Vellozia semirii Mello-Silva & N.L.Menezes

Mello-Silva, Renato & Menezes, Nanuza Luiza De, 2014, Velloziaceae in honorem appellatae, Phytotaxa 175 (2), pp. 85-96: 89-91

publication ID 10.11646/phytotaxa.175.2.3

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Vellozia semirii Mello-Silva & N.L.Menezes

sp. nov.

Vellozia semirii Mello-Silva & N.L.Menezes   , sp. nov. ( Figs. 3 View FIGURE 3 , 5C View FIGURE 5 )

Vellozia semirii   is closely related to V. prolifera   from which it differs by absence of the disproportionately long branches associated with vegetative propagation and by the six to nine staminate androecium, which has no appendages.

Type:— BRAZIL. Minas Gerais: Gouveia, Contagem, às margens do córrego Contagem, nos sopés da extremidade norte da Serra do Indaial , fazenda de Júlio Caetano Rodrigues (vulgo Júlio Barbalho), ao lado sul da Fazenda Contagem, 31 Jan 2000 (fl, fr), Mello- Silva   & Forzza 1773 (holotype SPF!, isotypes, B!, BHCB, CTES, G, K!, L!, M!, MBM, NY, P, RB!, SP!, UEC, UB,   US).

Solitary, small ericoid herbs, sometimes caespitose when young, 6–28 cm tall. Stem much–branched, to 4–20 mm diam. at base and 2–3 mm diam. at apex. Leaves spirotristichous, straight, sheaths brown, cinereous at apex, the new ones ciliate at margins, the old ones entire, lamina 1.000 –4.000 (–6.000) × 0.005–0.01 cm, linear, conduplicate and semiterete at distal third when dry, glabrous, soon deciduous, the margins serrate towards apex and ciliate towards base. Flowers solitary; peduncles 1–4 cm long, trigonous, glabrous, becoming curved at fructification; hypanthium 2–5 mm long, 2–4 mm diam. at apex, obdeltoid to obovoid, sometimes oblong-obovoid, strong trigonous, alate, glabrous. Tepals 1.00–1.50 × 0.05–0.07 cm, elliptic, violet, glabrous. Stamens 6, filaments ca. 3 mm long, anthers ca. 3 mm long, yellow; staminal appendages absent; style ca. 1 cm long, stigma ca. 1.5 mm diam., trilobate. Capsule 5–10 mm long, 2–5 mm diam. at apex, stramineous, glabrous, sometimes minutely and laxly verruculous, dehiscent by apical large slits on the loculi. Seeds deep brown, reticulate-foveate.

Leaf anatomy:— Blade dorsiventral. Cuticle thin on both surfaces. Furrows absent. Stomata present on both surfaces. Epidermis uniseriate. Uniseriate hypodermis present on both surfaces. Mesophyll almost uniform, with a inconspicuous 3–4 cell-layers palisade mesophyll adaxially merging with lacunar mesophyll. Fibro-vascular bundles surrounded by a distinct endodermis. Large vessels, 1(–3), present in each fibro-vascular bundle. Phloem strands 2, Vshaped, separated beneath the xylem by parenchyma. Fibres extending as girders, adaxially to the palisade mesophyll and abaxially to hypodermis. Strands of subepidermal sclerified cells 1 cell-layer thick present beneath adaxial surface (all based on Menezes 1159, Mello-Silva 1769).

Habitat:— Bare (quartzite) rocky plains that accumulate sand and organic material in deeper places. Distribution:— Vellozia semirii   is found on the Diamantina Plateau   , central Minas Gerais State, forming large populations.

Etymology:— The species is named after João Semir, a general systematist from Universidade Estadual de Campinas. He has always been interested in Velloziaceae   and for many years has debated their classification with Nanuza Menezes   , with whom he has published ( Menezes & Semir 1990, 1991).

Observations:— Among species of Xerophytoides   group, V. semirii   mostly resembles V. prolifera   and can be distinguished by lacking the characteristic mode of vegetative propagation of V. prolifera   , whereby some of its branches become disproportionately long, as much as 1 m. Vellozia prolifera   has also staminal appendages and twelve-staminate flowers. By contrast, the flowers of V. semirii   lack the staminal appendages and are normally six staminate, although sometimes they can have nine stamens, one opposite each sepal and two opposite each petal. Nine staminate flowers is a condition not present in any other Velloziaceae   except for a few populations of V. hirsuta Goethart & Henrard   in Henrard (1937: 374, Mello-Silva 1990). The two stamens opposite the petals have different lengths, a situation similar to those species with one stamen opposite to each sepal and three opposite to each petal (e.g. V. everaldoi   , V. jolyi   and V. prolifera   ), in which the two lateral stamens are shorter than the central one. Also, V. giuliettiae   , and sometimes populations of V. minima Pohl (1828: 119   , Mello-Silva CFCR5400), exhibit the internal row of stamens shorter than the external one. These situations could indicate a possible evolutionary reduction in length before suppression of the lateral stamens ( Menezes 1980b, 1984, 1988), leading to the six-staminate flowers now present in most of the species of this group, e.g., V. abietina   , V. giuliettiae   , V. minima   , V. tragacantha (Martius ex Schultes & Schultes 1829: 290) Martius ex Seubert (1847: 75)   , and V. virgata Goethart & Henrard   (in Henrard 1937: 382). Vellozia semirii   has been found flowering and fruiting throughout the year, although more intensively during the hot, wet season.

Other Specimens Examined:— BRAZIL. Minas Gerais: Diamantina:margem da estrada Diamantina–Conselheiro Mata, 12 km de Diamantina , 30 August 1981 (fl), Giulietti , Semir , Menezes , Giulietti & Mattos CFCR1782 ( SPF)   ; Serro : estrada Datas–Serro , km 419, cabeceiras do rio Jequitinhonha , ca. 35 km de Datas , 6 September 1989 (fl, fr), Menezes & Souza CFCR12284, CFCR12290 ( SPF)   ; Gouveia : rodovia BR 259, elev. 1300 m, 21 January 1972 (fl, fr), Hatschbach, Smith & Ayensu 29081 ( K, MBM n.v.); estrada Curvelo–Diamantina , km 68, 14 December 1977 (fl, fr), Menezes 729, 731, 732, 734, 735 ( SPF)   ; Fazenda Contagem , km 6 da estrada da Fazenda, 14 December 1980 (fl, fr), Menezes, Cordeiro, Furlan, Pirani & Rodrigues 1085 ( G, K, RB, SP, SPF, UEC, US)     ; Fazenda Contagem, em cultivo no Departamento de Botânica da Universidade de São Paulo , 20 December 1980 (fl), Menezes s.n. ( SPF 33517 View Materials )   ; Fazenda Contagem , em cultivo no Departamento de Botânica da Universidade de São Paulo , 16 November 1981 (fl), Menezes 1159 ( SPF)   ; 23 km da cidade em direção a Curvelo , margem direita da rodovia BR 259, pouco antes da sede da Fazenda Contagem, 9 June 1991 (fr), Mello-Silva , Salatino , Salatino & Affonso 393 ( BHCB, K, SPF)   ; Fazenda Contagem , 1 February 1998 (fr), Menezes , Melo , Pita , Vitirti , Toshitake , Kitakawa & Pinna 1376 ( SPF)   ; 22.5 km ao sul de Gouveia, próximo à Fazenda Contagem , grande inselberg em frente à entrada da estrada para o Camilinho , ao lado da rodovia Gouveia – Curvelo ( BR 259)   , 31 January 2000 (fl, fr), Mello-Silva & Forzza 1769 ( B, CTES, G, MBM, MO, RB, SPF, UB)   ; ca. 23 km ao sul de Gouveia, 2,7 km em estrada vicinal saindo a leste da rodovia Gouveia – Curvelo ( BR 259)   , em frente à usina eólica, próximo a torre de repetição de TV, 31 January 2000 (fr), Mello- Silva   & Forzza 1771 ( F, HUEFS, L, SPF)   ; Contagem , Fazenda Galheiros , de Júlio Caetano Rodrigues (vulgo Júlio Barbalho ), ca. 3 km em estrada vicinal a leste da rodovia Gouveia – Curvelo ( BR 259)   , ao sul da fazenda Contagem , sopés da extremidade norte da Serra do Indaial , base de inselberg próximo ao Ribeirão da Contagem , 6 February 2009 (fl, fr), Mello-Silva & Sajo 3161 ( K, M, MBM, SPF)   ; Fazenda Contagem , sopés da extremidade norte da Serra do Indaial , base de inselberg próximo ao Ribeirão da Contagem , 18 ° 35’48.0’’S 43 ° 52’48.6’’W, elev. 1150 m, 24 January 2012, Mello-Silva, Alcantara, Lovo, Lima, Pinto, Nascimento & Sanches 3567 ( F, SPF) GoogleMaps   ; Contagem, estrada vicinal do Morro do Camelinho até mineradora de rochas, 2,9 km a partir da rodovia Curvelo – Gouveia ( BR 259)   , 18°35’53.8’’S 43°52’24.1’’W, elev. 1003 m, 11 January 2014 (fl, fr), Mello-Silva, Lovo & Cota 3648 ( SPF) GoogleMaps   GoogleMaps   .


Universidade de São Paulo


Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Zentraleinrichtung der Freien Universitaet


Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais


Instituto de Botánica del Nordeste


Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève


Royal Botanic Gardens


Nationaal Herbarium Nederland, Leiden University branch


Botanische Staatssammlung München


San Jose State University, Museum of Birds and Mammals


William and Lynda Steere Herbarium of the New York Botanical Garden


Museum National d' Histoire Naturelle, Paris (MNHN) - Vascular Plants


Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro


Instituto de Botânica


Universidade Estadual de Campinas


Laboratoire de Biostratigraphie


Missouri Botanical Garden


Centro de Estratigrafia e Paleobiologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa


Field Museum of Natural History, Botany Department


Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana