|Year of Publication:
|Croat, T. Bernard, Mora, M., Kirkman R. W.
|aroids, Narino, Nudo de los Pastos., primary cloud forest, taxonomy
Philodendron scherberichii of P. subg. Philodendron, from a high mountain forest in the Department of Nariño, is described as a species new to science and compared with P. lentii, a morphologically similar species. Both species are members of P. sect. Macrobelium subsect. Macrobelium ser. Ecordata.
Philodendron is a neotropical genus with about 700 species recognized (Croat 1997), but only about 400 of them have been described (Govaerts & Frodin 2002). Many of the species occur in Colombia, the richest country for Araceae, yet the aroid flora is the most poorly known. An unidentified species of Philodendron collected in Colombia in 1995 was brought into cultivation at the Jardin Botanique de Lyon in France. Further study of its morphology revealed the plant to be a new species. It was originally collected in a montane primary cloud forest between Pasto, the capital city of the Department of Narino, and Lake Guamues, best known as La Cocha, in southwestern Colombia. Although many of the areas in that region have been deforested, there are still some remaining forests protected as private or public reserves. Biogeographically the type locality of the species is very interesting because it is located at the Nudo de los Pastos, where the Andes in Colombia originate and split up into the three mountain chains in Colombia, the Cordillera Occidental, the Cordillera Central and the Cordillera Oriental. This region is considered a Pleistocene refuge having a high number of endemic species of both flora and fauna (Hernandez-Camacho 1992).
Philodendron scherberichii (Araceae), a new endemic species from a high mountain forest in southwestern Colombia