayacucho: Prov. Lucanas, Dist. Ocaña, Centro Poblado San José de Tomate [CP Pachaca] - Sector Palca , 14°18'12.9"S, 74°45'33.11"W, 3700 m, 26 Jun 2015 (fl, fr), E. Pariente, R. Fernandez & L. Ríos 110 (holotype MOL; isotypes MOL, USM, HSP) GoogleMaps   .


Shrub to 2.5 m tall, widely branched from the base; younger stems, petioles and flowers pubescent with unbranched trichomes; older stems cylindrical, to 5 cm in diameter, finely striated, ash-colored; younger stems circular in cross section, 3-4.5 mm in diameter, dark, densely pubescent; internode 3-8 mm long; spines 0.9-1.5 cm long, 0.5-ca. 1 mm in diameter at the base. Leaves simple, alternate and spirally arranged, rarely geminate; petiole 2-3 (-5) mm long, planoconvex and slightly grooved, light green, moderately pubescent, but more densely so in the basal part; leaf blades (1.2-) 1.6-2.3 (-2.7) cm long, 0.6-1.4 cm wide, coriaceous, shiny, oblong to broadly elliptic, sometimes oblong-obovate, the apex obtuse, the base acute-attenuate, the margin entire and slightly revolute when dry, the adaxial surface dark green and glabrous, the abaxial surface light green with dispersed unbranched trichomes on the midrib, leaf blades concolorous when dry, the venation brochidodromus, inconspicuous, with (4-) 5-6 secondary veins. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, fascicled, with 1-2 flowers; buds ellipsoid, green with purple spots, densely pubescent. Flowers pendulous, hermaphroditic, actinomorphic; pedicels moderately pubescent, 23-27 mm long, 1-1.5 mm in diameter, green to dark purple; calyx narrowly campanulate, green to dark purple, 8.5-9.5 mm long, 4-5 mm wide, the outer surface moderately pubescent, the inner surface glabrous to minutely puberulent, the lobes 5, acute, 2-2.5 mm long, 3-3.5 mm wide, tomentose at the apex; corolla tubular, yellow at anthesis, sometimes tinged blue or purple, 25-35 mm long, 8-10 mm in diameter, the base slightly narrowed, 4-6 mm in diameter, the inner surface pubescent at the base, the outer surface densely pubescent with uniformly dispersed unbranched trichomes, the lobes 5, acute, 2-2.4 mm long, 4-6 mm wide; stamens 5, equal, filaments, white, flat tened, adnate to the base of the corolla, 25-28 mm long, densely pubescent at the base, becoming glabrous at the apex; anthers oblong, 4.5-5.5 mm long, 2-3 mm wide, basifixed, with longitudinal dehiscence, the connective 4-4.5 mm long; ovary conical and glabrous, 3-3.5 mm long, 2-2.5 mm in diameter at the base; style glabrous, 17.5-18 mm long, ca. 0.5 mm wide; stigma clavate, 0.5 mm long, ca. 0.7 mm wide. Fruit a berry, ovoid and apiculate, black at maturity, 10-13 mm long, 7-8 mm in diameter, the tip 1-1.5 mm long; fruiting calyx slightly accrescent, 5-7 mm long; fruiting pedicels puberulent to moderately pubescent. Seeds not seen.

Distribution and habitat.

Saracha andina   is a shrub endemic to the scrub and relict forests in the central Andes of Peru (Depts. Ayacucho, Huancavelica and Lima) at over 3500 to 4000 m in elevation (Fig. 2 View Figure 2 ). Saracha andina   grows in stony areas, on slight to moderate slopes, and near creeks. Populations of this species in the Ayacucho region have been recorded to occur in relict forest with a maximum height from 4 to 5 meters dominated by Polylepis microphylla   (Wedd.) Bitter and accompanied by Escallonia myrtilloides   L.f., sharing the understory with Berberis lutea   Ruiz & Pav. and Hesperomeles obtusifolia   (Pers.) Lindl.


Flowering and fruiting from June to September. Characteristics of the flower suggest pollination by hummingbirds ( Faegri and van der Pijil 1979). In the forest where S. andina   was collected, we observed hummingbirds such as Metallura phoebe   and Oreotrochilus estella   , common species in relict forests of “Queñuales” ( Servat at al. 2002). These birds may be pollinators of this new species.

Common name and uses.

In Pachaca (Dept. Ayacucho) it is commonly known as “checc-ches” in where the native people mention that strong and straight branches had been used for yarning wool (pers. comm.).

Conservation status.

According to the IUCN Red List Categories ( IUCN 2012), S. andina   is classified as Endangered [EN (B1biii)]. The extent of occupancy is estimated to be less than 1,000 sqkm. Furthermore, no population of S. andina   currently grows in any protected area and the relict forests where it lives have been reduced as result of increasing anthropogenic pressure. In this context, S. andina   populations are highly susceptible to processes of fragmentation and degradation in short term.

Additional specimens examined.

PERÚ. Ayacucho, Prov. Lucanas, Dist. Ocaña: Centro Poblado de Pachaca, Sector Palca , 14°18'12.9"S, 74°45'33.11"W, 3700 m, 26 Jun 2015 (fl, fr), R. Fernandez et al. 973 (HSP, MOL); Carretera Palpa-Laramate-Pachaca, ca. 3 km past Pachaca toward el puno, 14°18'12.06"S, 74°45'33.08"W, 3750 m, 09 Jul 2016 (fl), S. Smith & R. Fernandez 594 (COLO, F, MO, USM) GoogleMaps   ; Huancavelica, Prov. Huaytará, Dist. Huaytará: Ruinas de Incahuasi , 13°34'25.77"S, 75°15'14.33"W, 3798 m, 15 Aug 2014 (fl, fr), P. Gonzáles et al. 3385 (USM); Carretera Los Libertadores, km. 130, pasando el puente Yuraccasa, 13°34'53.07"S, 75°16'42.96"W, 3800-3850 m, 26 Jun 2001 (fl), J. Roque & C. Arana 3309 (USM); Puente Mollepallana on road Pisco-Ayacucho, 3900-4000 m, 29 Sep 1997 (fl), M. Weigend & H. Forther 97/604 (USM) GoogleMaps   ; Lima, Prov. Canta: Acacay, cerca a Huacoy, 29 Jul 1960 (fl), C. Acleto 207 (USM); Ruta Canta-Obrajillo-Huacos, catarata Ongongoy , ca. 2 km NE de Huacos, 11°23'57.41"S, 76°36'11.70"W, 3900 m, 11 Jul 2016 (fl), S. Smith 596 (COLO, MO, MOL, USM); Lachaqui, cuesta de Yacanhuana, 3800 m, 27 Mar 1973 (fl), G. Vilcapoma 188 (MOL, USM); Lachaqui, camino a Quinana, 3900 m, 02 Feb 1979 (fl), G. Vilcapoma 302 (MOL, USM); Huacos , catarata de Ongongoy, 3500 m, 09 Sep 2001 (fl), G. Vilcapoma 5564 (MOL, USM) GoogleMaps   .


Saracha andina   differs from other species of the genus in its small oblong to broadly elliptic leaves 12-27 × 6-14 mm with inconspicuous nerves and tubular flowers 33.5-35 mm long. In contrast, S. punctata   has elliptic leaves 20-150 × 8-60 mm and widely campanulate flowers, and S. quitensis   has shorter tubular to infundibuliform flowers 12-26 mm long (Figure 3 View Figure 3 ). Among other members of the subtribe Iochrominae   sensu Olmstead et al. (1999, 2008), S. andina   is perhaps most easily confused with species of Dunalia   , many of which have tubular flowers of similar length and the plants are spiny (see discussion in D’Arcy and Smith 1987). Nonetheless, species of Dunalia   have a diagnostic pair of appendages on either side of the filament base ( “stapet”) ( Hunziker 1960, 2001), and sometimes the leaves clustered on short shoots but they lack the conspicuous coriaceous leaves of Saracha   .