In this paper we describe a new genus of Bromeliaceae, Lapanthus, restricted to the southern portion of the Espinhaço Range, Minas Gerais State, in southeastern Brazil. Two new combinations to accommodate species previously described in the genera Orthophytum and Cryptanthus and one new synonym are proposed. Lapanthus has morphological affinities with both Cryptanthus and Orthophytum, but nevertheless differs by the combination of margins of the petals ciliate, presence of lanceolate petal appendages and free stamens, and also by molecular data. Cryptanthus and Orthophytum have petals entire along the margins, and the filaments of the most internal whorl are adnate to the petals. Lapanthus stands out by having a pair of lanceolate petal appendages, which are almost completely adnate to the petals. In Orthophytum, however, appendages are cupuliform or sacciform and they are totally absent in the genus Cryptanthus. Lapanthus and Orthophytum present meiotic and mitotic chromosome numbers equal to n=25 and 2n=50, 100 and 150 respectively, while Cryptanthus presents meiotic and mitotic chromosome numbers n=17 and 2n=34, 36, 54 respectively, and this difference is considered to be an autapomorphic feature of Cryptanthus. Descriptions of the genus and species, identification keys, illustrations, photographs of living specimens, and taxonomic comments are provided.
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