Physalis macrosperma (Solanaceae: Physalinae), a new psammophyte endemic to the west Gulf Coastal Plain of the southeastern U.S.A., a global biodiversity hotspot
A new species of Physalinae (Solanaceae) is described and illustrated that is endemic to the West Gulf Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States, a global biodiversity hotspot. Physalis macrosperma sp. nov. is distinguished by its large obpyramidal fruiting calyx (35–70 mm in length), its large seeds [3.2–4.2(4.8) mm in length and 2.5–3.5(3.9) mm in width], and its coarsely pitted seed testa. The ecological and geographical setting of P. macrosperma and its morphological relationships with similar taxa are presented. Physalis macrosperma is an herbaceous perennial psammophyte inhabiting open sand barrens within pyrogenic savanna-woodlands of xeric sandhills. It occurs on droughty undulating Eocene-age quartzipsamments within south-central and east-central Texas and on younger xeric sands embedded within the fire-maintained pinelands of southwestern Arkansas, western Louisiana, and southeastern Texas.
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