<- 15.1 ->

<- Alcantarea (E.Morren ex Mez) Harms.
(subtrib. Vrieseinae)

Publ: Bromélia; revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Bromélias 2(3): 15-23 (1995)

Number of species: 47

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Genus Notes:

Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 10: 802. 30 Dec 1929, based on Vriesea subg. Alcantarea E. Morren ex Mez in Mart., Fl. bras. 3(3): 516. 1 Feb 1894.
Lecto Type Tillandsia regina Vell., Fl. flumin. 136. 1829, designated here. Vriesea regina (Vell.) Beer, Fam. Bromel.: 97. Sep-Oct 1856 (‘1857’). Alcantarea regina (Vell.) Harms in Engler & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam. Ed. 2, 15a: 126. 1930. Since it is not clear how the two lectotypifications of Alcantarea by Smith should be interpreted, a new choice is made here. Smith (in ING Card No. 00035. 1 Oct 1955), mentioned the type of Alcantarea as “Vriesia imperialis E. Morren.” However, that name was never actually published by Morren himself. Smith & Downs (in Fl. Neotrop. 14: 1071. 1977), mentioned the type as “Vriesea imperialis E. Morren ex Mez in Martius, Fl. Bras 3(3): 516. 1894.” In this case, the problem is that this is a reference to the taxonomic key in Mez’ work, where V. imperialis is actually treated with full description on p. 568. Also, V. imperialis E. Morren ex Mez appears to be illegitimate because Mez placed into synonymy beneath it an already-existing, validly published species, V. gigantea Lem., Ill. Hort. 14: pl. 516. 1867 [= Alcantarea geniculata (Wawra) J.R. Grant, Trop. Subtrop. Pflanzenwelt 91: 13. 1995] [not V. gigantea Gaudich. ex Beer, Fam. Bromel.: 94. Sep-Oct 1856 (‘1857’); nor V. gigantea (Mart. ex Schult. & Schult.f.) Mez in Mart., Fl. Bras. 3(3): 566. 1894 == Werauhia gigantea (Mart. ex Schult. & Schult.f.) J.R. Grant, Trop. Subtrop. Pflanzenwelt 91: 31. 1995]. Compounding the problem of Vriesea imperialis E. Morren ex Mez is the existence of the previously published name Vriesea imperialis Carrière, Rev. Hort. 60: 58. 1888 (also cited by Smith & Downs in Fl. Neotrop. 14: 1268. 1977), of which Mez was apparently unaware.

The lectotypification here of Alcantarea is necessary because the previously accepted type of the genus, V. imperialis, is not an original element of Vriesea subg. Alcantarea. There are four species of Vriesea listed by Mez (in Mart. in Fl. bras. 3(3): 516 1894) from which to choose a lectotype: Vriesea geniculata, V. imperialis E. Morren ex Mez, V. regina, and V. vasta. Vriesea regina is chosen as the lectotype not only to avoid the problems surrounding Vriesea imperialis, but also to return to Morren’s circumscription of Alcantarea. Baker (at Kew) examined Morren’s collection of paintings and manuscripts (that had been sold to Kew) before that of Mez. See text under Canistrum. Baker (in Handb. Bromel.: 22. 1889) states regarding Vriesea regina: “It is the type of Morren’s subgenus Alcantarea, named after the Emperor of Brazil...”

Édouard Morren prepared a manuscript in which he planned to describe either the genus ‘Dalcantarea’, or Vriesea subg. ‘Dalcantarea’. However, in a letter dated 23 Dec 1882 to Morren, Swiss botanist Alphonse de Candolle (1806-1893) wrote: “ Par nommer un genre d’après l’Empereur du Brésil on doit certainnement supprimer le d’.” [To name a genus after the Emperor of Brazil, one must certainly eliminate the d.] So, taking de Candolle’s advice, Morren removed the “d” from his manuscripts, and used the name ‘Alcantarea’. Unfortunately, with Morren’s untimely death in 1886, the name went unpublished. Later, Carl Mez who like Baker studied the manuscripts, and published some of Morren’s ‘nomina inedita‘ [unpublished names], including Alcantarea.

Currently recognized in the subfam. Tillandsioideae. See Grant (in Bromélia 2: 24-26. 1996) and Luther (in Selbyana 18: 128. 1997). Named in honor of Dom Pedro II - Dom Pedro de Alcântara João Carlos Leopoldo Salvador Bibiano Francisco Xavier de Paulo Leocadio Miguel Gabriel Rafael Gonzaga (1825-1889), second Emperor of Brazil (1840-1889).

When the Committee for Spermatophyta determined that the name Alcantara is a homonym of Alcantarea (Brummitt in Taxon 43: 113-126. 1994) a new name for it was established as follows: Xerxes J.R. Grant, Nord. J. Bot. 14: 287. 1994, an avowed substitute for Alcantara Glaziou ex G.M. Barroso, Loefgrenia 36: 1. 15 Aug 1969 (Asteraceae), not Alcantarea (E. Morren ex Mez) Harms (1929) (Bromeliaceae).
(from Grant & Zijlstra 1998)