Monographs Details: Piptocoma
Authority: Liogier, Alain H. 1971. Novitates Antillanae. IV. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 21: 107-157.
Scientific Name:Piptocoma

This genus was described by Cassini (Bull. Soc. Philom. 1817: 10. 1817); it belongs to the Vernonieae and is very close to Vernonia; the main difference is in the outer pappus scales which are shorter than the inner ones and m a y be distinct or connate in various ways; the inner scales are usually somewhat twisted; the achene is always glabrous and 5-angled. Other characteristics make this genus recognizable at first sight, such as the conspicuous dark round spot near the tip of the involucral bracts and the glands near the tip of the corolla-lobes. Urban [Ark. Bot. 23A(11): 49-51. 1931] redescribed the only known species at that time, P rufescens Cassini, and added a new species, P. antillana Urban. The Puerto Rican and Lesser AntiUean specimens had previously been attributed to P. rufescens. However, examination of the Bertero specimen in the Paris Herbarium, and of the Ekman collections in Haiti left no doubt as to its identity; the other species is very different and was described by Urban under P. antillana.

While studying the available herbarium material in the preparation of m y preliminary survey of the Flora of Hispaniola, I found in the New York Botanical Garden Herbarium a specimen collected by Ekman on the Samana Peninsula, which was much different from the two known species. I described it as P. samancnsis Alain (Brittonia 20: 153. 1968).

Another Ekman specimen from northern Santo Domingo was at that time considered to be like a form of P rufescens Cassini, but with some reservations. My own collections of P. rufescens, and further collections in the same E k m a n locality together with other hitherto unexplored places lead m e to consider two more undescribed taxa, and to revise the whole genus. Five species are included.