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Two new species of Eugenia (Myrtaceae) from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest


This study describes two new species of Eugenia from Atlantic Forest remnants in the vicinities of Rio de Janeiro city, Brazil. The new taxa Eugenia delicata and E. superba are proposed based on a literature survey, examination of herbarium specimens and intensive field work in the study area. E. delicata is here assigned to E. sect. Eugenia, similar to E. xanthoxyloides but differing by narrow-elliptic cataphylls restricted to the apex of young twigs, falling with age, leaves in distichous arrangement, cracking easily at touch when dry, bracteoles widely-ovate, widely-deltoid or widely-trullate, superposed at the base and concealing the ovary, and mature fruits ellipsoid, subglobose or pyriform, orange when fresh, with juicy pulp and sour, aromatic taste. E. superba is here assigned to E. sect. Phyllocalyx, similar to E. magnibracteolata but differing by being a deciduous tree with trunk bark smooth, light-brown when flowering, reddish when fruiting, detaching thin, papery plates, leaf blades coriaceous with lateral veins barely visible abaxially, pedicels and flowers with light-brown to golden trichomes that are dense on the ovary and scattered in the calyx, and mature fruits suglobose, orange when fresh, with juicy and abundant pulp and a pleasant sweet and sour taste. Regarding the conservation statuses, E. delicata is assessed here as Endangered (EN), and E. superba as Critically Endangered (CR). As both species have edible fruits, we encourage their cultivation as ornamental and fruit trees to promote their ex-situ conservation.

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TF thanks CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico) for the scholarship (Process n°. 141327/2020-0), the Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), NIT and RBR herbaria for laboratory support, and Ana Paula Valle Pereira for company and help during the fieldwork and for the field photographs. AAMB and DNSM thanks CETREINA/UERJ for the Complementary Internal Internship scholarships granted and FFP/UERJ and drivers Carlos Roberto Miranda de Carvalho and Diogo Torquato for transporting them to the conservation units. The authors are also grateful to Marcos Sobral.

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Correspondence to Thiago Fernandes.

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Fernandes, T., da Silva Machado, D.N., da Costa Souza, M. et al. Two new species of Eugenia (Myrtaceae) from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Kew Bull 78, 95–105 (2023).

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