International Carnivorous Plant Society

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Heliamphora electrum (Sarraceniaceae), an enigmatic species of marsh pitcher plant from the Sierra de Lema of Venezuela

Michal R. Golos and Joachim Nerz and François Sockhom Mey and Andreas Wistuba

Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 53(1):4-51
Published 1 February 2024

https://doi.org/10.55360/cpn531.mg102

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Abstract

A new species of marsh pitcher plant, Heliamphora electrum, is described from the Sierra de Lema in Venezuela. It is distinguished most clearly from its closest congeners by the presence of bimorphic retentive hairs on the inner surface of the pitcher and in certain aspects of nectar spoon morphology. Known with certainty only from three localities, including Cerro Venamo and neighbouring Cerro Uei, and expected to be highly localised where it does occur, H. electrum is provisionally assessed as Endangered against the IUCN Red List criteria, with a proviso that the species' range may prove to be significantly wider than is currently appreciated.

Due to the confused toponymy of the Cerro Venamo region, the exact provenance of the original herbarium material of Heliamphora electrum — collected in the early 1960s by Julian Steyermark and colleagues — has been the subject of considerable debate. Drawing on a comprehensive review of historical documentary material, including maps, photographs, herbarium specimens, unpublished field notes, and contemporaneous literature, we clarify the original collecting localities of this species and thereby resolve a long-standing puzzle in Heliamphora phytogeography.

Keywords: Cerro Uei, Cerro Venamo, Guiana Highlands, new species, Sarraceniaceae, taxonomy, tepui, toponymy, Heliamphora electrum

Article Citation

Michal R. Golos and Joachim Nerz and François Sockhom Mey and Andreas Wistuba. 2024. Heliamphora electrum (Sarraceniaceae), an enigmatic species of marsh pitcher plant from the Sierra de Lema of Venezuela. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 53(1):4-51. https://doi.org/10.55360/cpn531.mg102

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