Besleria brevisepala O.L.Cortés, 2021

Cortés-Ceballos, Olga Lorena, Giraldo-Rodríguez, Andrés, González, Alba Marina Torres-, Moreno, J. Enrique & Gasparino, Eduardo Custódio, 2021, A new species and palinotaxonomy of Besleria (Gesneriaceae) from the cloud forest of Valle del Cauca, Colombia, Phytotaxa 518 (3), pp. 179-195 : 182-185

publication ID 10.11646/phytotaxa.518.3.1

persistent identifier

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scientific name

Besleria brevisepala O.L.Cortés

sp. nov.

Besleria brevisepala O.L.Cortés , sp. nov., ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 : Plates 1, 5, 6).

Type:— COLOMBIA. Valle del Cauca: Dagua municipality, district of San Bernardo, road to Buenaventura , western cordillera, eastern slope, 03°30’52.0’’N, 76°37’27.8’’W, 1992 m, 2 March 2016, O. L GoogleMaps . Cortés-Ceballos 258 & A . Giraldo-Rodríguez (holotype CUVC!, isotypes COL! HUA! MO!) .

This species differs from Besleria microphylla in having 1–2-flowers (vs. inflorescence in fascicles in B. microphylla ), longer leaf blades (4.5–8.5 cm long vs. 3–4 cm long; although some specimens had leaves up to 6.5 cm long in B. microphylla ), an ovate and unequal calyx, the dorsal sepal longer than the other sepals (5–6.5 mm long and 5–5.1 mm wide vs. triangular-lanceolate and equal, 4–5 mm long and 1.5–2 mm wide in B. microphylla ), glabrous corolla and slightly larger (12–19 mm long, 6–8 mm in the widest part vs. corolla short pilose to pubescent, 12–15 mm long and 4–5 mm in the widest part in B. microphylla ) and the flowers presented a glabrous ovary vs. a puberulous ovary in B. microphylla . It differs from B. solanoides in having 1–2-flowers (vs. inflorescence in fasciculus in B. solanoides ), and in the petiole (villous-strigose, obsolete or up to 1 cm long vs. glabrous, 1–5 cm long in B. solanoides ), leaf (slightly strigose on adaxial surface, 4.5–8.5 × 1.4–2 cm vs. glabrous on adaxial surface, 4–15 × 5.5–5.6 cm in B. solanoides ), calyx (villous-strigose, and unequal, dorsal sepal longer than other sepals, 5–6.5 × 5–5.1 mm vs. glabrous, and equal, 3–5 × 1.5–2.5 mm in B. solanoides ), and flowers (pilose style vs. glabrous style in B. solanoides ).

Description:—Terrestrial shrub; stem erect, 1.5–2.5 m tall, terete, villous, pubescent toward apex; branches arising from base or 10 cm above base, 0.5–3 cm diameter. Leaves opposite, decussate, members of each pair almost equal in length; petiole villous, obsolete or up to 1 cm long; blades elliptic to oblanceolate, 4.5–8.5 × 1.4–2 cm, apex acuminate, base cuneate, margin entire, ciliate, 6–8 pairs of veins, villous-glabrous on adaxial surface, villous along veins of abaxial surface. Inflorescence 1–2-flowered, axillary, pedicel 0.8–1.5 cm long, villous. Calyx free, sepals five, adnate to corolla, unequal, ovate, apex attenuated, margin entire and sometimes slightly serrate at the base, ciliate, pale green, sometimes purple at base, villous-strigose on adaxial surface, glabrous on abaxial surface, sepals of two sizes, dorsal sepal longer than ventral, 5–6.5 × 5–5.1 mm, other sepals 5–5.2 × 3.5–4 mm. Corolla orange, tube cylindrical, at a 45° angle to the stem, ventricose ventrally, 1.5–1.9 cm long, constricted at throat and middle, tube 4.2–4.3 mm broad at throat, 6–8 mm broad at venter, 4–4.2 mm broad at middle, 6–6.2 mm broad at base, aperture 4–4.1 × 2.2–2.3 mm, glabrous on the outer surface, internally with glandular trichomes up to 1 mm long, becoming sparse toward base, limb with five unequal lobes, which are orbicular, erect or spreading, margin ciliate and slightly revolute, three lobes (two lateral and one ventral) 4–4.1 × 4–4.1 mm, two lobes dorsal 2–2.5 × 3–3.1 mm. Stamens didynamous, staminode one, dorsal, filaments spiral, adnate to corolla, up to 4 mm above base, glabrous, anthers connivent. Ovary 3–3.2 × 2.5–2.6 mm, glabrous, style pilose, 7–7.5 mm long, bilobed, brown stigma. Disc annular, complete, glabrous. Fruit a fleshy berry, calyx persistent.

Palynology: —Pollen grains isolated, triporate, suboblate (16–)16.97(–17.50) × (18–)20.04(–21) μm, P/E index- approx. 0.85, radially symmetrical, isopolar, circular in polar view. Exine 0.95 μm thick. Pores 1.51 × 1.50 μm, apoporium 14.60 μm long. Exine with microreticulate ornamentation ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 : Plate 1).

Distribution:—This species is known only from the type locality, i.e., Colombia, Valle del Cauca, Dagua municipality, district of San Bernardo ( Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 ). This area is located at the eastern slope of the Western Cordillera of the Colombian Andes. The elevation varies between 1800–2200 m. The site has a bimodal precipitation regime, with the highest precipitation during April–May and October–November ( Kattan et al. 1984). Since 1938, the Colombian government established this region as a natural protected area, and there are few or no farming activities ( RUNAP 2010). This declaration stopped the extraction of wood from the forests of this area, used for construction and making charcoal. Land use changed to recreational farms with forest fragments from which firewood and cape land are extracted ( Kattan et al. 1984).

Besleria brevisepala shares habitat with other herbs such as B. florida , B. physaloides , B. silverstoneana , B. vestita, Carludovica palmata, Columnea dimidiata , Drymonia teuscheri , Glossoloma ichthyoderma, Justicia chlorostachya, Paradrymonia metamorphophylla, Pilea gallowayana and Solanum anceps . The shrub stratum of this habitat is dominated by Acalypha macrostachya, Gonzalagunia cornifolia, Palicourea angustifolia, Palicourea demissa, Piper aduncum, Piper crassinervium , Phenax hirtus Saurauia brachybotrys y Siparuna aspera ,. And the arboreal stratum is dominated by Alchornea glandulosa , Beilschmiedia costaricensis , Cinchona pubescens, Croton mutisianus, Elaeagia utilis, Guettarda crispiflora, Hedyosmum bonplandianum, Meriania speciosa , Miconia caudata, Roupala monosperma and Tournefortia scabrida . In addition, the palms Chamaedorea pinnatifrons and Geonoma orbignyana are part of Besleria brevisepala habitat.

Etymology:—The specific epithet is given by the size of the sepals, as they are very small compared with what is commonly found in the other species of this genus.


Botanical Museum - University of Oslo


Nationaal Herbarium Nederland, Leiden University branch


Harvard University - Arnold Arboretum


Universidad del Valle


Universidad Nacional de Colombia


Universidad de Antioquia


Missouri Botanical Garden