Rhipsalis elliptica Lindberg in Martius, Fl. Bras 4: 293. 1890
See Calvente thesis 2010
Notes; The original description of R. elliptica in the Flora Brasiliensis by Schumann (1890) included a typo in the locality of the collection Mosen 3630 (cited), there designated as one of the syntypes of R. elliptica. The collection Mosen 3630 was erroneously published as "Sorocaba" (Sao Paulo, Brazil), instead of "sororocaba" (Santos, Brazil) as written in the specimen label.
When R. chloroptera was described, a collection from Santos (Weber s.n.) was selected as the type. Even though this collection could not be located, a detailed analysis of the original description of R. chloroptera allowed us to determine that R. chloroptera is very likely a synonym of R. elliptica. The fact that the type locality of R. chloroptera (Santos, Brazil) corresponds to the same type locality of R. elliptica supports our hypothesis.
R. elliptica var. helicoidea was originally described by
Loefgren (1917) as being characterized by an helicoidal disposition
of the branches. However, this morphological trait is quite variable
and also commonly found in Rhipsalis elliptica. As a matter
of fact, a single specimen of Rhipsalis elliptica can include
branches with helicoidal and plane dispositions, making the recognition
of both taxa inappropriate.
For example, R. teres and R. lindbergiana present specimens with either whitish, pinkish or magenta. Hence, we do not consider fruit color as being sufficient to diagnose species in Rhipsalis and adopt a broader circumscription of R. elliptica. The new circumscription of R. elliptica also includes specimens with white fruits, instead of treating those specimens as a separate taxon (R. oblonga) like previous treatments (Barthlott & Taylor 1995; Hunt et al 2006; see notes under R. oblonga for further information). Furthermore, the white fruited individuals differ from R. oblonga by the larger stem segments with crenate margins and small areoles, which are diagnostic characters of R. elliptica. Two subspecies are recognized here.
5.1. RHIPSALIS ELLIPTICA subsp. ELLIPTICA
Notes; Rhipsalis elliptica subsp. elliptica is distinct from R. elliptica subsp. microflora by the larger flowers with longer petaloid tepals and stamens. All specimens with deep magenta fruits are circumcribed under this subspecies
Habitat and distribution: Occurs widespread in southern and southeastern portions of the Atlantic Forest (Brazil). Figure 5.
Rhipsalis elliptica Lindberg in Martius,
Fl. Bras 4: 293. (1890).
Desc from B&R 1923
Note from Bradleya 13: DISTRIBUTION Brazil (S & SE Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, San Paulo, Parana, Santa Catarina): Atlantic forest, montane cloud forest and seasonal forest by rivers, near sea level to c. 2000m altitude.