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Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana

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6. GARCINIA L., Sp. Pl. 443. 1753.
Rheedia L., Sp. Pl. 1193. 1753.

by Denis M. Kearns

Shrubs or trees, generally glabrous. Leaves opposite or whorled, with latex canals; petiole bases usually strongly excavated. Inflorescences in axillary fascicles, rarely branched, or flowers solitary, axillary or terminal. Flowers bisexual and/or unisexual (plants usually dioecious or polygamous). Sepals 2-4(5), mostly imbricate; petals 2-4(-6), white, yellow, or red, decussate or imbricate, the pairs often of different sizes. Stamens free, variously fasciculate, or connate into a central mass, numerous in staminate flowers, fewer in bisexual flowers; anthers short. Ovary 2-12-locular, often absent from staminate flowers; ovule 1 per locule; styles short or lacking; stigmas expanded. Fruit a berry, mostly 1-locular, smooth to verrucose, leathery, ellipsoid to globose or ovoid, the mesocarp often juicy and sweet. Seeds 1-4; cotyledons minute. Pantropics; ca. 260 species, 4 in Venezuela, 2 of these in the flora area.

Garcinia and Rheedia are sometimes treated as separate genera. Two Rheedia names listed in the Catálogo de la Flora Venezolana as present in the flora area are of uncertain status. Rheedia lateriflora L. (non Garcinia lateriflora Blume 1825) is listed from the lower Río Orinoco and Suriname, but no specimens have been seen from the flora area. The type of Rheedia cupi (H.B.K.) Planch. & Triana was collected in the flooded lowlands of the Río Atabapo, across the river from Baltazar, Colombia. This genus is in need of systematic revision.

Key to the Species of Garcinia

1. Fruits smooth (may be wrinkled when dry); leaves 15-40 cm long, drying dull gray-brown, the resin lines usually not conspicuous ..... G. macrophylla

1. Fruits rough (densely tuberculate); leaves 10-20 cm long, drying shiny gray-green, with obvious resin lines ..... G. madruno

Garcinia macrophylla Mart., Flora 24(2) Beibl: 35. 1841, non Miq. 1864. -Rheedia macrophylla (Mart.) Planch. & Triana, Ann. Sci. Nat. Bot. sér. 4, 14: 309, fig. 8c. 1860. -Baro ehuhi (Yanomamí), Cotoiba, Cozoiba, Cozoiba picuda, Wadanidi-ishadu (Yekwana).

Tree to 30 m tall. Evergreen lowland to lower montane forests, 50-400 m; Delta Amacuro (Río Amacuro), Bolívar (Altiplanicie de Nuria, 30 km south of El Manteco, El Palmar, Represa Guri, Río Grande, Río Tabaro, Río Toro, ca. 60 km northeast of Upata), Amazonas (La Esmeralda, Tayari in upper Río Orinoco). Panama, Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia. Fig. 213.

Included here are some specimens previously identified as Rheedia spruceana Engl. or Rheedia gardneriana Planch. & Triana. Further study will be needed to determine if they belong to a distinct species, and which of these names should be applied.

Garcinia madruno (H.B.K.) Hammel, Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 76: 928. 1989. -Calophyllum madruno H.B.K., Nov. Gen. Sp. (quarto ed.) 5: 202. 1822. -Rheedia madruno (H.B.K.) Planch. & Triana, Ann. Sci. Nat. Bot. sér. 4, 14: 315. 1860. -Cozoiba, Cozoiba negra, Cozoiba rebalsera, Madroño, Naranjita, Peramán de agua.

Verticillaria acuminata Ruiz & Pav., Syst. Fl. Peruv. 140. 1798. --Rheedia acuminata (Ruiz & Pav.) Planch. & Triana, Ann. Sci. Nat. Bot. sér. 4, 14: 314. 1860, non Miers.

Rheedia kappleri Eyma, Polygon. Guttif. Surinam 33. 1932.

Tree to 15 m tall. Riparian areas, 100-1000 m; Bolívar (base of Cerro Guaiquinima, near El Palmar, Represa Guri, Reserva Forestal El Caura, Río Arisa, Río Caura, Río Paragua, Río Uairén, 17 km from Upata), Amazonas (base of Cerro Yutajé, Río Casiquiare). Apure, Anzoátegui, Barinas, Distrito Federal, Mérida, Miranda, Monagas, Sucre, Táchira, Trujillo, Zulia; Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia. Fig. 214.

The mesocarp is edible and has an acidic flavor; plants are semicultivated in parts of northern South America.


Scientific Comments:
Paul Berry (peberry@facstaff.wisc.edu) or Kay Yatskievych (kay.yatskievych@mobot.org).

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