ON: You published a revision of Habenaria ([A Review of Habenaria (Orchidaceae) in Pabst and Dungs's Orchidaceae Brasilienses], in Lindleyana 17(2), 2002. A very interest work which becomes more important if you think about the lack of specialized literature. Could you talk a little about the development and method of this work?

JOÃO: In fact, this work is not a revision of Habenaria. The last revision of the Brazilian species of Habenaria has been done by the taxonomist F.C. Hoehne in 1940 and the first and only worldwide revision of the genus has been done by a German taxonomist called Kraenzlin, at the end of the XIX century and is, nowadays, quite out of dated and incomplete. In our work, we did some corrections and updating the identifications of the species presented in Orchidaceae Brasilienses by Pabst & Dungs. The work aimed to allow the update identification of Brazilian species of Habenaria and should be used together with that work. Due to the floristic importance, a revision of Habenaria is extremely necessary but because of the magnitude and complexity of the genus, it will need many years of study and work. At this moment, we were finishing a synopsis of American species, with 650 names, approximately, and 260 valid species and should subsidize a monograph of Habenaria's species in the American continent.
As it is practically impossible to approach all species of Habenaria in just one monograph, an alternative consists in going on working by part, through the sections. Nevertheless, with a few exceptions, the relation between the species is not well known yet and the existent groups are clearly artificial. One of the few groups which are reasonable solved is the section Macroceratitae, about what we prepared a revision for the Brazilian species which should be published in 2005. Besides the section Macroceratitae, we are also working intensively with three another groups but due to lack of time, we don't know when we will finish the study.


Cyrtopodium linearifolium
ON: You didn't limited to study this group, you also work with Cyrtopodium and described two new species
Cyrtopodium latifolium
and Cyrtopodium linearifolium.
Those plants were already known or you not only brought them to the science but also to the knowledge of the public in general?

Cyrtopodium latifolium
LUCIANO: Cyrtopodium is one of the genera we work harder. Our region is favorable to its occurrence and, inside the area of DF, there are, at least, 18 species. It is natural that interested people, after a certain time of study, accumulate pertinent information about the species regarding to the environment, to the vegetative and reproductive parts, season of blooming, etc. in such way that each species becomes very well characterized.
So, when we examine any material concerning the genus and, if the information we have in front of us doesn't coincide with the characterization pre-established, this fact becomes a good indicative that it is possible a “novelty”. However, it is not enough being a novelty for the person who is studying, it should be a novelty for the science for being described as a new species. For that reason, the work of a taxonomist should be, above of all thing, discerning. He should have a good knowledge of the genus as a whole and an update bibliography to do a good revision, before thinking in publishing a new species. There is many sources to detect“novelties”, between them: Orchid lovers associations, journey into the fields and the examination of the material deposit in herbarium. Many botanists and students in Botany have the habit of collecting every thing they come across, even though they don't identify correctly what they are collecting. In this way, many materials in herbarium represent new species which haven't been never described.
In 1990, in one of our visits to the field, we saw, for the first time, Cyrtopodium latifolium. Later, during a revision of bibliography and material or herbarium, we noticed that the same species has been collected by Hoehne, in Mato Grosso, in 1908. However, Hoehne mislead and identified as Cyrtopodium vernum and didn't realize that it was a new species. In the same way, in 1999, we saw for the first time Cyrtopodium linearifolium. Later, we detected that that Irwin & Soderstrom have already collected the same plant in 1964, in Jataí. Therefore, there is two examples of plants that were, in a certain way, known by some people, but not for the science.
JOÃO: Concerning Cyrtopodium, we are doing a description of new taxa and a revision of the genus.
In collaboration with the Venezuelan researcher Gustavo Romero, present keeper of Oakes Ames

Cyrtopodium latifolium
Orchid Herbarium, we prepared a “checklist” of the genus which should be submitted for publication during the second semester of 2004. Until now, we have already described the two mentioned species and some more taxa which are being describing. According to our data, 28 taxa of Cyrtopodium are known in Cerrado, 36 in Brazil and a total of 45 in the genus, all of them restricted to the American continent. As Luciano said, both Cyrtopodium latifolium and Cyrtopodium linearifolium have already been collected by other collectors before us. However, in both cases, the material were misidentified and confused with other species already known which avoided, by that time, to be recognized as new species. In the same way, Cyrtopodium fowliei, described in 1995, has been collected for the first time between 1835 and 1839. Until we could verify, all new species of Cyrtopodium described in the last years in Brazil have already been collected before, it means, in none of the cases, the type-material corresponds the first known collection of the species.

Cyrtopodium blanchetii

Cyrtopodium poecilum

Cyrtopodium latifolium (habitat)
ON: Which is the characteristic of the habitat of the species you described?

LUCIANO: Cyrtopodium latifolium grows in campo sujo (dirt field), in deep soil and Cyrtopodium linearifolium grows in campo limpo (clean field), in rocky and shallow soil.

ON: For finishing, concerning new species, which are the news you can wait for soon?

JOÃO: At least three species which photos are showed here: Habenaria pabstii, Bulbophyllum ciluliae and Cyrtopodium lamellaticallosum, which will be published until the end of year as they are already accepted by the specialized magazines.

Habenaria pabstii

Bulbophyllum ciluliae-inflorescence

Bulbophyllum ciluliae-flower

Cyrtopodium lamellaticallosum

  Comments about the photos

  Habenaria distans
is known in Brazil by just 3 collections.
The only one population known for this species in DF, showed in this picture, doesn't exist any more due to extraction of calcarious in the habit.

  Bulbophyllum celuliae
New species in now being described.
It occurs in the nuclear region of the biome cerrrado.
Those are the first pictures showed for this species.


Cyrtopodium latifolium
New species described in 2000.
Known only in DF and by two collectings done in the last century in the state of Mato Grosso.
Those are the first pictures showed of this species.

Habenaria pabstii
New species described at the end of the last here.
This species is endemic to the nuclear region of the biome cerrado.
The flowers are the biggest for the genus.

  Habenaria pungens
This species differs from the great majority of the other species in the genus because the flowers are not resupinate.
As far as we know, this is the first time the pictures of this species are showed for a bigger public.


Cyrtopodium linearifolium
New species described in 2001 and former mislead with Cyrtopodium dusenii.
Until now, just known for the state of Goiás and DF.
The flowers are between the smallest of the genus.


  Notostheles acianthiformis
Terrestrial species extremely rare, known just for some collections done in the state of Minas Gerais, Goias and DF.
This is possibly the first time the pictures of this species are showed for a bigger public.
[Sinonyms: Pelexia acianthiformis Rchb. f. & Warm. and Stenorrhynchos acianthiformis (Rchb. f. & Warm.) Cogn.]

  Lyroglossa bradei
Terrestrial species which grows in dry cerrados.
The flowers are strong citric scented.
As far as we know, it is the first time pictures of this species are showed for a bigger public.

  Sarcoglottis uliginosa
Terrestrial species of swamp areas and moist fields.

  Habenaria leucosantha
Terrestrial species of swamp areas and moist fields.
Sometimes, it appears in great number of specimens forming a flowered ensembles of rare beauty.

  Habenaria lavrensis
Terrestrial species of dry fields.
The name of this species pays hommage to Lavras city, where it has been collected for the first time.

  Cyrtopodium lamellaticallosum
New species which is being described now and disvovered through the examen of herborized material.
It occurs in rupestrian fields in the central region of the state of Minas Gerais.
This is the first pictureshowed of the species.

  Photos: João A. N. Batista

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