Cnicothamnus lorentzei

An updated synonymized checklist of the Compositae of Bolivia is provided. The checklist is based on the only catalogue of the Bolivian flora, that of Foster dating from 1958, a literature survey, together with additional herbarium work whilst naming many recent J. R. I. Wood collections; it does not represent a complete herbarium survey.

Currently, 13 tribes are represented by 1071 species in 227 genera with an estimated 302 endemic species, which is equivalent to 28.2% endemism. Keys to tribes, and genera of the tribes, are provided, with keys to taxa within some genera.


Cnicothamnus lorentzei (Mutisieae)
© D.J.N Hind



Floristic works vary from to the basic species list to comprehensive research floras. Davis & Heywood (1963) suggested that the species list served a ‘very limited purpose’ except for a poorly known Flora, and highlighted several drawbacks. During the last 15 years great steps have been made in catalogueing the Floras of several South American countries. Checklists have been compiled by Zuloaga & Morone (1999) (Argentina), Jørgensen & León-Yánez (1999) (Ecuador), Boggan et al. (1996) (Guianas – Guyana, Surinam and French Guiana), Brako & Zarruchi (1993)(Peru), allowing a useful comparison between Floras, highlighting where future work is needed, and paving the way to fuller floristic treatments. Indeed, floras of each of the countries mentioned is either complete or underway, sometimes falteringly, rarely approaching the ‘research floras’ considered by Davis & Heywood as being the most comprehensive, one step below the monograph.

Amongst the Andean countries, Bolivia clearly stands out as having a relatively poorly known phanerogamic flora and not having a current checklist. The last complete listing of the ferns and flowering plants of Bolivia was that of Foster’s ‘Catalogue ...’ (Foster, 1958). Foster’s hope had been to produce a ‘Flora of Bolivia’ but the realization that it would not be completed in his lifetime prompted him to publish the ‘Catalogue’. The dicotyledons totalled 1252 genera and the largest family of flowering plants was the Compositae with approximately 900 species (represented by 970 taxa) in 125 genera, in 12 tribes. Clearly, a modern checklist of the family, as a precursor to a flora is highly desirable. To this end the present ‘Preliminary Checklist of the Compositae of Bolivia’ was embarked on.

Fortuitously, the Compositae have been treated reasonably well in the literature. In their bibliography Funk & Mori (1989) have summarized the state of published information on collectors of Bolivian plants to that date. Some (few) collectors were highlighted in their attempts to begin regional floras that included Bolivia, such as Weddell’s Chloris Andina, whose first volume (1855–57) treated the family, Fries (1906) treated the Compositae amongst his own collections from Bolivia, Cabrera (1952) and Koster (1945, 1947) treated many of the Compositae amongst Herzog’s collecting trips, and Buchtien (1910) catalogued his own collections. Revisions and accounts of Bolivian plants include some by B. L. Robinson (1920, 1932 – Stevia, 1922 – Mikania, 1932 – Eupatorium s.l.), Gleason (1923 – Vernonia), Cabrera (1985 – Senecio) and Müller (2006 – Baccharis). There are of course many mongraphs of groups that include Bolivian species, these too numerous to mention here.


The geographical coverage of the present checklist is the present delimitation of Bolivia as shown in ‘The Times ...  Atlas’ (Times Books, 2007).


Strophopappus pohlii This ‘Preliminary Checklist ...’ is primarily a literature based list. The primary list was based on Foster’s Catalogue (Foster 1958). Names cited by Foster are marked with an asterisk (‘*’). For those where there were clearly mis-identifications, explanations are provided as to the possible reasons, perhaps because of problems concerning critical taxa, or noting upon which accounts, or material, this was based. In some cases subsequent reassessment has shown that the names are inapplicable to Bolivian material. This was then augmented using monographs and revisions of taxa whose range included Bolivia, neighbouring floras and checklists, original literature providing descriptions of taxa described from Bolivia, and assessments of a number of accounts of collectors’ itineraries and determinations of their collections (e.g. Bang, Buchtien, Fiebrig, R. E. Fries, Herzog, E. W. D. & M. M. Holway, Mandon, Perkins, Rusby, Steubel, Weddell, R. S. Williams). In addition the few available tribal revisions (e.g. Eupatorieae, Liabeae, Vernonieae), with their accompanying nomenclators, were abstracted these providing confirmation of the presence of many taxa. Also used were a number of papers (e.g. Blake, 1930; Cabrera, 1959a, b, 1960, 1973; Freire & Iharlegui, 2000; Pizarro, 1960; Pruski, 1998) that provided information on historical collections, types, and a proposed synonymy of several names with relevant new combinations.

Strophopappus pohlii
©D.J.N Hind

At all stages a fully cross-referenced list was built up including as complete a synonymy of the accepted names as possible. The resultant synonymy representing a global synonymy with the intention that this list will provide the basis for a ‘research flora’ (sensu Davis & Heywood, 1963: 296); it is clearly incomplete in some instances as the status of many infraspecific names needs to be checked thoroughly. With this aim in mind full type citations were added for all names appearing in the list. To the accumulating list was added a number of names based on determination of J. R. I. Wood et al.’s many hundreds of Compositae collections made over the last 15 years throughout the country; this has added a number of new generic and species records for Bolivia; representative material is cited where relevant. The format of the Preliminary Checklist is outlined in detail below. A limited check, largely because of imposed time constraints, has been made on the presence of additional type material present in the Herbarium of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. At the initial stage no concerted attempt was made to add authenticated material at the end of each accepted species entry; however, some cited material has been added during the second phase of the project when an ongoing assessment of herbarium material was started. Although there are still a significant number of poorly known taxa, ill-represented in herbaria, an attempt has been made to provide geographical, ecological and phytosociological information, together with altitudinal ranges and flowering time, for many taxa. This is an ongoing process and will take some time to complete.

The format of the present Checklist

The following synonymic checklist is in alphabetical order, with subbordinate taxa in the ranking order indicated by the most recent International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (Vienna Code)[= Code], 2006 (McNeill et al. 2006), and taxa at the same rank in strict alphabetical order. Unranked taxa are placed alphabetically under the most appropriate next highest level. Accepted taxa at all ranks are given in emboldened text, synonymic entries are in italics, and valid names of taxa not present in Bolivia are in ordinary Roman text, as are taxa whose presence in Bolivia is in some doubt. Tribal, generic and species concepts are those currently accepted by the author (q.v. Hind, 2007 – tribal, and generic concepts used in my new generic arrangement of the Compositae in K). The original spelling of names is indicated, or corrected, within the provisions of the most recent Code. For each accepted generic name author/s citation (following Brummitt & Powell, 1992), publication details (following Botanico Periodicum Huntianum, its supplement and second edition for journals and Taxonomic Literature, ed. 2 – TL2 – for books) and publication date (following the available information, with appropriate notes if these differ from those usually provided, and pre-print dates, or actual dates, are provided in square brackets).

Author/s citations have been checked, and in many cases corrected, having examined all but a very rare minority of the source publications; any publication not examined by the author is clearly marked. Publication details are expanded to give issue, part or number details for journals by way of completeness and accuracy, regardless of whether pagination is continuous between issues, parts or numbers. Generic synonymy is provided in chronological order for each genus as far as is known, each also provided with publication details and type citations; lectotypification details are provided whenever possible. Generitypes for the accepted generic names are cited and lectotypification details are also provide whenever possible. Generitypes and types of synonymic genera present in the Bolivian flora are emboldened.

A compilation of relevant literature is provided for each genus, including revisions as well as relevant neighbouring flora accounts, and critical taxonomic or nomenclatural papers. In many cases a key to species has been provided, although in some genera this is still required and will be added in future editions or on the web version of this Checklist. For each accepted species author/s citation, publication details and ‘type’ information is provided as well as for all relevant synonyms, the synonyms appearing in chronological order. It is quite probable that many infraspecific synonyms need to be added at some future date, but only when relevant protologues and type material have been examined. The type information is provided in the classical sense – the protologue citation within single quotes, even when this is strictly just ‘habitat’ information, with additions from the type material, or the complete specimen label information, in square brackets ‘[...]’. No attempt has been made to translate text, units, or modify dates to adopt to a ‘journal style’; the style used should allow direct comparison with type material when relevant. Rarely, in some protologues, information was originally provided within square brackets – this is left in square brackets, and often noted as such.

Collectors’ names are as provided in the protologues except that those provided in Roman text are italicized for easier recognition, and those abbreviated (or contracted) are often exanded (in the same type face) within square brackets. The protologues, recent revisions, and Index Herbariorum – List of Collectors, were sources of this information as well as several virtual herbaria. When relevant, additional notes have been provided concerning cited material, or its location. There are several instances where, in the case of citation of material by Rusby, for example, that a single collection was not cited and the wording of the protologue clearly indicates another collection was considered at the same time. This has often been misinterpreted, although the location of some material is unclear. A historical perspective is required, and Rusby’s introductory paper to his coverage of the Bang collections (Rusby, 1893) explains where some of the material is to be found. Britton visited the Herbarium of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew during a European trip and much material was seen, explaining the citation of much Bridges or Pearce material etc. in the protologues of Rusby’s plants. Clearly, very many more lectotypifications are needed, but this is certainly not something to embark on without conisderable extra research.

In cases where it is clear no holotype was stated, rather than add the location of known duplicate type material (which might lead to erroneous lectotypification), the location of material is sometimes withheld, e.g. this is frequently the case with George Gardner’s Brazilian collections. This situation is also true of the location of type material, if extant, of many eighteenth and early nineteenth century protologues. It should also be remembered that in several instances the original material used by botanists to write their protologues remained unmounted for many decades. When eventually mounted, curators were often never of a mind to mark sheets ‘1 of 2’, etc., and duplication of labels was often poor. The result has often been that some names are represented by two or more sheets in the botanist’s host herbarium and these sheets have been given sequential, or quite disparate, accession numbers, without recognizing that they were ‘original material’ or even holotypes. Care will have to be taken in assessing these collections – e.g. those of R. A. Philippi.

Species distribution is provided by country (in alphabetical order), sometimes in a general manner, and within Bolivia is given on a Department by Department basis (in alphabetical order). Since some protologue citations provided minimal locality information, the original specimens were void of such information, or information given cannot be located on maps available, departmental detail is provided as ‘Bolivia (?)’. The dubious occurrence of taxa in Bolivia is usually noted. Whilst admittedly far from complete, details on habitat/ecology, altitude (or elevation if preferred) and flowering time have been added for many taxa. Additional notes are also provided where problems have been discovered with literature citations, type citations, typifications, etc. Vernacular, or common, names have been provided for some taxa. In many instances the location of type material is provided, where known, although this is an ongoing compilation and is certainly far from complete. It is clear that a search through many virtual herbaria has revealed that the digitization process is very much on-going as many types known to be in certain institutions do not appear on their digital catalogues, yet. As the Latin American Plant Initiative (LAPI) has been running parallel to the completion of this list the addition of barcode numbers for type material at K has been omitted until the project is complete.

All synonyms are indexed separately, provided with a full publication reference, and equated with their currently accepted name and its authority. Should any reader have a differing taxonomic view it should be straightforward to find the relevant synonymy for the taxa concerned.

Three tables are provided. Table 1 shows the distribution of genera within tribes (in alphabetical order) and the numbers of genera per tribe, number of species per genus, number of endemic species per genus, and totals of genera, species and endemic species, together with the percentage of endemic species. Table 2 shows the tribes in descending order of size based on the number of species (with the number of genera in brackets). Table 3 shows the ten largest genera (their tribal placement) and the number of species (with the number of endemic species in brackets).

Although much relevant literature is provided after each genus there is a wealth of additional literature that has been used in producing this checklist, such as works on collectors’ itineraries, more general accounts, etc. Full bibliographic references to many of these whole papers are provided at the end, together with bibliographic information not normally met with. Some of this information clarifies, or sometimes corrects, citations often incorrectly provided in the literature, especially in the case of preprints.

Summary of the Preliminary Checklist - version 2

In this first phase an estimated total of c. 1071 species of 227 genera in 13 tribes of the Compositae was recorded. An estimated total of 302 endemic species indicates 28.2% endemism; there are no genera endemic to Bolivia. There are a number of dubious records from Foster’s Catalogue which remain to be reconfirmed. It is also clear that a number of nomina nuda provided by Schultz Bipontinus, based on Mandon’s collections need to be reassessed and their current identity ascertained. A separate list of Mandon’s collections, and their current determinations, will be published in due course.

Emendments and amendments will be made available to the International Plant Names Index as all aspects of the publication of the names involved have been checked against the Code, for their validity and legitimacy. The results will eventually be fed into the Global Compositae Checklist and iPlants – the World’s Plants Online