New(ish) Additions to the Poreleaf Family.

Porophyllum spathulatum (Asteraceae: Tageteae), a new species from the southern Brazilian coast. It is known to occur only in Balneário Hermenegildo, Santa Vitória do Palmar, Rio Grande do Sul, southernmost Brazil. This plant is considered “critically endangered” (Carniero etal 2014). As of 2014 the entire population of this plant was known to be composed of only 21 individuals. This species of poreleaf differs from its relatives in that it has s decumbent (1) growth habit and an unusual leaf shape.

  1. A plant growth habit characterized by stems or branches lying, trailing or growing on the ground from a horizontal or inclined base, but the growing tips/shoots are curved upright.

Nakajima (2013) recognizes seven species of Porophyllum in Brazil.

The porophyllum genus has its centre of distribution (and probably centre of origin) in Mexico or Central America and extends northward into the southwestern USA and southward to northern Argentina (Johnson 1969).

Porophyllums are typically classified as either slender leaved or broad leaved varieties. Broad leaved varieties include P.ruderale, P.coloratum, P.punctatum and P.macrocephalum. Slender leaved varieties include P.tagetoides, P.gracile and P.linaria.

Porophyllum spathulatum differs in another key way from the typical poreleafs as its leaves are spatulate (1) in nature.

  1. Spatulate – A botanical term meaning “spreading” or “trowel-shaped”. The leaves are shaped like a small spatula: oblong, with an extended basal part

Broad leaved varieties

Slender leaved varieties

P.spathulatum for comparison

Porophyllum pygmaeum plant in flower (Photographer: Jim Morefield)

Porophyllum pygmaeum (Asteraceae), a Distinctive New Species from Southern Nevada

Porophyllum pygmaeum is rare and is known only from the southern portion of the broad dry valley between the Desert Range and the Sheep Range in the Desert National Wildlife Range, Clark County, Nevada. Plants of P. pygmaeum are inconspicuous and easily overlooked, even at close range, except when they are in flower

Porophyllum bahiense

Porophyllum bahiense is a new species of Porophyllum from Bahia, Brazil and is named after the Brazilian State in which it is found . Much like its cousins this plant is rich in volatile oils and is described as a “pungent smelling sub-shrub”. The habitat of this plant is “extremely” threatened due environmental destruction and unsustainable livestock grazing practices.

P.bahiense is quite similar to another less well known poreleaf from Brazil, Porophyllum angustissimum.

Parque Nacional da Chapada dos Veadeiros, Alto Paraíso, Goiás, Brasil.
Photo by Mauricio Mercadante via Flikr

Porophyllum curticeps

P.curticeps. Another Brazilian poreleaf. One of it’s synonyms is P.lanceolatum but the leaf structure of these two plants is very different. P.lanceolatum is a narrow leaved variety whilst P.curticeps leaves are more similar (in my eye) as those of Porophyllum punctatum.

P.punctatum leaf
P.lanceolatum leaf

Porophyllum woodii (Compositae: Heliantheae: Pectidinae), a new species from Prov. Burnet O’Connor, Departamento de Tarija, Bolivia. This new species is distinctive in that it is apparently the largest shrubby species of poreleaf in South America, with flowering plants up to 1.5 m tall

Porophyllum woodii on a steep slope of lateritic soil on the roadside between Palos
Blancos and Entre Ríos, Dept. Tarija, Bolivia. PHOTO: HIND 2020)
P.woodii leaf detail, showing the oil glands typical to this species. (Hind 2020)

Porophyllum cabrerae, A New Species of narrow leaved poreleaf (Compositae: Heliantheae) presently only known from near Cachi, Provincia da Salta, northern Argentina

This species is named after a synantherologist (1) and collector of the plant, the late Prof. Angel Cabrera.

  1. Synantherology is a branch of botany that deals with the study of the plant family Asteraceae (also called Compositae). The name of the field refers to the fused anthers possessed by members of the family, and recalls an old French name, synantherées, for the family.

  • Carneiro, C.R & Ritter, M.J. A tribo Tageteae (Asteraceae) no sul do Brasil. Iheringia, Série Botânica, Porto Alegre, 73(2):114-134, 31 de agosto de 2018.
  • Carneiro, Camila & Schneider, Angelo & Ritter, Mara. (2014). Porophyllum spathulatum (Asteraceae: Tageteae), a new species from the southern Brazilian coast. Phytotaxa. 173. 157-162. 10.11646/phytotaxa.173.2.6.
  • D. J. N. Hind (2002). A New Species of Porophyllum (Compositae: Heliantheae) from Bahia, Brazil. Kew Bulletin, 57(3), 705–709. doi:10.2307/4111003
  • Hind, D.J.N. Porophyllum woodii (Compositae: Heliantheae: Pectidinae), a new species from Prov. Burnet O’Connor, Departamento de Tarija, Bolivia. Kew Bull 75, 61 (2020).
  • D. J. N. Hind (2000). A New Species of Porophyllum (Compositae: Heliantheae) from Argentina. Kew Bulletin, 55(2), 387–391. doi:10.2307/4115650
  • Johnson, R.R. (1969) Monograph of the Plant Genus Porophyllum (Compositae-Helenieae). The University of Kansas Science Bulletin 48(7): 225–267.
  • Keil, David & Morefield, James. (1989). Porophyllum pygmaeum (Asteraceae), a Distinctive New Species from Southern Nevada. Biological Sciences. 14. 10.2307/2419003.
  • Nakajima, J. M. (2010). Porophyllum. In: Organização R. C. Forrza et al., Catálogo de plantas e fungos do Brasil, pp. 732 – 733. Andrea Jakobsson Estúdio, & Instituto de Pesquisas, Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro.
  • Nakajima, J. (2013) Porophyllum in Lista de Espécies da Flora do Brasil. Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro.


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