A new species, Espeletia ocetana (Asteraceae), from about 3500 m a. s. l. in Páramo de Ocetá, Mongua, Boyacá department, Colombia, is described and illustrated. The new species exhibits a caulescent rosette habit (0.7–1.8 m tall), sessile leaves, elliptic leaf laminae with greyish indumentum, robust bracteate thyrsoid capitulescences spreading laterally from rosette, each holding 16–37(–69) capitula, external phyllaries 14.2–31.1 mm long, and ray florets 13.9–21.3 mm long arranged in 2.0–2.9 series. It is markedly different from the majority of other members of the genus, and only slightly similar to E. jaramilloi, from which it can be easily distinguished by its taller stems, wider leaves with a smaller length/width ratio, and longer sheaths. Furthermore, E. ocetana has capitula with ray florets arranged in fewer series, and with longer phyllaries, ray corollas, ray corolla limbs, ray styles, ray style branches, disc florets, and disc styles. In addition, E. ocetana is distributed allopatrically in regard to E. jaramilloi, and differs as well in its ecological preference for humid to very humid shrubby páramos. Espeletia ocetana is rather abundant in its type locality, which is a relatively well-conserved páramo located within the limits of Parque Natural Regional Siscunsí-Ocetá. However, it is absent from road margins, abandoned agriculture fields, and other areas impacted by human activities. Further studies will be necessary to know appropriately the extent of the geographic distribution of E. ocetana, its ecological requirements and its phylogenetic affinities with other species.
Vol. 46 • No. 4
Vol. 46 • No. 4