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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 12/18/2012)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 12/18/2012)
Genus LECYTHIS Loefl.
PlaceOfPublication It. Hisp. 189. 1758.
Synonym Bergena Adans. Fam. 2:345. 1763, nec Neck. nec Raf.
Description Large trees. Leaves large and coriaceous, or unusually small for the family, entire to crenulate, usually not congested at the tips of the twigs. Flowers in subterminal or axillary panicles. Hypanthium obovoid. Calyx deeply 6-lobed, becoming a more or less prominently thickened and approximately median rim in fruit. Petals 6, unequal. Androphore strongly bilaterally symmetrical, produced into a prominent posterior simply involute wholly or partially staminodial hood concealing the low staminiferous central- disc; anthers ovoid, dehiscing longi- tudinally. Ovary 4-celled, with several pendulous anatropous ovules; stigma sessile, 4-radiate. Fruit a large woody subglobose dehiscent pyx, the seeds several, large and angulate, pendulous from the greatly enlarged fleshy funicles, the embryo undifferentiated.
Habit trees
Distribution About 50 species, according to Knuth, extending from Costa Rica to southern Brazil, and in the Lesser Antilles.
Note The trees are amongst the largest of the tropical American forests, and the hard wood is used structurally. The large fruits resemble aboriginal pottery, hence the Spanish vernacular olla de mono and the English Monkey-pot. The trees and their timber are known as cocobolo in Panama and Costa Rica. Pittier (in Contrib. U. S. Nat. Herb. 26:8. 1927) recognized four species of Lecythis in Panama, basing them chiefly upon rather obscure differences seen in the fruits. In an earlier paper on the Lecythidaceae of Costa Rica (loc. cit. 12:95- 101. 1908), however, he included a photograph of several fruits of L. costaricensis which displays striking variance and casts considerable doubt upon the reality of his subsequent species. Only two species are recognized here.
Key a. Leaves large and coriaceous,-about 20-50 cm. long, entire or essentially so; pyx with the margin of the orifice convex, rough and irregularly muricate with the bases of the abscessed veins, the calycine rim in- definitely erose or subentire. Pacific slope ................................-.. ........... 1. L. TUYRANA aa. Leaves small and membranaceous, about 8-10 cm. long, finely crenulate; pyx with the margin of the orifice concave, relatively smooth and with little evidence of abscissed veins, the calycine rim conspicuously 6-lobed. Atlantic slope.-2. .L . . .................. ............... ............... 2. L. AMPLA
 
 
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