, Volume 59, Issue 4, pp 301-307

Curitiba (Myrtaceae): A new genus from the Planalto of southern Brazil

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Abstract

In the course of monographic work in Myrtaceae it has become evident thatEugenia prismatica cannot be accommodated within any existing genus in the family. Therefore, a new genus,Curitiba, is described to contain it and the new combinationCuritiba prismatica is made.Curitiba is diagnosed by a combination of 4-angled hypanthia and fruits, ovules radiating from a central protruding placenta, and seed coats with wavy rows of papillae. A key is provided to distinguishCuritiba from the Caribbean and Mesoamerican genusMosiera, where the species also had been placed before this transfer, and from other 4-merous genera in Brazil of subtribe Myrtinae. In the Atlantic Forest of Brazil where the family Myrtaceae is one of the most species rich and ecologically important plant families, the discovery ofCuritiba reveals a unique evolutionary lineage, highlights the endemism present in the Atlantic Forest, and underscores, the urgent need for conservation of this rapidly disappearing and highly endangered biome.