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Published In: Tableau Encyclopédique et Methodique ... Botanique 1: 379, t. 167, figs. a–m. 1792. (13 Feb [t. 167] & 30 Jul [p. 379] 1792) (Tabl. Encycl.) Name publication detailView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 10/2/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 8/27/2014)

Gaertnera comprises 85 species with 4 distinguished varieties plus 1 presumed hybrid taxon of shrubs and small trees found widely in the Old World tropics, in humid evergreen forests from sea level to over 2000 m elevation (Malcomber & Taylor 2009; Taylor et al. 2014). Gaertnera and the Neotropical genus Pagamea Aubl. comprise the tribe Gaertnereae. Gaertnera can be recognized within the Rubiaceae by its woody habit; its generally well developed tubular stipules; its distinctive ridges or wings that encircle the sides and bottom of the petiole and often extend upward onto the stipule sheath; its bracteate, basically cymose inflorescences variously borne in terminal, pseudoaxillary, axillary, and/or supra-axillary position; it calyx limb with a well developed tube; its salverform to funnelform, white, pink, or occasionally red corollas with 4 or 5 valvate lobes; its 2-locular ovary that is superior in flower; and its superior, purple-black, drupaceous fruit with 2 pyrenes. The superior position of the ovary is unusual in the Rubiaceae, and apparently secondarily derived (Igersheim et al. 1994). Gaertnera is also notable for the variation in its breeding biology, with the species of Africa, Madagascar, the Mascarenes, and Sri Lanka for which the biology is known all distylous, but the species of southeastern Asia apparently all dioecious with this latter condition presumably derived (Malcomber 2002).

Van Beusekom (1967) adopted a broader species concept than here, and in particular circumscribed Gaertnera vaginans as a widespread, morphologically and biologically variable species with two subspecies. He included in G. vaginans plants of Africa, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and southeastern Asia, all with cylindrical stipules that closely encircle the stem, 5-merous flowers, reduced calyx lobes, and fruits of average size and shape. However the inflorescence arrangement varied from subcapitate to diffusely cymose and the breeding biology included homostyly, distyly, and dioecy. His subsp. vaginans comprised the distylous plants, found in Africa, Madgascar, and Sri Lanka; his subspecies junghuhniana comprised the dioecious plants, found in southeastern Asia. In his circumscription this polymorphic species thus ranged across several distinct biogeographic regions and was circumscribed by potentially ancestral characters. Molecular sequence data indicate that the plants grouped as G. vaginans by van Beusekom are a polyphyletic group, with its members distributed among several clades (Malcomber & Taylor 2009). The molecular data agree with a classification based on morphological characters and breeding system. Here the plants of van Beusekom's "Gaertnera vaginans" group are treated in 12 species, each found in a single biogeographic region: G. alstonii, G. aphanodioica, G. arenaria, G. belumutensis, G. capitulata, G. junghuhniana, G. kochummenii, G. longivaginalis, G. paniculata, G. ramosaG. sralensis, and G. vaginans.

Note to Users: The images and specimens that TROPICOS displays on this genus page are those that are identified only as Gaertnera sp.; specimens and images that are identified with a species name are displayed on the corresponding species page.

Authors: S.T. Malcomber & C.M. Taylor.
The content of this web page was last revised on 28 August 2014.
Malcomber web page http://www.csulb.edu/~smalcomb/
Taylor web page http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/Research/curators/taylor.shtml



Paleotropics: Evergreen moist vegetation, usually in forest understory, at 0--2000 m in Africa (Senegal, Sierra Leone, Guinea [-Konachry], Benin, Mali, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Angola, Zambia), Madgascar, the Mascarenes (Mauritius, Réunion), Sri Lanka, and continental southeastern Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia), Sumatra (Indonesia), and Borneo (Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia).

Taxa Included Here:

The following list is based on ongoing study, and is intended to facilite work on this genus. This list includes the species and names that have so far been studied.
Note: Synonymous names are listed here without links, and with their equivalents; accepted names are listed in the "Lower Taxa" section of this webpage, with links there to additional data (including images).
Note: For each accepted species name linked below, clicking will lead to the Rubiaceae Project data page. To then see the standard TROPICOS Name page directly from that page, go to the upper right of the screen and under "Project", choose "TROPICOS".

Chassalia coffeoides DC. = Gaertnera psychotrioides
Chassalia psychotrioides DC. = Gaertnera psychotrioides
Coffea chassalioides D. Dietr., nom. superfl. illeg. = Gaertnera psychotrioides
Gaertnera acuminata Benth. = Gaertnera junghuhniana
Gaertnera acuminata var. montana Ridley = Gaertnera ramosa
Gaertnera acuminata var. oxyphylla (Benth.) Ridl. = Gaertnera junghuhniana
Gaertnera aetheonoma Steud. nom. nud. = Gaertnera calycina
Gaertnera australiana C.T. White = Psychotria sp.
Gaertnera bifida Bojer = Gaertnera psychotrioides
Gaertnera boivinii Drake - identity unclear
Gaertnera borneensis Valet. - identity unclear
Gaertnera bracteata E.M.A. Petit = Gaertnera longivaginalis var. bracteata
Gaertnera bracteata var. glabriflora E.M.A Petit = Gaertnera longivaginalis var. bracteata
Gaertnera brevistylis Ridl. = Gaertnera junghuhniana
Gaertnera caerulea Bojer = Chassalia grandifolia
Gaertnera calycina var. variegata Bojer = Gaertnera calycina
Gaertnera capitata Bojer = Chassalia capitata
Gaertnera caudata Ridl. = Gaertnera ramosa
Gaertnera coerulea, orth. var. = Chassalia capitata
Gaertnera crassifolia, orth. var. = Gaertnera crassiflora
Gaertnera crinita Drake = Gaertnera phanerophlebia
Gaertnera cymiflora Bojer = Chassalia boryana
Gaertnera dinklagei K. Schum. = Gaertnera trachystyla
Gaertnera ferruginea A. Cheval. = Premna quadrifolia Schumach. & Thonn., Verbenaceae
Gaertnera fissistipula (K. Schum. & K. Krause) E.M.A. Petit = Gaertnera bieleri
Gaertnera godefroyana Cordem. = Gaertnera vaginata
Gaertnera guillotii (Hochr.) Bremek., hom. illeg. = Gaertnera inflexa
Gaertnera hongkongensis Seem. = Ixora chinensis
Gaertnera incarnata Bojer = Chassalia lanceolata
Gaertnera indica J.F. Gmel. = Hiptage madablota Gaertn., Malphighiaceae
Gaertnera intermedia Ridl. = Gaertnera diversifolia
Gaertnera koenigii (Arn.) Wight, nom. illeg. = Gaertnera vaginans
Gaertnera koenigii var. divaricata (Thwaites) C.B. Clarke = Gaertnera divaricata
Gaertnera koenigii var. oxyphylla (Benth.) C.B. Clarke, nom. illeg. = Gaertnera junghuhniana
Gaertnera koenigii var. thyrsiflora (Arn.) Thwaites, nom. illeg. = Gaertnera vaginans
Gaertnera lanceolata Bouton ex DC. = Gaertnera pendula
Gaertnera lanceolata Ridl., hom. illeg. = Gaertnera diversifolia
Gaertnera lasianthoides C.E.C. Fischer = Psychotria rhinoceratis Blume
Gaertnera latifolia Ridl. = Gaertnera diversifolia
Gaertnera laxiflora Cordem. = Gaertnera vaginata
Gaertnera longevaginalis, orth. var. = Gaertnera longivaginalis
Gaertnera longiflora C.F. Gaertn. - identity unclear
Gaertnera longifolia var. pubescens Verdc. = Gaertnera longifolia
Gaertnera longipetiolata R. Good = Psychotria gossweileri E.M.A. Petit
Gaertnera longivaginalis var. glabriflora E.M.A. Petit = Gaertnera longivaginalis var. bracteata
Gaertnera longivaginalis var. louisii E.M.A. Petit = Gaertnera longivaginalis var. longivaginalis
Gaertnera lushaiensis C.E.C. Fischer = Chassalia lushaiensis (C.E.C. Fischer) C.E.C. Fischer
Gaertnera morindoides Baker = Morinda morindoides (Baker) Milne-Redhead
Gaertnera oblanceolata Ridl., hom. illeg. = Gaertnera diversifolia
Gaertnera oblanceolata var. diversifolia (Ridley) Beusekom = Gaertnera diversifolia
Gaertnera obtusifolia Roxb. = Hiptage obtusifolia (Roxb.) DC., Malpighiaceae
Gaertnera occidentalis Baill. = Gaertnera paniculata
Gaertnera ovata Ridl. = Gaertnera diversifolia
Gaertnera oxycarpa Drake - identity unclear
Gaertnera oxyphylla Benth. = Gaertnera junghuhniana
Gaertnera oxyphylla Drake, hom. illeg. = Gaertnera pendula
Gaertnera oxyphylla var. angustifolia Ridl. = Gaertnera junghuhniana
Gaertnera pangatii Retz. = Sphenoclea zeylanica Gaertn. (Campanulaceae)
Gaertnera parviflora Bojer = Gaertnera psychotrioides
Gaertnera parvipaniculata E.M.A. Petit = Gaertnera leucothyrsa
Gaertnera pedicellata Ridl. = Gaertnera ramosa
Gaertnera petrinensis Verdc. = Gaertnera edentata
Gaertnera plagiocalyx K. Schum. = Gaertnera longevaginalis var. longevaginalis
Gaertnera pongatii, orth. var. = Sphenoclea zeylanica Gaertn. (Lobeliaceae/Campanulaceae)
Gaertnera quadriseta DC. = Gaertnera psychotrioides
Gaertnera quadriseta var. brevipes DC. = Gaertnera psychotrioides
Gaertnera quadriseta var. hebepoda DC. = Gaertnera psychotrioides
Gaertnera quadriseta var. petiolaris DC. = Gaertnera psychotrioides
Gaertnera quadriseta var. platypoda DC. = Gaertnera psychotrioides
Gaertnera racemosa (Cav.) Roxb. = Hiptage benghalensis (L.) Kurz (Malpighiaceae)
Gaertnera rhodantha Baker = Gaertnera spicata
Gaertnera richardii Drake = Psychotria sp.
Gaertnera rigida Ridl. = Psychotria diversifolia
Gaertnera rufinervis Stapf = Psychotria sp.
Gaertnera salicifolia C.H. Wright ex Baker = Gaertnera trachystyla
Gaertnera salicifolia Hutch. & Gillet hom. illeg. = Gaertnera liberiensis
Gaertnera sessiliflora Ridl. = Gaertnera ramosa
Gaertnera sieberi C. Presl = Gaertnera calycina
Gaertnera sp. A of Verdcourt probably = Gaertnera calycina
Gaertnera spathacea Boivin ex Drake = Gaertnera arenaria
Gaertnera sphaerocarpa Baker = Gaertnera obovata var. sphaerocarpa
Gaertnera stictophylla (Hiern) E.M.A. Petit - identity unclear
Gaertnera taiensis Kerr = Gaertnera junghuhniana
Gaertnera thyrsiflora (Arn.) Blume = Gaertnera vaginans
Gaertnera truncata A.DC. = Gaertnera psychotrioides
Gaertnera vaginans ssp. junghuhniana (Miq.) Beusekom = Gaertnera junghuhniana
Gaertnera vaginans ssp. junghuhniana f. hermaphroditica Beusekom = Gaertnera aphanodioica
Gaertnera violescens Ridley = Psychotria sp.
Gaertnera walkeri var. angustifolia Benth. = Gaertnera ternifolia
Gaertnera walkeri var. gardneri (Thwaites) C.B. Clarke = Gaertnera ×gardneri
Gaertnera zimmermanii Gilg & K. Krause = Strychnos L. sp. (Loganiaceae)
Gaertnera zollingeriana Miq. = Gaertnera junghuhniana
Grumilea fissistipula K. Schum. & K. Krause = Gaertnera bieleri
Hymenocnemis madagascariensis Hook.f. = Gaertnera madagascariensis
Mussaenda borbonica Lapeyrère = Gaertnera vaginata
Ophioxylon arboreum Koenig ex DC. nom. nud. pro syn. = Gaertnera vaginans
Pristidia divaricata Thwaites = Gaertnera divaricata
Psychotria bieleri De Wild. = Gaertnera bieleri
Psychotria furcellata Baillon ex Vatke = Gaertnera furcellata
Psychotria guillotii Hochr. = Gaertnera inflexa
Psychotria leucothyrsa K. Krause = Gaertnera leucothyrxa
Psychotria longivaginalis Schweinf. ex Hiern = Gaertnera longivaginalis
Psychotria obesa Wall. nom. nud. = Gaertnera obesa
Psychotria oxyphylla Wall. nom. nud. = Gaertnera junghuhniana
Psychotria sralensis Pierre ex Pit. = Gaertnera sralensis
Psychotria stictophylla Hiern - identity unclear
Psychotria trachystyla Hiern = Gaertnera trachystyla
Psychotria vaginans DC. = Gaertnera vaginans
Psychotria viminea Wall. nom. nud. = Gaertnera viminea
Sykesia acuminata (Benth.) Kuntze = Gaertnera junghuhniana
Sykesia arenaria (Baker) Kuntze = Gaertnera arenaria
Sykesia calycina (Bojer) Kuntze = Gaertnera calycina
Sykesia crassiflora (Bojer) Kuntze = Gaertnera crassiflora
Sykesia cuneifolia (Bojer) Kuntze = Gaertnera cuneifolia
Sykesia edentata (Bojer) Kuntze = Gaertnera edentata
Sykesia grisea (C.B. Clarke) Kuntze = Gaertnera grisea
Sykesia hongkongensis (Seem.) Kuntze = Ixora chinensis
Sykesia junghuhniana (Miq.) Kuntze = Gaertnera junghuhniana
Sykesia koenigii Arn., nom. superfl. illeg. = Gaertnera vaginans
Sykesia lanceolata Kuntze nom. nud. - identity unclear
Sykesia longifolia (Bojer) Kuntze = Gaertnera longifolia
Sykesia macrobotrys (Baker) Kuntze = Gaertnera macrobotrys
Sykesia macrostipula (Baker) Kuntze = Gaertnera macrostipula
Sykesia obovata (Baker) Kuntze = Gaertnera obovata
Sykesia oxyphylla (Benth.) Kuntze = Gaertnera junghuhniana
Sykesia paniculata (Benth.) Kuntze = Gaertnera paniculata
Sykesia pendula (Bojer) Kuntze = Gaertnera pendula
Sykesia phanerophlebia (Baker) Kuntze = Gaertnera phanerophlebia
Sykesia phyllosepala (Baker) Kuntze = Gaertnera phyllosepala
Sykesia phyllostachya (Baker) Kuntze = Gaertnera phyllostachya
Sykesia psychotrioides (DC.) Kuntze = Gaertnera psychotrioides
Sykesia rosea (Thwaites ex Benth.) Kuntze = Gaertnera rosea
Sykesia rotundifolia (Bojer) Kuntze = Gaertnera rotundifolia
Sykesia sphaerocarpa (Baker) Kuntze = Gaertnera obovata var. sphaerocarpa
Sykesia ternifolia (Thwaites) Kuntze = Gaertnera ternifolia
Sykesia thyrsiflora Arn. = Gaertnera vaginans
Sykesia vaginans (DC.) Kuntze = Gaertnera vaginans
Sykesia vaginata (Lam.) Kuntze = Gaertnera vaginata
Sykesia viminea (Hook.f. ex C.B. Clarke) Kuntze = Gaertnera viminea
Sykesia walkeri Arn. = Gaertnera junghuhniana
Tsiangia hongkongensis (Seem.) P.P.H. But et al. = Ixora chinensis
Uragoga stipulacea Kuntze = Gaertnera obesa


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            Trees or shrubs, up to 15(--20) m tall, glabrous to variously pubescent, sometimes drying grayish green, brown, gray, chestnut, reddish brown, or with a distinctive orange cast. Branches flattened to tetete or quadrangular, 0.5--15 mm diam.; internodes 0.1--26 cm, smooth or with 2 to 4 longitudinal ribs, sometimes corky (G. alata). Leaves sessile to petiolate, decussate, paired or rarely ternate, isophyllous to a little anisophyllous; blade 0.5--55 x 0.1--20 cm, linear-lanceolate to elliptic, elliptic-oblong, or cuneiform, margins flat or infrequently crisped; secondary veins visible or sometimes not visible below, eucamptodromous, spreading and arched or infrequently nearly straight and ascending at an acute angle; domatia absent or present as pilosulous or hirtellous, tuft- or crypt-domatia in axils of secondary veins; petioles 0.2--10 cm , smooth to occasionally furrowed or rarely winged, smooth or usually encircled on sides and below by ridges or wings, these often extending onto stipules. Stipules 0.1--75 mm, tubular and open at top in bud to fused at top and calyptrate, cylindrical to infrequently funnel-shaped, entire or splitting along 1 side to form a spathaceous structure, splitting on 2 sides to form 2 usually intrapetiolar segments, or rarely splitting on 4 sides into 4 spathulate parts (G. furcellata, G. microphylla), drying membranaceous to coriaceous, variously caducous, deciduous through fragmentation, or persistent, usually with 4 longitudinal ribs or wings arising below petioles and extending along sheath to lobes, sometimes with 2 additional ribs or wings; apex entire or with the 1--4 incisions described above, marcesent (i.e., becoming hardened) to fragmenting or infrequently persistent; lobes none or 4, up to 20 mm, deltate to filiform; additional setae none or several to numerous, to 20 mm. Inflorescences terminal on developed stems, sometimes borne on short axillary stems, or rarely axillary or terminal on supraaxillary stems, cymose to compound-cymose, paniculiform, subcapitate, reduced to 1 or a few flowers, or rarely spiciform, erect to occasionally pendulous, sessile to pedunculate, green, white or pink, bracteate or rarely ebracteate (G. alata); peduncle to 15 cm; branched portion up to 25 x 30 cm, pyramidal to corymbiform-rounded, subglobose, or rarely cylindrical, branched to as many as 6 orders, lax to congested; axes dichasial or rarely scorpioid (G. divaricata); bracts subtending basalmost axes triangular to linear or sometimes resembling reduced leaves or stipules (G. microphylla), rarely grouped into an involucre (G. cuneifolia, G. microphylla); bracts subtending higher-order axes up to 30 mm, deltate to linear, ovate, or trifid, usually grading in size and shape between basalmost bracts and bracteoles; bracteoles reduced to developed, inserted on pedicel and/or at base of calyx, rarely enlarged and bright white (G. phyllosepala, G. phyllostachya). Supra-axillary reproductive branches rarely present (G. diversifolia, G. inflexa), paired, flexuous, with leaves well developed to reduced. Flowers sessile to pedicellate, 4- to 5(6)-merous, dioecious or bisexual and heterodistylous. Calyx limb cup-shaped, urceolate, or campanulate, 1--20 mm wide, outside glabrous or variously pubescent, inside sometimes with a distinct ring of trichomes, truncate to denticulate or lobed, lobes rounded to triangular or linear, equal to markedly unequal, up to 30 mm, sometimes petaloid in color and texture (G. phyllosepala, G. phyllostachya); corolla white or infrequently pink, red, orange, or blue, clavate to rhomboidal or obclavate in bud, at anthesis salverform, infundibuliform or campanulate, 2--30 mm, outside glabrous or variously pubescent, inside glabrous or villous inside tube, tube entire or rarely fenestrate (G. cooperi), lobes 1--10 mm, narrowly triangular to ovate-oblong, glabrous adaxially, apically rounded to acute or rarely expanded and cucullate (G. cooperi), abaxially smooth or rarely with a thickened subapical appendage  (G. edentata); stamens inserted in corolla tube, anthers 1.5--4 mm, narrowly oblong, dithecal, dehiscent by longitudinal slits, sessile or with developed filaments to 8 mm, in long-styled flowers positioned below the stigmas and included to partially exserted, in short-styled flowers position above the stigmas and included to exserted, in staminate flowers positioned near middle of corolla tube to exserted, in pistillate flowers staminodes present or absent, positioned in lower part of corolla to corolla throat. Ovary superior, 2-locular, 2-celled, with 1 erect basal ovule in each cell; style filiform, glabrous or pubescent, stigmas 2, linear-clavate, often flattened, in long-styled flowers these positioned above the anthers and exserted, in short-styled flowers these positioned below the anthers and included, in staminate flowers pistillodes developed or reduced and positioned in lower part to middle of corolla tube, in pistillate flowers these developed and positioned in lower to upper part of corolla tube. Fruit a drupe, blue to violet-black or reportedly sometimes whitened, globose to ellipsoid,  obovoid, or didymous, smooth or infrequently ridged, 5--28 x 5--16 mm, glabrous or rarely pubescent; pyrenes 2 per drupe or sometimes 1 apparently by abortion or incomplete pollination, spherical or hemispherical to wedge-shaped, ± smooth to finely fissured, rugose, and/or deeply fissured, endosperm entire to invaginated or ruminated.


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Key to Species of the "Gaertnera vaginans" Complex
1. Stems and stipules pilosulous to hirtellous, tomentulose, and villous or stipules sometimes puberulous; plants dioecious.
    2. Leaves elliptic-oblong to oblanceolate or elliptic; inflorescence corymbiform; peduncles 3--5 cm long; Borneo....Gaertnera alstonii
    2'. Leaves elliptic to oblanceolate; inflorescence subglobose, sessile or with peduncles to 1.4 cm long; Borneo....Gaertnera capitulata
1'. Stems and stipules glabrous or puberulent, or stipules sometimes pilosulous in G. longivaginalis; plants distylous or dioecious.
    3. Inflorescences subglobose, sessile or with peduncles to 3.5 cm long.
        4. Plants drying with green to grayish green cast; continental Southeast Asia ....Gaertnera sralensis
        4'. Plants drying with orange cast. 
            5. Calyx truncate or with lobes to 0.3 mm long; continental Southeast Asia....Gaertnera belemutensis
            5'. Calyx lobes 1--3.5 mm long; continental Southeast Asia....Gaertnera kochumennii
    3'. Inflorescences corymbiform to pyramidal, sessile or with peduncles to 6 cm long.
        6. Plants dioecious, with unisexual flowers (flowers appearing homostylous in G. aphanodioica). 
            7. Stipules drying membranous, with lobes 1--2.5 mm long; inflorescences several-flowered, with ca. 5--10 flowers; continental Southeastern Asia....Gaertnera ramosa
           7'. Stipules drying chartaceous, with lobes 1--7 mm long; inflorescences many-flowered, with more than 10 flowers. 
               8. Corolla white, tube 6--9 mm long; Borneo....Gaertnera aphanodioica
               8'. Corolla pale green to white, tube 2.5--5 mm long; continental Southeastern Asia....Gaertnera junghuhniana
        6. Plants distylous, with bisexual flowers. 
            9. Stipules drying membranous, with lobes 1--8 mm long; corolla tube 4--6 mm long; West and Central Africa....Gaertnera longivaginalis
            9'. Stipules drying chartaceous, with lobes 0.5--5 mm long. 
                10. Corolla tube 3--4 mm long, externally densely puberulent or tomentose; stipule lobes 0.5--1.2 mm long; West and Central Africa....G. paniculata
                10'. Corolla tube 4--16 mm long, externally glabrous, scabrous, or sparsely puberulent; stipule lobes 0.5--5 mm long. 
                    11. Corolla tube 10--16 mm long; stipule lobes 2.5--5 mm long; Madagascar....Gaertnera arenaria
                    11'. Corolla tube 4--6 mm long; stipule lobes 0.5--2.5 mm long; Sri Lanka....Gaertnera vaginans


Lower Taxa
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