Zornia melanocarpa , a new species of Leguminosae (Papilionoideae, Dalbergieae) from Serra do Espinhaço, Minas Gerais, Brazil, is described and illustrated. The species is characterized by black fruits with white hairs and an absence of bristles, characters unique within the genus. The species is morphologically similar to Z. crinita and Z. hebecarpa, but differs from both by having a shorter inflorescence of 1.2–4 cm (vs. 10–20 and 8–20 cm in Z. crinita and Z. hebecarpa, respectively) and in the size of the plant (7–16 cm vs. 20–60 cm in Z. crinita and Z. hebecarpa), in addition to the black fruits with white hairs. A phylogenetic analysis using molecular data from the nuclear rDNA ITS gene region was performed to verify its position within the genus. Additionally, a survey of leaflet secretory structures and a micro-morphological analysis of fruit structures using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was performed for the newly described species.
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Vol. 41 • No. 2