Werauhia talamancana Cascante & J. F. Morales

Cascante-Marín, Alfredo & Morales, J. Francisco, 2021, A new species of Werauhia (Bromeliaceae, Tillandsioideae) from the highlands of southern Central America, Phytotaxa 523 (3), pp. 254-258: 255-257

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http://doi.org/ 10.11646/phytotaxa.523.3.6



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scientific name

Werauhia talamancana Cascante & J. F. Morales

sp. nov.

Werauhia talamancana Cascante & J. F. Morales   , sp. nov. ( Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 ).

Diagnosis: — Werauhia talamancana   is morphologically similar to W. brunei   in its simple spicate inflorescence with smooth and lustrous floral bracts that are distichous (not secund) at anthesis. The new species differs from W. brunei   in having larger flowers with longer petals (5.3–6.0 vs. 4.0– 4.5 cm) and longer stamens (4.0–5.0 vs. 3.6–3.7 cm). The lower peduncle bracts in W. talamancana   are foliose and longer, compared to the non-foliose and shorter peduncle bracts of W. brunei   . Also, the floral bracts of the new species are usually brown-maroon at anthesis as opposed to light green in W. brunei   .

Type:— COSTA RICA. San José: Jardín, Dota. Cordillera de Talamanca , sector del Cerro de la Muerte, carretera interamericana sur. Área no protegida. Fragmento de bosque a aprox. 0.5 Km S   de intersección de El Empalme. Bosque muy húmedo montano bajo. 9°42’47.8” N, 83°56’58.3” W, 2380 m; 12 February 2021 (fl.), Cascante-Marín 2935 (Holotype: USJ!, Isotype: CR!) GoogleMaps   .

Plants epiphytic, acaulescent, solitary (forming a single rosette), (40-) 50–65 cm in diameter, 30–35 cm tall. Leaves rosulate, (13-) 17–24 per rosette, forming a water compounding tank; sheath elliptic, 9–15 cm long, 5.5–7.5 cm wide, adaxially whitish-cream, sometimes tinged with magenta, with a dark-brown horizontal band at the base abaxially, lepidote on both surfaces; blade ligulate, recurved, with attenuate apex, (31–) 37–55 cm long, 3.5–4.3 cm wide, inconspicuously punctulate-lepidote on both sides, concolorous green. Inflorescence terminal, simple; peduncle curved to nearly horizontal, 25–33 cm long, 8–9 mm in diameter, hidden by its bracts; peduncle bracts foliose, imbricate, decreasing in size toward the apex, green, the upper ones tinged with brown-maroon, punctulate-lepidote; its sheath 4.5–5.5 cm long (lower ones), 3.5–4.0 cm long (upper ones); its blade narrowly triangular-attenuate, 15–30 cm long (lower ones), 5–8.5 cm long (upper ones). Spike narrowly sub-oblong at anthesis, flattened, erecto-patent to nearly horizontal, 13–18 cm long, 4–4.7 cm wide, 7–9 flowered, rachis hidden by the bracts; floral bracts ovate, 5.5–6 cm long, 3.2–4.4 cm wide (when extended and flattened), 3–4 times longer than the internodes, lustrous, slightly nerved (when dry), sparsely punctulate-lepidote, ecarinate, strongly imbricate, not secund with the flowers at anthesis, thin coriaceous, tinged with or completely brown-maroon on the upper side, light-green on the lower side, but turning green on both sides when fruiting. Flowers slightly zygomorphic, nocturnal, downward secund at anthesis; pedicel stout, white, ca. 9 mm long, ca. 8 mm in diameter; sepals free, ovate, chartaceous, cymbiform, 3.4–3.7 cm long, 1.6–1.9 cm wide when flattened, ecarinate, whitish-green, lustrous, glabrous; petals free, narrowly obovate, white, 5.3–6.2 cm long, 2–2.4 cm wide when extended and flattened, bearing two appendages at the base; appendages subspatulate, 11–13 mm long, ca. 3 mm wide, basally adnate to the petal, apex dactyloid-dentate; stamens subequal, shorter than the petals; filaments free, linear, flat, 3.6–4.2 cm long, white; anthers dorsifixed near the base, yellow, oblong, 8-9 mm long, arranged at the upper part of the corolla at anthesis; ovary superior, conical, white, ca. 10 mm long, style white, 3–3.5 cm long; stigma 3-lobed, cupulate, ca. 3 mm in diameter, equaling the anthers. Capsule ellipsoid, blackish, lustrous, 3.8–4.2 cm long, ca. 1.2 cm in diameter, apiculate. Seeds with a plumose white appendage, not measured.

Additional specimens examined (paratypes):— COSTA RICA. Type locality. 15 February 2017 (fl.), Cascante-Marín et al. 2652 ( USJ) GoogleMaps   ; –, 31 January 2018 (fl.), Cascante-Marín & Trejos 2735 ( USJ) GoogleMaps   ; –, 11 May 2018 (fl.), Cascante-Marín & Trejos 2769 ( USJ) GoogleMaps   ; –, 13 Setember 2018 (fr.), Cascante-Marín & Trejos 2800 ( USJ) GoogleMaps   ; Limón, Talamanca. P. N. Cordillera de Talamanca, flanco NE y cumbre Cerro Biricuacua, entre Ujarrás y San José Cabécar . 9°23’55” N, 83°10’10” W, 2600 m; 6April 1993 (fl.), Herrera & Gamboa 6218 ( CR). GoogleMaps   PANAMÁ. Chiriquí: cerro Punta, falda NO, camino desde Finca Drácula hacia el último lodge dentro del Parque , 10 August 2006 (fl), Morales & Santamaría 14625 ( CR) GoogleMaps   .

Distribution and habitat: —Highlands of the Talamanca mountain range in Costa Rica and Panama,between 2380 and 2600 m asl elevation. At the type locality, plants of this new epiphytic bromeliad are growing in the lower canopy of mixed oak forests in a very humid environment. The vegetation is classified as Very Humid Lower Montane Forest according to Holdridge’s Life Zones System ( Bolaños & Watson 1993). Other species in the bromeliad community were the sympatric W. ampla ( Smith 1963: 497) Grant (1995a: 30)   , W. ororiensis ( Mez 1896: 9) Grant (1995a: 44)   , W. pittieri ( Mez 1903: 135) Grant (1995a: 33)   , W. rubra ( Mez & Wercklé 1904: 878) Grant (1995a: 47)   , and W. williamsii ( Smith 1958: 193) Grant (1995a: 49)   .

Phenology and ecology: —Flowering from February to May; fruiting from February to December. Anthesis is nocturnal and regularly a single flower opens each night, senescence occurs in the morning of the following day. Floral morphology traits (e.g., white petals and campanulate corolla; Fig. 2D View FIGURE 2 ) and anthesis time suggest a nocturnal pollinator, probably bats, following the chiropterophillous pollination syndrome described by Faegri and van der Pijl (1979) and related reports in some congeners ( Aguilar-Rodríguez et al. 2019).

Etymology: —The epithet refers to the mountains of the Talamanca mountain range in southern Central America, the center of diversity of Werauhia   and where nearly two-thirds of thespecies occurs.

Comments:— This new species resembles W. brunei ( Mez & Wercklé 1904: 865) Grant (1995a: 31)   in the smooth and lustrous floral bracts that are distichous at anthesis ( Fig. 2C View FIGURE 2 ). Also, W. brunei   inhabits montane forests within the same elevation range as W. talamancana   , but this new species differs by its longer petals (5.3–6.0 vs.4.0– 4.5 cm) and stamens (4.0–5.0 vs. 3.6–3.7 cm) ( Fig. 2D View FIGURE 2 ). The brown-maroon color of the floral bracts in W. talamancana   is a distinctive trait that distinguishes it from W. brunei   ( Fig. 2C View FIGURE 2 ).This qualitative characteristic is atypical among singlespicate species of Werauhia   , which duringanthesis usually exhibit floral bracts with green tones and sometimes with brownish bract tips due to drying.

Werauhia talamancana   falls into Grant’s (1995a) section Werauhia   ,which includes plants with simple inflorescence. Following the taxonomic key provided by Morales (2003a), the new species belongs to a species group that exhibits relatively large floral bracts (3.0– 6.3 cm) with smooth and lustrous or rugose surfaces. This species group includes among others W. ampla   , W. bicolor ( Smith 1960: 174) Grant (1995a: 30)   , W. burgeri ( Smith 1974: 326) Grant (1995b: 121)   , W. gladioliflora ( Wendland 1863: 31) Grant (1995a: 31)   , W. macrantha ( Mez & Wercklé 1904: 867) Grant (1995b: 121)   , W. macrochlamys ( Mez & Wercklé 1904: 865) Morales (2003b: 65)   , W. osaensis ( Morales 1999: 403) Morales (2003c: 15)   , W. tiquirensis ( Morales 1999: 405) Morales (2003c: 110)   , and W. tonduziana ( Smith 1938: 166) Grant (1995a: 35)   , that are very similar in appearance and difficult to keep apart from another ( Morales 1999, 2003a). Molecular and floral morphology studies are necessary to elucidate the relationships between these taxa.


Department of Botany, Swedish Museum of Natural History


Universidad de Costa Rica


Museo Nacional de Costa Rica














Werauhia talamancana Cascante & J. F. Morales

Cascante-Marín, Alfredo & Morales, J. Francisco 2021

Werauhia talamancana

Morales, J. F. 2003: 403
Morales, J. F. 1999: 405
Grant, J. R. 1995: 174
Grant, J. R. 1995: 326
Grant, J. R. 1995: 166
Mez, C. & Werckle, K. 1904: 867
Mez, C. & Werckle, K. 1904: 865
Grant, J. R. 1863: 31