Re: _Heliamphora_, again!

Andreas Wistuba (A.Wistuba@DKFZ-Heidelberg.DE)
Mon, 10 Jan 1994 14:59:57 GMT+1

> From: (Jan Schlauer)
> Subject: _Heliamphora_, again!

Jan, thankyou for your long reply.

You wrote:

> The MAGUIRE collection is not the only record of _H.nutans_ from the
> Ilu range. Moreover, there are several specimens collected between
> Mt. Roraima and Mt. Ilu-tepui. Do you assume all of them to be
> either hybrids or your "spec. 2"? *ALL* other authors call it
> _H.nutans_.

I never said that all H. nutans-plants except the ones from Roraima are
something else. I know that H. nutans occurs on Kukenam (approx. 5km
from Roraima) as Joachim, Peter and myself found it there. Even more I
think that the plant (spec. 1) we found on Tramen could be called still
be called a variety of H. nutans depending on the point of view as the
flowers show no differences to me. However the pitchers are so
different in shape from the typical H.nutans that I wonder why material
of this type was never mentioned if it was collected. The plant we
think is a hybrid ("spec. 2") between typical H. ionasii and spec. 1
looks much more like typical nutans. Of cause I can not be sure that
typical nutans does not occur on Tramen/Ilu only from the fact that we
did not find it. However the distance between Ilu and Kukenam is only
about 40km, only 1/4 of the distance H. tatei would have had to cross.

> re:_H.tatei/neblinae_:

> I agree, this is perfectly true. Nowadays! The tepuis are built of
> sandstone massifs (prone to rapid erosion), the gaps between them
> being in fact river valleys of (geologically!) rather modern times.
> It seems, evolution in _Heliamphora_ is heavily dependent on spatial
> isolation due to interfertility. If populations have not been
> isolated from each other in the past (and there are reasons to assume
> so), no specific or varietal limits could have evolved until
> "recently". Thus, all the different spp., vars., and ff. are
> comparatively young, whereas the genus must be rather old, with some
> of its relatives as far away as (and restricted to) California and
> Oregon. I do not doubt there are differences between the Duida and
> Neblina populations, I just don't see a reason why these couldn't be
> described by varietal distinction.

> All the other species have very small ranges (with the exception of H.
> heterodoxa var. exappendiculata,... _H.nutans_ (Roraima-Ilu) and
> _H.minor_ (Auyan-Chimanta) do have rather impressing ranges, too.

I know the H. minor from Chimanta as I grow one in my greenhouse
and I find it impressive how much it changed from the Auyan-type (Do
not get me wrong; I would'nt call it a new spec. :-). However also in
this case I wonder why never somebody seems to having had a close
look on this "variety".).

> >... which after having seen photographs of this plant seems to be
> >something very special to me... . I almost do not dare to write,
> >however I do not see much similarities to the type-heterodoxa:-)).
> The only thing I can say is MAGUIRE *and* STEYERMARK *did* see them
> (and, as far as I can judge, I can see them, too).
> It seems you want to shift ranks in the whole genus, with vars. becoming
> spp... Just explain to me, what's improved?

I'm aware that the division of a genus into species and subspecies,
varieties... is in the responsibility of the author working on the
special group. I only fear that a knowledge is lost by slowly reducing
the status of a species to a variety which is then easily reduced to
just nothing by "the grand unificator".