Rhipsalis baccifera ss cleistogama, Kessler, Ibisch & Barthlott
baccifera ssp. cleistogama
M. Kessler, P.L. lbisch & Barthlott Bradleya 18/2000 p22
Type: Bolivia, Department of La Paz, Prov. A. Iturralde, Rio San Antonio, 46 km de Ixiamas a Alto Madidi, 13°38'S, 68°26'W, 400 m, 17.8.1997, Kessler 11203 (holo. LPB, iso. GOET).
Notes: Up to now cleistogamy within Rhipsalideae was known only from some polyploid taxa of R. baccifera from Madagascar. In the new subspecies, initially, the floral buds resemble those of other subspecies of R. baccifera with yellowish-green pericarpels longer than the perianth. But the fruits rapidly increase in diameter, with the pericarpels tuming red after a few weeks. Obviously, this taxon is difficult to distinguish in the herbarium.
Only one individual of this form was found at the type locality, where it was immediately distinguishable from the much stouter syntopic R. baccifera ssp. shaferi, which was more common in the area. The forest in this area is severely threatened with destruction, because the old logging road from lxiamas to Alto Madidi was reopened for settlement in 1997, and the first colonists have already moved in.
Use potential: Low.