Re: _Heliamphora_, again!

Jan Schlauer (
Tue, 11 Jan 1994 11:23:56 +0100

re:_H.spec._ from Ilu/Tramen
>Even more I think that the plant (spec. 1) we found on Tramen could
>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...

The reasons why "pitcher shape" can't be considered a reliable character
for delimitation of taxa in _Heliamphora_ is discussed in some detail by

>...that I wonder why material of this type was never mentioned if it was

"Never mentioned"? Several collections from Ilu were studied by
specialists, determined as _H.nutans_, and mentioned, indeed. Following is
a list of some specimens (certainly not a complete one, including only
material cited in the literature) and the respective references (M=MAGUIRE,
MEM.NY.BOT.GARD.29, 1978; S=STEYERM., ANN.MO.BOT.GARD.71, 1984):

Maguire 33379 (NY,VEN,US) M:51, S:305
Maguire 33248 (NY,VEN,US) M:51
Delascio & Brewer 4967 (VEN) S:305,307,308

>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.

How is "typical _H.nutans_" defined and delimited against other species in
your system of the genus, and how does your "spec. 1" (or whatever you call
the non-hybrid plants which should not resemble _H.nutans_) differ from it?

re:_H.minor_ from Chimanta
>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. :-).

Do you think it does deserve varietal (or any other) rank, compared to
current use of ranks in _Heliamphora_?

>However also in this case I wonder why never somebody seems to having had a
>>close look on this "variety".

"Never somebody"? Specimens and references of _H.minor_ from Chimanta:

Wurdack 34172 (NY,US) M:53
Wurdack 34237 (NY,VEN,US) M:53
Steyermark, Huber & Carreno 128416 (VEN: paratype of _H.minor_f.laevis_) S:311
Steyermark, Huber & Carreno 128666 (VEN) S:305,307
Steyermerk, Huber & Carreno 128269 (VEN) S:307

I think they would have recognized the difference between these and
_H.minor_ from Auyan if there was a significant one.

>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".

I don't fear so. STEYERMARK certainly did not "slowly" reduce any rank
without good reasons. Indeed, his discussion has very much impressed me, as
I think this is exactly how botanic work should look like. This is the
reason why I rely on his judgement nearly completely (he has evidently seen
more specimens in the field as well as in herbaria than I have myself).
Even as a var. the distinct taxon from Neblina is certainly not forgotten,
and you can bet your socks as long as botanists are free to ruminate,
they'll do their best to stop lumpers from reducing it to just nothing (as
well as splitters from doing the opposite...).

Kind regards