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Revista Peruana de Biología

versión On-line ISSN 1727-9933

Rev. peru biol. vol.23 no.3 Lima set./dic. 2016 



Three new species records of Symplocos (Symplocaceae) from northern Peru

Tres nuevos registros de especies de Symplocos (Symplocaceae) para el norte de Perú


Tim Böhnert* and Maximilian Weigend

Nees Institute for Biodiversity of Plants, University of Bonn, Meckenheimer Allee 170, 53115 Bonn, Germany.

*Corresponding author

Email Tim Böhnert:

Email Maximilian Weigend:

ORCID Tim Böhnert:

ORCID Maximilian Weigend:


Even in times of "big data", the holdings of local herbaria worldwide are of increasing value for taxonomic discoveries and phytogeographic analyses. Based on our research in Peruvian herbaria we present new records for three species of Symplocos (Symplocaceae) for Peru, which were previously known only from Southern Ecuador.

Keywords: Symplocos; Symplocaceae; Peru; local herbaria; specimens.


Actualmente, incluso en la era de las grandes bases de datos, las colecciones de los herbarios locales de todo el mundo siguen representando invaluables fuentes de información para los descubrimientos taxonómicos y los análisis fitogeográficos. Con base en la investigación llevada a cabo en diferentes herbarios del Perú, presentamos nuevos registros de tres especies de Symplocos (Symplocaceae) para el Perú, las cuales eran conocidas anteriormente sólo para el sur de Ecuador.

Palabras clave: Symplocos; Symplocaceae; Perú; herbarios locales; especímenes


Making georeferenced specimens and observation data available for a broad scientific community, e.g. "Global Biodiversity Information Facility" (, is one of the great efforts of modern biological sciences. Nevertheless, such databases still suffer major flaws regarding mistaken identity of collection specimens (Goodwin et al. 2015), accuracy of the georeferencing process, or the correct spelling of scientific names (Amano et al. 2016). Using such data on a global scale might reduce this underlying bias due to the high amount of data, but making prediction on a mesoscale level is, on the contrary, highly problematic (Yang et al. 2015). On the other hand, holdings of herbaria are increasingly recognized as a highly valuable source for the discovery of new species (c.f. Bebber et al. 2010) as well as for a wide variety of research questions in biodiversity. Additionally, more accurate distribution data are urgently needed for revisions as well as for biogeographical analyses on a mesoscale level in order to achieve an improved understanding of the patterns of diversity and areas of particular conservation concern.

Based on our research in the herbaria of the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima (USM) we present new records for three species of Symplocos Jacquin (1760: 5) for Peru, which were previously known only from Southern Ecuador (c.f. Ståhl 2010b). The genus Symplocos with over 300 species is the largest genus in Symplocaceae Desfontaines (1820: 9) (Fritsch et al. 2008, 2015) in Ericales (APG IV 2016). The majority of the usually evergreen tree species is native to tropical montane forest distributed in the Americas, South East Asia and tropical Australia. South American Symplocos are exclusively evergreen trees or shrubs primarily found in tropical montane forests. The leaves are always simple, without stipules, and with entire or dentate margins. Flowers are borne singly or arranged in inflorescences with many flowers, usually axillary, sometimes terminal. Flowers have usually five sepals and five or more petals which are fused at the base (Nooteboom 2004). Several new Symplocos species were described from or reported as new to Peru and southern Ecuador during the last years by Ståhl (1993, 1995, 2010a, 2010b) and Ulloa Ulloa et al. (2015). Nevertheless, three additional Symplocos species from northern Peru are reported here for the first time. The number of Peruvian Symplocos species thus rises to 40 in comparison to 32 species known from Ecuador (c.f. Brako 1993, Ulloa Ulloa 2004, Ståhl 2010a). All collections presented here are from northern Peru near the Ecuadorian boarder, often less than 60 km from the type localities (Fig. 1).

Material and methods

During a field campaign in northern Peru in March and April 2015, herbarium specimen of Symplocos were revised in three Peruvian herbaria (USM, HUT & CPUN). For USM 237 specimen of Symplocos were revised by using the key presented by Ståhl (2010b). Datasets of the relevant species from USM were supplemented by additional specimen information from publications (Ståhl 1991, 2010a) as well as


Symplocos clethrifolia Ståhl (1991: 23)

TYPE: ECUADOR. Loja: ca 7 km ESE of Yangana on road to Cerro Toledo, 3100–3200 m, [04°21’17’’S 79°06’52’’W], 4 September 1985, B. B. Larsen & B. Dall 231 (holotype QCA, isotypes AAU, GB, MO, NY).

Additional specimens examined: ECUADOR. Loja: Parque Nacional Podocarpus, Road Yangana - Cerro Toledo, at entrance to crest; subparamo scrub and bogs in the pass, 3100 m, 04°23’S 79°06’W, 26 February 1985, B. Ollgaard, S. Lægaard, K. Thomsen, J. Korning & T. Illum 58231 (AAU); Morona-Santiago: Carretera Cuenca-Macas, colecciones en borde de carretero, Gualaceo-Limon, E del paso, 3100 m, 03°00’35’’S 78°38’25’’W, 14 August 1987, C. Ulloa 487 (AAU, GB, MO, QCA); Gualaceo - Limón, km 33.3 Roadside, 3010 m, 03°02’S 78°35’W, 27 December 1990, P.M. Jørgensen, C. Ulloa & B. Ollgaard 92876 (MO). PERU. Piura: Huancabamba, El Carmen de la Frontera, 3353 m, 04°54’09.1’’S 79°23’45.5’’W, 29 July 2006, A. Cano, W. Mendoza & N. Valencia 16848 (USM 212345!, USM 212977!).

Symplocos condorensis Ståhl (2010a: 86)

TYPE: ECUADOR. Zamora-Chinchipe: El Pangui, Cordillera del Cóndor, 1 km S of military camp Cóndor Mirador, 2000 m, 03°23’S 78°03’W, 16 December 2000, E. Freire 4379 (holotype QCNE; isotypes MO, S).

Additional specimens examined: ECUADOR. Zamora-Chinchipe: El Pangui, [Tundayme], Cordillera del Condor, 2 km N of Condor Mirador, 1975 m, 03°37’S 78°23’W, 06 September 2003, D. Neill, E. Rodriguez, W. Quizhpe & J. Homeier 14423 (QCNE); Cordillera del Cóndor, Summit of sandstone plateau of Cordillera, southeast headwaters of Río Wawaime, above proposed EcuaCorriente copper mine area, 1930 m, 03°35’40’’S 78°35’40’’W, 19 September 2006, D. Neill & W. Quizhpe 15251 (CAS, GB, MO, NY, QCNE); Cordillera del Cóndor, Summit of sandstone plateau of Cordillera, southeast headwaters of Río Wawaime, above proposed EcuaCorriente copper mine area, 1930 m, 03°35’40’’S 78°35’40.5’’W, 19 September 2006, D. Neill & W. Quizhpe 15254 (MO, QCNE); Nangaritza, Cordillera del Cóndor region, upper Río Nangaritza, Area de Conservación Los Tepuyes, on upper portion of sloping sandstone plateau southwest of Las Orquídeas, 1620 m, 04°15’32’’S 78°41’04’’W, 06 November 2006, D. Neill & NSF dendrology course 15417 (AAU, F, K, MO, QCNE); Nangaritza, Cordillera del Cóndor region, upper Río Nangaritza, Area de Conservación Los Tepuyes, on upper portion of sloping sandstone plateau southwest of Las Orquídeas, 1620 m, 04°15’32’’S 78°41’04’’W, 06 November 2006, D. Neill & NSF dendrology course 15418 (MO, QCNE). PERU. Cajamarca: San Ignacio, Huarango, 05°16’12’’S 78°40’28’’W, 2300 m., 14 July 2005, E. Rodríguez, E. Alvítez & S. Arroyo 2821 (USM 229960!).

Symplocos verrucisurcula Ståhl (1991: 41)

TYPE: ECUADOR, Zamora-Chinchipe, Nudo de Sabanilla, pass on road Yangana-Valladolid, 2800–2900 m, [04°26’49’’S 79°08’45’’W], 05 April 1985, G. H. Harling & L. Andersson 23685 (holotype GB, isotype QCA).

Additional specimens examined: PERU. Piura: Huancabamba, El Carmen de la Frontera, 3100–3200 m, 05°07’20.2’’S 79°23’21.7’’W, 24 April 2006, A. Cano, N. Valencia & I. Salinas 16481 (USM 211993!); El Carmen de la Frontera, 3160 m, 04°54’09’’ S 79°23’02.8’’ W, 27 July 2006, A. Cano, W. Mendoza & N. Valencia 16837 (USM 212338!, USM 212976!)."


The Authors would like to thank Prof. Dr. Asunción Cano (Museo de Historia Natural, Lima), Eric Rodriguez (HUT, Trujillo) and Isidoro Sánchez Vega (CPUN, Cajamarca) as well as Diego Franco Paredes Burneo & Dr. Cornelia Löhne for assistance during fieldwork in Peru. We would like to thank also Dr. Norbert Holstein for assistance and guidance on the manuscript and Dr. Juliana Chacon Pinilla for support regarding the Spanish translation.

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Información sobre los autores:

Fieldwork was carried out by TB & MW, TB analyzed data, TB & MW wrote the manuscript.

The author states that does not incur any conflicts of interest.

Fuentes de financiamiento:

Fieldwork was partly funded by Heinrich Böll Stiftung.


Presentado: 04/08/2016

Aceptado: 23/09/2016

Publicado online: 20/12/2016