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Published In: Selectarum Stirpium Americanarum Historia ... 61. 1763. (Select. Stirp. Amer. Hist.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 10/6/2016)
Acceptance : Accepted
Note : Tribe Condamineeae
Project Data     (Last Modified On 5/7/2019)

Chimarrhis includes 14 species of robust trees with multiflowered axillary inflorescences and subglobose capsular fruits. This genus is characterized by petiolate, generally elliptic to obovate leaves; triangular interpetiolar stipules that are convolute-twisted in bud and caducous (e.g., Vásquez et al. 21794); broadly pyramidal to rounded, pedunculate inflorescences with numerous small, protogynous, 5-merous flowers; shortly funnelform to campanulate corollas with the lobes thinly imbricated in bud; and subglobose septicidal capsules with numerous angled or shortly winged seeds. This genus was studied and illustrated in detail by Delprete (1999). The leaves are often rather tough-textured and characteristically have well developed domatia. The wood is yellow and hard, and the trunks are often buttressed; several Chimarrhis species are valuable timber trees. Some species of Chimarrhis sometimes develop white calycophylls. The flowers of all of the species are notably fragrant, and have white to green corollas with barbate throats and pubescent filaments. As discussd by Delprete (1999: 138) the protogynous flowers that have two morphologically somewhat different phases have confused some authors about the breeding biology of this genus. The corolla lobes are so thinly imbricated they can appear valvate unless studied carefully. The capsules are stiff-textured to woody and the valves characteristically remain attached to the inflorescence after dehiscence. Some plants are reported in label data to house ants in their stems. Chimarrhis can usually be recognized when sterile by the combination of the twisted stipules, to 360° or more, and the leaves with well developed domatia. Many plants of Chimarrhis develop subglobose galls on the inflorescences that are often mistaken for fruits (e.g., Monteagudo et al. 3930).

Delprete (1999) presented a lucid taxonomy of Chimarrhis, which had previously been rather confused. He characterized the inflorescences as "subterminal" (1999: 137), which he defined as "axillary on the terminal nodes", and he also described the inflorescence position as "axillary-subterminal" (1999: 137). These inflorescences are here considered axillary, and consistently are borne in one or several axils of nodes near the stem apex that has a vegetative terminal bud or sometimes continues to grow after flowering (e.g., Delprete, 1999: 153, fig. 56; Taylor et al., 2004: 543, fig. 438). Delprete considered the inflorescence arrangement of Chimarrhis a feature of that genus, but more recent study shows a similar arrangement is found in Macrocnemum. Delprete recognized two subgenera of Chimarrhis, which differ in stipule form. Two of the species recognized by Delprete, Chimarrhis hookeri and Chimarrhis glabriflora, are sympatric and distinguished only by a puberulous vs. glabrous disk, and may deserve re-evaluation as to their separation. See Delprete (1999: 141-142) for a key to the species of Chimarrhis. In the key here to the species of Subg. Pseudochimarrhis, Chimarrhis brevipes and Chimarrhis gentryana are separated from the other species based on their "pandurate" leaves, which apparently refers to a somewhat prolonged and rounded basal portion; however one of those other species, Chimarrhis turbinata also sometimes has leaves of this shape (e.g., Delprete, 1999: 172, fig. 75).

Chimarrhis is similar to Calycophyllum and Semaphyllanthe, which are also large trees that sometimes have markedly interpetiolar stipules, calycophylls, and septicidal capsules; Calycophyllum and Semaphyllanthe however have terminal inflorescnces, protandrous flowers, and white wood. Chimarrhis is also similar to Bathysa, which has terminal inflorescences and stipules that are not twisted. Hippotis also has twisted stipules, but can be separated by its lineolate venation and fleshy indehiscent fruits. Chimarrhis is also similar to Parachimarrhis, which has terminal inflorescences and loculicidal capsules. Chimarrhis is also similar to Elaeagia, which has stipules with two intrapetiolar segments, terminal inflorescences, and loculicidal capsules that open through the apical disk portion. Chimarrhis is also similar to Macrocnemum, which has flat elliptic stipules that are not twisted in bud. Chimarrhis is also similar to Dioicodendron, which differs in its twining habit, dioecious breeding biology, and habitat in cloud and montane vegetation.

In a molecular systematic study Kainulainen et al. (2010) found Chimarrhis in the Tribe Condamineeae, and related to Dolichodelphys and Warszewiczia; they found species of both subgenera grouped together with good support. Chimarrhis has also been confused with Simira, which has terminal inflorescences, protandrous flowers, loculicidal capsules, broadly winged seeds, and tissues that turn purple when cut or damaged. The confusion between these is mainly due to Baillon's (Adansonia 12: 306-307, 1879) inclusion of of Simira (which he called by the previously used name Sickingia) within the circumscription of Chimarrhis.

Author: C.M. Taylor
The content of this web page was last revised on 16 September 2016.
Taylor web page: http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/Research/curators/taylor.shtml

Distribution: Lowland to premontane wet forests at 100-900 m, southern Central America (2 species) and the Greater Antilles (2 species) to the central Amazon basin, the Guianas, and the Lesser Antilles (1 species). A few Chimarrhis species are found in most parts of this overall range; the greatest species diversity is in northeastern South America and is composed mostly of species of Subg. Pseudochimarrhis.


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Key to Subgenera of Chimarrhis
from Delprete, 1999: 141-142

1. Stipules caducous, falling off as the leaves they enclose start to develop; plants found in Central America, the Antilles, and South America....Subg. Chimarrhis

1'. Stipules persistent with the leaves and often after they have fallen; plants found in South America.....Subg. Pseudochimarrhis


Lower Taxa
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