www.mobot.org Research Home | Search | Contact | Site Map  

North America
South America
General Taxonomy
Photo Essays
Training in Latin

Wm. L. Brown Center
Graduate Studies
Research Experiences
  for Undergraduates

Imaging Lab
MBG Press
Climate Change
Catalog Fossil Plants
Image Index
Rare Books

Res Botanica
All Databases
What's New?
People at MO
Visitor's Guide
Jobs & Fellowships
Research Links
Site Map


Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana

<< Back


2. CARAIPA Aubl., Hist. Pl. Guiane 561, t. 223. 1775.

by Klaus Kubitzki and Bruce K. Holst

Trees or shrubs; latex glands present; indument principally of stellate hairs. Leaves alternate, secondary veins distant, tertiaries often parallel; petioles relatively short. Inflorescences terminal or axillary panicles or racemes. Flowers bisexual, fragrant. Sepals 5, quincuncial, slightly connate at base; petals contorted, yellow or whitish. Stamens numerous, persistent after flowering; filaments slender, ± free; anthers short, the connective broad and forming a small apical cupular gland. Ovary 3-locular, with (1)2 or 3 pendulous, anatropous ovules per carpel, sometimes only 1 locule fertile; style simple, apically 3-lobed. Fruit a woody capsule, often asymmetrical or curved, septicidally dehiscent, leaving a 3-winged central column; exocarp often separating from endocarp. Seeds 1-3, mostly flattened, narrowly winged; testa chartaceous; cotyledons massive, cordate.

Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Peru, northern and northeastern Brazil; ca. 25 species, 13 in Venezuela, all in the flora area.

A revision of the genus was published by K. Kubitzki (Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 29: 82-131. 1978), which included five incompletely known species (including Caraipa sp. A below). Since that time, additional collections have been made that are not identifiable to species and may represent additional new taxa. The genus is clearly in need of further taxonomic study.

Key to the Species of Caraipa

1. Mature leaf blades large, to 26 × 11 cm, with 19-23 pairs of secondary leaf veins, the lower surface brown-pubescent with stalked, stellate trichomes ..... C. spuria

1. Mature leaf blades generally smaller and usually with fewer secondary veins (except C. grandifolia), the lower surface with minute, sessile, stellate trichomes or glabrous ..... 2

2(1). Lower leaf epidermis with cells minutely bullate or clavate (as seen under dissecting microscope); cuticle minutely wrinkled and scaly ..... 3

2. Lower leaf epidermis with cells not protruding; cuticle mostly smooth ..... 7

3(2). Capsules tomentellous, 2-4.2 cm long ..... 4

3. Capsules glabrous, or covered with minute stellate trichomes, 1-2.4 cm long ..... 5

4(3). Leaves lanceolate or lanceolate-ovate, 16-40 cm long; secondary veins 15-35 pairs ..... C. grandifolia

4. Leaves oblong, elliptic, or ovate, 6-13 cm long; secondary veins 9-12 pairs ..... C. longipedicellata

5(3). Lower leaf epidermis with minutely clavate cells; ovary and capsule completely glabrous ..... C. psilocarpa

5. Lower leaf epidermis with rows of minute bullate cells; ovary and capsule tomentellous, sparsely pubescent, or glabrous ..... 6

6(5). Leaves chartaceous or subcoriaceous, the apex acute and often acuminate; capsule 1.6-2.2 cm long, the valves not concave ..... C. punctulata

6. Leaves subcoriaceous, the apex rounded or obtuse, often emarginate; capsule 1.1-1.5 cm long, the valves concave toward the base ..... C. tereticaulis

7(2). Phyllotaxy spiral ..... 8

7. Phyllotaxy distichous ..... 10

8(7). Capsule 10-12 mm long, subglabrous, sparsely covered with minute stellate trichomes; leaves glabrous; secondary veins 6-11 pairs ..... C. savannarum

8. Capsule 12-17 mm long, tomentellous; leaves glabrous or pubescent; secondary veins 9-17 pairs ..... 9

9(8). Leaves 4.5-10 cm long, stellate-pubescent along the midrib on both surfaces and generally on lower surface; secondary veins 9-17 pairs; capsule 1.5-1.7 cm long ..... C. llanorum

9. Leaves 2.5-5 cm long, puberulous along the midrib on both surfaces, but otherwise glabrous; secondary veins 10-12 pairs; capsule 1.2-1.4 cm long ..... C. parvielliptica

10(7). Inflorescences less than 3 cm long, nearly glabrous; flower buds 10-13 mm long; ovary and capsule glabrous ..... C. richardiana

10. Inflorescences > 4 cm long, minutely tomentellous; flower buds 3-5 mm long; ovary and capsule tomentellous ..... 11

11(10). Flower buds ( 6 mm long; sepal lobes 1-2 mm long; capsule 1-2 cm long, tomentellous or with stellate pubescence ..... C. densifolia

11. Flower buds 7-8 mm long; sepal lobes ca. 3 mm long; capsule 3-4 cm long, tomentellous ..... C. heterocarpa

Caraipa densifolia Mart., Nov. Gen. Sp. Pl. 1: 105, t. 65, figs. 6-11. 1824 [1826].

Caraipa laxiflora Benth., London J. Bot. 2: 364. 1843.

Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Peru, Brazil; 2 subspecies, 1 in Venezuela.

C. densifolia subsp. densifolia. -Cachimbo, Chimanaji (Yanomami), Mracanaji (Yanomani), Para (Arekuna), Saladillo, Tamacuarí.

Tree 3-30 m tall; leaves 5.5-14 × 2.5-4.5 cm, with 9-14 pairs of secondary veins; petioles 2-5(-8) mm long; capsules 17-20 mm long. White-sand savannas and scrub, base of granitic outcrops, grassy shrub savannas, evergreen lowland to montane forests, riparian forests, 50-500(-1400) m; widespread in Bolívar and Amazonas. Apure, Guárico; Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Peru, Brazil. Fig. 180.

Caraipa grandifolia Mart., Nov. Gen. Sp. Pl. 1: 105. 1824 [1826].

Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil; 2 subspecies, 1 in Venezuela.

C. grandifolia subsp. grandifolia

Tree 5-15 m tall; leaves 16-28 × 5.5-9 cm, with 15-35 pairs of secondary veins; petioles 7-12 mm long; capsule 30-42 mm long. Edges of white-sand savannas, forests on white sand, along streams, lower montane forests, 100-800 m; Bolívar (Cerro Guaiquinima), Amazonas (savannas at base of Cerro Yapacana, Río Siapa, San Carlos de Río Negro). Amazonian Colombia, Peru, and Brazil. Fig. 181.

Caraipa heterocarpa Ducke, Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. (Paris) sér. 2, 4: 472. 1932. -Tamacaurí.

Tree to 12 m tall; leaves 9-17 × 5-7.5 cm, with 8-13 pairs of secondary veins; petioles 5-10 mm long; capsule 30-40 mm long. Río Negro caatinga forests, 100-200 m; Amazonas (San Carlos de Río Negro). Brazil (Amazonas).

Caraipa llanorum Cuatrec., Revista Acad. Colomb. Ci. Exact. 8: 64. 1950.

Tree 3-25 m tall; leaves 4.5-10 × 1.7-4 cm, with 9-17 pairs of secondary veins; capsule 15-17 mm long. Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil; 2 subspecies, both in the flora area.

Key to the Subspecies of C. llanorum

1. Petioles 1-3 mm long; leaf base subcordate or cordate; lower surface of leaf mostly densely stellate-pubescent ..... subsp. cordifolia

1. Petioles 2-4(-6) mm long; leaf base rounded or acute; lower surface of leaf mostly sparsely pilose ..... subsp. llanorum

C. llanorum subsp. cordifolia Kubitzki, Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 29: 104. 1978.

Tree to 15 m tall. White-sand savannas, evergreen lowland forests, 50-300 m; Amazonas (Canarípo, Cerro Camani, base of Cerro Moriche, Río Guaviarito, Río Manapiare, Río Ventuari). Endemic.

C. llanorum subsp. llanorum. -Caraipe, Mezcla, Pasita, Reventillo, Saladillo sabenero, Saladio, Weeyo' ipipin (Panare).

Tree 5-25 m tall. Savannas, shrub savannas, Mauritia palm swamps, flooded riparian forests, 0-300 m; Bolívar (near Cerro Gavilán, near Corozal, Río Parguaza, Río Pargueni), Amazonas (widespread). Anzoátegui, Apure; Colombia, Brazil (upper Rio Negro).

Caraipa longipedicellata Steyerm., Fieldiana, Bot. 28: 385. 1952. -Tamaruarí banero.

Shrub to tree to 25 m tall; leaves 6-13 × 2.8-6 cm, with 9-12 pairs of secondary veins; petioles 3-11 mm long; immature capsule subglobose. Evergreen lowland to montane forests, savanna margins, Mauritia palm swamps, 100-1300 m; Bolívar (Cerro Guaiquinima, northeast of El Paují, Río Aponguao, Río Caruay, Uei-tepui), Amazonas (Cerro Yapacana, Río Atabapo basin, Río Cunucunuma, upper Río Yaciba, Río Yatúa, Sierra de la Neblina). Colombia (Vaupés). Fig. 182.

Caraipa parvielliptica Cuatrec., Revista Acad. Colomb. Ci. Exact. 8: 64. 1950. -Palo pilón, Sabadillo sabanero, Saladillo.

Tree to 10 m tall; leaves 2.5-5.5 × 1.5-2.6 cm, with 10-12 pairs of secondary veins; petioles 2-4 mm long; capsule 12-14 mm long. Seasonally flooded riparian forests, savannas, 50-100 m; Bolívar (Caicara, Río Chaviripa, Río Parguaza), Amazonas (Rincones de Chacorro 30 km north of Puerto Ayacucho, Río Sipapo). Colombia (Vaupés).

Caraipa psilocarpa Kubitzki, Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 29: 128. 1978. -Itui-yek, Itu-yek (Arekuna).

Tree to 20 m tall; leaves 6-17 × 2.5-7 cm, with 11-19 pairs of secondary veins; petioles 5-10 mm long; capsule 17-20 mm long. Montane forests, 900-1400 m; Bolívar (Cerro Venamo, La Escalera, Río Cuyuní basin, Uei-tepui). Endemic. Fig. 179.

Caraipa punctulata Ducke, Arch. Jard. Bot. Rio de Janeiro 3: 216. 1922. -Baseo, Capauri-guara-yek (Arekuna), Wash-ina-cuá (Yekwana).

Caraipa ferruginea Steyerm., Fieldiana, Bot. 28: 384. 1952.

Tree to 30 m tall; leaves 14-21 × 5.5-8 cm, with 16-21 pairs of secondary veins; petioles 7-10(-17) mm long; capsule 16-20 mm long. Río Negro caatinga, evergreen lowland to montane forests, 50-1700 m; Bolívar (Amaruay-tepui, headwaters of Río Hacha, Río Icabarú, Río Paragua, Urimán), central to southern Amazonas. Apure; Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Brazil, Peru.

Caraipa richardiana Cambess., Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. 16: 414, pl. 18. 1828. -Asibu-acua-rosa (Warao), Cozoiba, Hicao, Icaco, Katebateuray (Kamaracoto), Tolete de morocoto.

Tree to 15 m tall; leaves glabrous, shiny, (8-)10-24(-28) × (4-)5.5-9(-11) cm, with 9-14 pairs of secondary veins; petioles 7-12 mm long; capsule glabrous, smooth, shining, 40-65 mm long. Swamps, riparian forests, evergreen lowland forests, 50-600 m; Delta Amacuro (Caño Arature, Curiapo, east-northeast of El Palmar, Río Amacuro, Río Cuyubini), Bolivar (base of Amaruay-tepui, Canaima, El Tigre to La Soledad, between Mazivaca and Los Castillos, Reserva Forestal Paragua, Río Acanán, Río Chicanán, San Félix). Sucre; Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Brazil.

Caraipa savannarum Kubitzki, Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 29: 104. 1978. -Saladillo.

Shrub or small tree to 10 m tall; leaves 3.5-7.5 × 2.2-4.5 cm, with 6-11 pairs of secondary veins; petioles 2-10(-15) mm long; capsule 10-12 mm long. Mostly white-sand savannas and shrublands, riverbanks, 50-500 m; Bolívar (near base of Amaruay-tepui, near Canaima, Cerro Ichún, Río Aparamán, Río Asa, Río Cucurital in upper Río Caroní basin, Río Paragua, upper Río Trueno, Sierra Auraima, Urimán), Amazonas (savannas at base of Cerro Yapacana, Isla Ratón, 23 km northeast of Puerto Ayacucho, Río Asisa, Río Guasacavi, Río Parú, lower Río Siapa, Sabana Hechimoni near Río Siapa, Yutajé). Guárico; Guyana, Amazonian Brazil.

Caraipa spuria Barb. Rodr., O Tamakoaré, Esp. Nov. Ternstroem. 5, C. 1887; Vellosia ed. 2, 8: 9, t. 5C. 1885-1888 [1891]. -Yurí de caracol.

Tree to 15 m tall; leaves elliptic, large, to 26 × 11 cm, smooth and ± shiny on upper surface, brown-pubescent on lower surface with stalked stellate trichomes, with 19-23 pairs of secondary veins; petioles 10-15 mm long, 4-5 mm thick; fruits pyramidal, 25-30 mm long. Seasonally flooded to nonflooded evergreen lowland forests in black-water regions, 100-200 m; Amazonas (Caño Iguapo southeast of La Esmeralda, Caño San Miguel, Río Negro). Brazil (Amazonas).

Kubitzki (Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 29: 100. 1978) treated Caraipa spuria as a synonym of C. costata Spruce, but the material treated here has much larger leaves and more secondary veins than C. costata and matches closely the illustration of C. spuria in Barbosa Rodrigues (Vellosia ed. 2, 8: 9, t. 5C. 1891). Alternatively, the specimens referred to here may represent hybrids between C. costata and C. grandifolia.

Caraipa tereticaulis Tul., Ann. Sci. Nat. Bot. sér. 3, 8: 341. 1847. -Itoiyeneyek, Itu (both names Arekuna).

Tree 4-30 m tall; leaves 5-12.5 × 2.3-5 cm, with 11-19 pairs of secondary veins; petioles 5-9 mm long; capsule 11-14 mm long. Evergreen to montane lowland forests, gallery forests, savanna margins, 800-1800 m; Bolívar (Amaruay-tepuí, Auyán-tepuí, Cordillera Epicara, Gran Sabana, Macizo del Chimantá [Amurí-tepuí], Upuigma-tepui), Amazonas (Cerro Coro Coro, Cerro Parú, Cerro Yapacana, Cerro Yutajé). Guyana, Peru, adjacent Brazil.

Caraipa sp. A

Shrub; leaves 6-11 × 2.5-4.5 cm, with 11-15 pairs of secondary veins, lower surface with scattered stellate trichomes; petiole 2-4 mm long; young capsule ovoid, 10-15 mm long. Seasonally flooded white-sand savanna near stream, ca. 100 m; Amazonas (Caño Pimichín). Endemic. This is known from one collection in young fruit, Maguire et al. 36377 (M, NY), and is likely a new species, but flowering material is needed.


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

© 1995-2023 Missouri Botanical Garden, All Rights Reserved
4344 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 577-5100

Technical Support