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Published In: Anales de la Academia de Ciencias Medicas . . . 6: 146. 1869. (15 Nov 1869) (Anales Acad. Ci. Med. Habana) Name publication detail

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 10/8/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 11/16/2015)

Margaritopsis C. Wright includes 27 neotropical species of shrubs found in wet, seasonal, dry, and gallery forests from southern Mexico and the Antilles to Bolivia and Paraguay, and at least 25 paleotropical species found in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific islands (Barrabé et al., 2012; Razafimandimbison et al., 2014). This web page discusses the Neotropical species.

Margaritopsis was originally named for three species found in dry forests in Cuba and Hispaniola; M. acuifolia C. Wright is its type. Based on molecular data, Andersson (2001, 2002) concluded that Margaritopsis should be expanded to include the Pacific genus Readea Gillespie, the African genus Chazaliella E.M.A. Petit & Verdc., the widespread neotropical species Psychotria microdon (DC.) Urb., and many of the South American species that have been included in Psychotria sect. Chytropsia (Bremek.) Steyerm. Razafimandimbison et al. (2014) found that also Eumachia DC. from the Pacific Islands belongs to this group, and this is the oldest name. Therefore the currently accepted names in Margaritopsis need transfer to Eumachia; some Neotropical species have been transferred nomenclaturally to Eumachia, but several still need new names.

Margaritopsis has opposite leaves; raphides in its tissues; stems that are usually flattened and longitudinally ridged on each side; persistent stipules that are interpetiolar or united around the stem and truncate or with 1 or 2 linear lobes that are sometimes glandular; subcapitate to usually laxly cymose terminal inflorescences, with or without bracts; sessile or pedicellate, small, usually distylous flowers; white corollas with five valvate lobes; bilocular ovaries with the basal ovules solitary in each locule; rather small, red or orange, drupaceous fruits; and 2 unilocular pyrenes that are smooth or ridged on the adaxial surface and smooth or with a longitudinal ridge ventrally (Taylor, 2005). The morphology of these plants has also been described and illustrated in detail by Verdcourt (1975, 1977).

The key to species and list of names of neotropical Margaritopsis below is based on the review by Taylor (2005). Andersson (2001) published the new combinations M. membranacea (Gillespie) L. Andersson and M. abrupta (Hiern) L. Andersson for the types of Readea and Chazaliella, respectively, but the paleotropical species of this genus in its newly expanded circumscription have not been reviewed together and new combinations in Margaritopsis remain to be published for most of them.

Author: C.M. Taylor
The content of this web page was last revised on 16 November 2015.
Taylor web page: http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/Research/curators/taylor.shtml



In the Neotropics, Margaritopsis is found in lowland wet, seasonal, dry, and gallery forests from southern Mexico and the Antilles to Bolivia and Paraguay.

Taxa Included Here:

The following list of names is based on ongoing study, and is intended to facilite work on this genus. This list includes the species and names of Neotropical Margaritopsis species that have so far been studied.
Note: Synonymous names are listed here without links, and with their equivalents; accepted names are listed in the next section of this web page, with links there to additional data.
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 data directly from that page, go to the upper right of the screen and under "Choose Project", click on "TROPICOS".

Carapichea kappleri Miq. = Margaritopsis kappleri
Cephaelis caruruensis Standl. ex Steyerm. = Margaritopsis podocephala
Cephaelis kappleri (Miq.) Standl. = Margaritopsis kappleri
Chytropsia Bremek. = Margaritopsis C. Wright
Chytropsia astrellantha (Wernham) Bremek. = Margaritopsis astrellantha
Chytropsia guianensis Bremek. = Margaritopsis guianensis
Mapouria aemulans Muell. Arg. = Margaritopsis chaenotricha
Mapouria capituliflora Muell. Arg. = Margaritopsis cephalantha
Mapouria cephalantha Muell. Arg. = Margaritopsis cephalantha
Mapouria chaenotricha (DC.) Muell. Arg. = Margaritopsis chaenotricha
Mapouria cymuligera Muell. Arg. = Margaritopsis cymuligera
Mapouria podocephala Muell. Arg. = Margaritopsis podocephala
Mapouria sessiliflora Muell. Arg. = Margaritopsis chaenotricha
Mapouria xanthophylloides Muell. Arg. = Margaritopsis cymuligera
Margaritopsis nudiflora K. Schum., nom. illeg. = Margaritopsis acuifolia
Psychotria sect. Chytropsia (Bremek.) Steyerm. = Margaritopsis
Psychotria aemulans (Muell. Arg.) Standl. = Margaritopsis chaenotricha
Psychotria agustinae Acunña = Margaritopsis agustinae
Psychotria albert-smithii Standl. = Margaritopsis albert-smithii
Psychotria astrellantha Wernham = Margaritopsis astrellantha
Psychotria boliviana Standl. = Margaritopsis boliviana
Psychotria capituliflora (Muell. Arg.) Standl. = Margaritopsis cephalantha
Psychotria carrascoana Delprete & E.B. Souza = Margaritopsis carrascoana
Psychotria cephalantha (Muell. Arg.) Standl. = Margaritopsis cephalantha
Psychotria chaenotricha DC. = Margaritopsis chaenotricha
Psychotria cyrilli-nelsonii Ant. Molina = Margaritopsis microdon
Psychotria deinocalyx Sandwith = Margaritopsis deinocalyx
Psychotria foetidifolia Standl. = Margaritopsis boliviana
Psychotria haematocarpa Standl. = Margaritopsis haematocarpa
Psychotria huallagae Standl. = Margaritopsis huallagae
Psychotria impatiens Dwyer = Margaritopsis impatiens
Psychotria kappleri (Miq.) Muell. Arg. ex Benoist = Margaritopsis kappleri
Psychotria kukenanensis Steyerm. = Margaritopsis boliviana
Psychotria lawrancei Standl. = Margaritopsis boliviana
Psychotria microdon (DC.) Urb. = Margaritopsis microdon
Psychotria monocephala Muell. Arg. = Margaritopsis chaenotricha
Psychotria moroidea Steyerm. = Margaritopsis guianensis
Psychotria nana K. Krause = Margaritopsis nana
Psychotria nudiceps Standl. = Margaritopsis nana
Psychotria nutans Sw. = Margaritopsis nutans
Psychotria oligantha DC. = Margaritopsis nutans
Psychotria pallidinervia Steyerm. = Margaritopsis pallidinervia
Psychotria paupertina Standl. & Steyerm. = Margaritopsis paupertina
Psychotria pinularis Sessé & Moç. = Margaritopsis microdon
Psychotria plowmanii Steyerm. = Margaritopsis boliviana
Psychotria pluriceps Standl = Margaritopsis albert-smithii
Psychotria podocephala (Muell. Arg.) Standl. = Margaritopsis podocephala
Psychotria puberulenta Steyerm. = Margaritopsis boliviana
Psychotria ronaldii Steyerm. = Margaritopsis boliviana
Psychotria scheuchiana Muell. Arg. = Margaritopsis scheuchiana
Psychotria turboensis Standl. ex Steyerm. = Margaritopsis boliviana
Psychotria wilhelminensis Steyerm. = Margaritopsis wilhelmensis
Psychotria xanthophylloides (Muell. Arg.) Standl. = Margaritopsis cymuligera
Rondeletia microdon DC. = Margaritopsis microdon
Rudgea hassleriana Chodat = Margaritopsis hassleriana
Rudgea obscura Sandwith = Margaritopsis astrellantha
Uragoga kappleri (Miq.) Pulle = Margaritopsis kappleri


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 Margaritopsis C.Wright, in Sauvalle, Anales Acad. Ci. Méd. Habana 6: 146 (1869). -- Type: Margaritopsis acuifolia C.Wright.

Chytropsia Bremek., Recueil Trav. Bot. Néerl. 31: 291 (1934). -- Psychotria Sect. Chytropsia (Bremek.) Steyerm., Mem. New York Bot Gard. 23: 484 (1972). -- Type: Chytropsia astrellantha (Wernham) Bremek., = Margaritopsis astrellantha (Wernham) L.Andersson.
            Shrubs, subshrubs, or infrequently small trees, sometimes deciduous, occasionally weak and clambering, often glabrous; internodes often flattened, usually with a slender longitudinal ridge on each side. Leaves opposite [or 3--4 per node], distichous; blades often with pubescent or crypt-type (i.e., foveolate) domatia in abaxial axils of secondary veins; stipules interpetiolar or united around stem, generally persistent with leaves though usually becoming indurated and their upper portions falling through fragmentation, adaxially glabrous or sometimes sericeous, sheath smooth to 1--2-costate, entire, dentate, or with 1--2 lobes or aristae, these entire or sometimes bearing in turn 1--2 small caducous glandular appendages, with sheath often enclosing well developed colleters, these often also persistent and becoming indurated. Inflorescences terminal, sometimes becoming displaced to pseudoaxillary (i.e., lateral) after anthesis, sessile to pedunculate, capitate to paniculate with axes 2--several per node, bracteate or not. Flowers bisexual, usually distylous, sessile or pedicellate; calyx limb reduced to well developed, entire to 5-lobed, without calycophylls; corolla tubular to funnelform, white to yellow, internally glabrous or pubescent in various patterns, tube straight, lobes 5, valvate in bud, smooth or abaxially thickened; stamens 5, inserted in corolla tube, anthers ellipsoid to oblong, dehiscent by longitudinal slits; ovary inferior, 2-locular, ovules 1 per locule, basal; stigmas 2, linear. Fruit drupaceous, subglobose to ellipsoid, fleshy, red to orange; pyrenes 2, hemispherical (i.e., planoconvex), 1-locular, dehiscent by 2 marginal slits extending to its middle and sometimes also with several shorter dorsal slits, dorsally (i.e., abaxially) smooth or with 1--5 low ridges, ventrally (i.e., adaxially) plane and smooth or with a low central longitudinal ridge.
            Pantropical, with at least 50 species; at least 27 neotropical species in wet to seasonal and dry forests, southern Mexico and the Antilles to Bolivia and Paraguay.



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Key to Neotropical Species of Margaritopsis

1. Leaves ovate to lanceolate, subsessile, mucronate or with a spine at the apex; flowers 1 to 3; Cuba, Hispaniola.

   2. Peduncles to 6 mm long.... M. lanceifolia

   2. Peduncles 1-2 mm long.

      3. Flowers solitary; corollas 1-2 mm long; Cuba... M. acuifolia

      3. Flowers 3; corollas ca. 3.5 mm long; Hispaniola....M. triflora

1. Leaves elliptic to lanceolate, oblanceolate, elliptic-oblong, narrowly elliptic, lanceolate, or obovate, petiolate to subsessile, at apex entire; flowers 1--numerous; throughout the Neotropics.

   4. Inflorescences capitate to subcapitate.

      5. Calyx limbs 2-5 mm long, truncate to shallowly lobed with lobes obtuse to rounded.

         6. Stipules united in a subtruncate to truncate sheath; fruits ca. 5 mm long...M. deinocalyx

         6. Stipules triangular to ligulate on each interpetiolar side; fruits 10-25 mm long.

             7. Fruits 17-25 mm long.... M. paupertina

             7. Fruits 10-12 mm long.... M. podocephala

      5. Calyx limbs 0.2-3.5 mm long or shorter, truncate or denticulate to deeply lobed, if 2 mm long or longer then lobed for 1/3 or more with the lobes acute.

          8. Inflorescences sessile, involucrate with the external bracts small but clearly larger than the other bracts and enclosing them and the flowers.

              9. Involucral bracts several, obtuse to truncate; leaves 5-14 x 1.5-5 cm; Central America to northern South America...M. kappleri

              9. Involucral bracts 2, acute; leaves 1-5.5 x 0.5-3 cm; southeastern Brazil...M. schuechiana

          8. Inflorescences sessile to pedunculate, ebracteate or bracteate but bracts not involucral, if external bracts surround part of inflorescence then these similar to the other bracts.

              10. Stipules truncate, denticulate, or bilobed but with lobes less than 1 mm long and persistent.

                     11. Inflorescences with well developed peduncles 5-25 mm long....M. chaenotricha

                     11. Inflorescences sessile or subsessile with peduncles to 3 mm long.

                          12. Flowers 1-2; leaves 0.8-2 mm wide....M. carrascoana

                          12. Flowers 5 to numerous; leaves 10-70 mm wide.

                                13. Corolla tubes 3 mm long, corolla lobes with terminal appendages ca. 0.2 mm long; widespread in Amazon basin to eastern Brazil and Paraguay....M. cephalantha

                                13. Corolla tubes 2-2.5 mm long, corolla lobes with terminal appendages 0.3--0.5 mm long; Amazon basin and Guayana Highlands....M. pallidinervia

             10. Stipules with 1 to several lobes 1-3 mm long, persistent or sometimes caducous.

                  14. Calyx lobes 1-3.5 mm long, usually spreading to reflexed; Central America to northwestern Ecuador....M. haematocarpa

                  14. Calyx lobes 1 mm long or less, usually ascending; South America.

                       15. Inflorescences capitate, in shape subglobose; Guianas...M. guianensis

                       15. Inflorescences capitate to subcapitate, in shape regularly to irregularly subglobose to patelliforme; Central America through southern South America.

                             16. Calyx limb lobed for 1/3-1/2 of its length; inflorescences capitate; Surinam and northeastern Brazil.... M. wilhelmensis

                             16. Calyx limb lobed shallowly or for up to 1/4 of its length; inflorescences subcapitate to congested cymose.

                                   17. Leaves oblanceolate; peduncles 1-5 mm long; western Amazon basin....M. nana

                                   17. Leaves elliptic to elliptic-oblong; peduncles 5-15 mm long; Amazon basin to eastern Brazil and Paraguay.

                                         18. Corolla tube 1-1.5 mm long; leaves 4-11 x 1-5 cm; Amazon basin to eastern Brazil and Paraguay...M. chaenotricha

                                         18. Corolla tube 4-5 mm long; leaves 1.5-7.5 x 0.5-2.5 cm; Paraguay...M. hassleriana

   4. Inflorescences branched with secondary axes developed.

       19. Stipule lobes 0.5-3.5 mm long, persistent or caducous, if less than 1 mm long then caducous.

            20. Calyx limbs 0.5-0.6 mm long....M. albert-smithii

            20. Calyx limbs 1-4 mm long (including lobes).

                 21. Leaves oblanceolate, shortly rounded to obtuse at base....M. huallagae

                 21. Leaves elliptic to elliptic-oblong, acute to cuneate at base.

                       22. Calyx limb lobed for 1/3-1/2 of its length, lobes narrowly triangular to linear, acute; fruits 5-6 x 5-6 mm....M. haematocarpa

                       22. Calyx limb lobed shallowly, for 1/4 of its length or less, lobes triangular, obtuse to rounded; fruits 17-25 x 15-17 mm....M. paupertina

      19. Stipule lobes less than 1.5 mm long and persistent.

            23. Leaves abaxially with pilosulous patches in the axils of the secondary veins; plants of dry and seasonal forests.

                 24. Leaves narrowly elliptic to oblanceolate with the secondary veins prominent abaxially; calyx limbs 1-1.5 mm long; Cuba and Hispaniola....M. agustinae

                 24. Leaves oblanceolate to obovate or elliptic-oblong with the secondary veins plane to prominulous abaxially; calyx limbs 1.2-2 mm long; throughout the Antilles and in Mexico, Central America and northern South America.

                       25. Inflorescences 5- to several flowered; throughout the Antilles and in Mexico, Central America and northern South America....M. microdon

                       25. Inflorescences 2-3-flowered; Cuba and Hispaniola....M. nutans

             23. Leaves abaxially without pilosulous patches in the axils of the secondary veins; plants of seasonal to moist and wet forests.

                  26. Inflorescences pyramidal, with the primary axis longer and more branched than the secondary axes.

                       27. At least some flowers sessile....M. boliviana

                       27. Flowers all pedicellate....M. cymuligera

                  26. Inflorescences corymbiform, with the secondary axes as well as or better developed than the primary axis.

                       28. Pyrenes unridged or with shallow, rounded to acute, longitudinal ridges separated by a smooth to finely rugulose surface.

                            29. Flowers pedicellate; Nicaragua to northeastern Colombia...M. impatiens

                            29. Flowers sessile; southeastern Brazil and Paraguay...M. chaenotricha

                       28. Pyrenes with well developed, rounded, longitudinal ridges and the surface otherwise smooth; northern South America.

                            30. Inflorescences with branched portion 1-3.5 x 1.5-4 cm, the primary axis well developed...M. astrellantha

                            30. Inflorescences with branched portion 0.5-1 x 1.2-3.5 cm, the primary axis shorter than the secondary axes....M. inconspicua

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