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Published In: Journal of Botany, British and Foreign 20: 218. 1882. (J. Bot.) Name publication detailView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 11/8/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 12/2/2016)

This is the most commonly collected species of Gaertnera in Madagascar, and its var. sphaerocarpa is more commonly collected than var. obovata. This species is morphologically variable, with little correlation between characters and no good geographic patterns evident; its two varieties are not completely distinct, and are here separated provisionally pending further study. However Gaertnera obovata var. sphaerocarpa was circumscribed very broadly and as a polymorphic group by Malcomber & Taylor (2009); Taylor et al. (2014) significantly nrarowed the circumscription of this variety, with many plants transferred to newly described species. Taylor et al. (2014) presented a revised description of this varietiy. Gaertnera obovata is similar to G. guillotii, and these species can be difficult to distinguish.

The specimens listed and mapped on this page are the ones that are not identified to variety; specimens that are identified to variety are listed only on the corresponding name page. Malcomber & Taylor (2009) recognized two varieties of this species; these have sometimes incorrectly been cited as subspecies, but these names were formally published as varieties.


Madagascar, widespread in moist forests at 0-2000 m.


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1. Leaves elliptic to elliptic-oblong, oblanceolate, obovate, or ovate, 1.2-8.5 × 0.7-5.2 cm, with margins flat; corolla pink to lilac or white; long-styled flowers with anthers included; drupes 4-5 × 5-6 mm.....var. obovata

1'. Leaves elliptic-oblong to oblanceolate, 4.5-23 × 1.9-8.5 cm, with margins flat or crisped; corolla white; long-styled flowers with anthers shortly exserted; drupes 6-10 × 5-10 mm....var. sphaerocarpa



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