Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

  Annual herb, 1.5–25 cm tall. Roots fibrous, not very extensive. Stem branched at base, with reddish tint, with 4–6 prominent ribs decurrent from the leaf bases; interpetiolar stipules triangular, with abundant papillae on outside. Leaves opposite as well as 4 together higher up on the main branch under the inflorescence, 6–20 mm long, 2–5 mm wide, elliptic to ovate; secondary veins 4–6 pairs, arcuate, inconspicuous below and above, midrib raised below; base acute, with decurrent lamina; margin flat or slightly revolute, entire; apex obtuse; upper side with many short, transparent papilloid hairs, 0.1–0.3 mm long; lower side glabrous; petiole 1–2 mm long. Inflorescence variable, solitary (occasionally multiple), typically a one-sided cyme (rarely a simple cyme/dichasium or a single flower), unbranched, (1-)4–7-flowered, up to 28 mm long, without bracts or with 1–2 tiny bracts subtending flowers; peduncle 7–15 mm. Flowers actinomorphic, perfect, 5- (rarely 6-) merous. Calyx divided almost to base, green, persistent in fruit; lobes triangular, acuminate, 0.8–1.4 mm long, c. 0.3 mm wide, with slightly papillose margins. Corolla sympetalous, tubular, slightly widening towards mouth, 4–8 mm long, 2.5–3.0 mm wide at mouth, white with pink lobes, aestivation valvate with individual corolla lobes plicate in bud, lobes unfolded when open, closing after a short (8-hour) anthesis, later withering and deciduous; lobes triangular, 1.0–1.5 mm long, ca. 1 mm wide, erect, acute, with smooth margin. Stamens epipetalous and adnate to corolla up to middle of the tube, of equal length, included in corolla; filaments flattened; anthers 0.7–0.8 mm long, shallowly sagittate at base, truncate at apex. Ovary bicarpellate, bilocular, ovoid, ca. 0.4 mm tall, with truncate apex; style 3–6 mm long (including stigma), simple, articulated at 0.5–1.00 mm above the ovary, mostly dehiscent in fruit (except the persistent base); stigma simple, papillose, ‘brush-like' at the height of the anthers. Fruit a bilobed capsule, 1.5–2 mm tall, 2–3 mm wide; dehiscing septicidally, loculicidally and circumscissilly, leaving behind on the rachis a persistent, boat-shaped base with pointed tips (‘carpoatlas' in Fernández Casas' (2003) terminology); light brown, warty to papillose; with ca. 0.5 mm tall style remnant. Seeds brown, round, reticulate surface when dry, ca. 0.7–1 mm in diameter.
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© Alex V. Popovkin, Katherine G. Mathews, José Carlos Mendes Santos, M. Carmen Molina, Lena Struwe

Source: PhytoKeys

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Distribution

  This species is known from only two localities in northeastern Bahia (Brazil), about 30 km from the Atlantic coastline.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Alex V. Popovkin, Katherine G. Mathews, José Carlos Mendes Santos, M. Carmen Molina, Lena Struwe

Source: PhytoKeys

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Wikipedia

Spigelia genuflexa

Spigelia genuflexa is a species of annual herb of the family Loganiaceae from Bahia state, Brazil, which was described in 2011. It is unusual in that the stems bend down after flowering to deposit the seeds in the soil (geocarpy).

Description[edit]

Spigelia genuflexa shows two growth forms. In one, inflorescences are produced after the first three pairs of leaves, when the plant is around 1 centimetre (0.4 in) tall; in the other, four or five pairs of leaves precede the inflorescence, by which time the plant is 10–25 cm (4–10 in) tall.[1] The leaves are oppositely arranged, 6–20 mm (0.24–0.79 in) long and 2–5 mm (0.08–0.20 in) wide, and elliptic to ovate in shape. The inflorescences are composed of up to 7 flowers, and the corollas of the flowers are 4–8 mm (0.16–0.31 in) long.[1] The stems are somewhat red-coloured, and have 4 to 6 prominent ribs running down from the leaf bases.

Ecology[edit]

The short form of S. genuflexa in fruit, showing the geocarpy that gives it its name

Spigelia genuflexa grows in residual stands of Atlantic forest in the Rio do Negro valley in Bahia state (12°1′S 38°2′W / 12.017°S 38.033°W / -12.017; -38.033), at an altitude of 150 metres (490 ft), and about 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the Atlantic coast.[1] It flowers during the rainy season, and almost disappears during the dry season.[1] It is able to self-pollinate, with anthesis lasting less than a day. After pollination, the plant stem bends, and in the lower growth form, deposits the seeds in the soil; the taller growth form remains some distance above the soil surface.[1]

Taxonomy[edit]

Spigelia genuflexa was discovered on land owned by Alex Popovkin in 2009, by Popovkin's "house help" José Carlos Mendes Santos.[1] The specific epithet genuflexa is a reference to the plant's tendency to bend down after flowering, from the Latin genuflexus (cf. genuflexion).[1] The authors proposed that the species should be listed as Data Deficient according to the criteria of the IUCN Red List.[1] Popovkin is a Russian emigre and amateur botanist who has fulfilled a long-held dream to study plants in the tropics.[2] It is one of sixty species which make up the poorly-studied Neotropical genus Spigelia, but does not appear particularly close to any other species.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Alex V. Popovkin, Katherine G. Mathews, José Carlos Mendes Santos, M. Carmen Molina & Lena Struwe (2011). "Spigelia genuflexa (Loganiaceae), a new geocarpic species from the Atlantic forest of northeastern Bahia, Brazil". PhytoKeys 6: 47–65. doi:10.3897/phytokeys.6.1654. 
  2. ^ Alejandra Martins (September 23, 2011). "New species of genuflecting plant buries its own seeds". BBC News. Retrieved September 24, 2011. 
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