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The Cutting Edge
Volume XX, Number 2, April 2013
News and Notes | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature |
Season's Pick | Annotate your copy
SEASON'S PICK: For this issue we feature Rehdera trinervis (S. F. Blake) Moldenke (Verbenaceae), a well-known tree of the drier portions of the Pacific slope in Costa Rica. Although this spot is usually reserved for plants with particularly showy flowers or fruits and with phenology pertinent to the current season, we break tradition on this occasion in favor of a phenologically off-season sp. (at least with regard to leaves and flowers). Let the trunks of the Llayo or (Yayo) tree have their day!
Although we've not found much published information on the uses of this noble tree, in León & Poveda (2000; Nombres comunes de las plantas en Costa Rica. Ed. Guayacán) our knowledge of its use for decorative posts on porches is confirmed. The above photos were taken in a presumed plantation of the sp., not far from Cabuya, near the southern tip of the Península de Nicoya. See also the INBio sp. page.
The wood is very hard and durable and, for reasons obvious, difficult to prepare for the application of sealants, but well worth the effort for those wanting the elegant rustic look of such posts.
Our information, from Manual contributor Ricardo Rueda's (HULE) treatment of this genus and from collections, is that R. trinervis flowers (Hammel & Pérez 24823, INB) during the rainy season (may.–jul., set.) and fruits during the dry season, while it is leafless. It can be confused with spp. of Citharexylum (only rarely found in dry forest, and without the distinctly channeled trunks), but differs most markedly by its capsular and cylindrical rather than drupaceous and globose fruits. Llayo also differs from Citharexyum by having hermaphroditic rather than cryptically unisexual flowers.