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This page is maintained 
by Dr. Lena Struwe 
(e-mail), and hosted by
Rutgers University
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updated: 01/19/11 

Senaea
(Gentianaceae: Helieae)

more images

 
Common name: 

Latin name and synonyms: Senaea Taub. (1893: 515-517)

Etymology: Unknown

Species: Only one species is known from this genus, Senaea coerulea.

Distribution: Senaea is a rare genus with a very narrow distribution, occurring in high-elevation areas in southeastern Brazil, between Rio de Janeiro and Mato Grosso.

Habitat:  

Characteristics:   Shrubs. Branches erect, round or square. Leaves opposite, rather leathery, with petiole, elliptic to ovate. Inflorescences with leaf-like bracts, flowres in terminal or axillary cymes. Flowers 6-merous. Calyx campanulate. Corolla blue, funnel- to bellshaped; lobes acute, about same length as corolla tube. Stamens inserted in corolla tube; anthers sagittate, apiculate.  Style long, slender; stigma bilobed. Capsules elliptic.

Evolution and related plants:  The 6-merous flowers of Senaea are an unusual trait in Gentianaceae, and are found also in two other Helieae genera, Chorisepalum and PrepusaChorisepalum differs in its 4-merous calyx (not 6-merous) and pollen spread as reticulate single pollen grains, but Prepusa show similarities to Senaea in its generally 6-merous flowers and strikingly similar pollen tetrads (Nilsson, 2002). Both  Prepusa or Senaea are temporarily placed in Helieae awaiting further phylogenetic investigations (Struwe et al., 2002).

Economic uses:  None known.

Notes: This is an extremely rare plant that has only been found a few times.  It is most likely highly endangered, and might even be extinct.  Fernanda Calio from University of Sao Paulo is currently investigating Senaea and Prepusa.

Accepted species (synonyms in parenthesis) and their distribution:

Senaea coerulea Taub. Brazil 

 

References and publications

Nilsson, S. 2002. Gentianaceae a review of palynology. Pp. 377-497. In: L. Struwe & V. A. Albert, editors. Gentianaceae systematics and natural history. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Struwe, L., J. W. Kadereit, J. Klackenberg, S. Nilsson, M. Thiv, K. B. von Hagen, & V. A. Albert. 2002. Systematics, character evolution, and biogeography of Gentianaceae, including a new tribal and subtribal classification. Pp. 21-309. In: L. Struwe & V. A. Albert (eds.), Gentianaceae: Systematics and Natural History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Lena Struwe, 2004

 

Gentian Research Network, 2002-2011.
For corrections and additions, contact Lena Struwe at struwe@aesop.rutgers.edu