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Published In: Florae Peruvianae, et Chilensis Prodromus 3: 2–3. 1802. (Fl. Peruv. Prodr.) Name publication detail

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 10/8/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 12/3/2010)

Cosmibuena Ruiz & Pav. includes four species of succulent, terrestrial or usually epiphytic shrubs and small trees distributed rather widely in the mainland New World tropics. Cosmibuena plants are found in wet tropical forests, from low to high elevations, including in mangrove stands. The genus can be recognized by its combination of well developed, oblanceolate to obovate stipules that are shortly united around the stem and held erect and flattened together in bud, its succulent leaves with the secondary venation usually not visible, its rather large salverform corollas with long tubes, and its cylindrical woody capsules that contain numerous flat papery seeds with winged and sometimes shortly fringed margins. The fragrant white flowers are nocturnal and apparently last for only one night. The corollas turn yellow the next morning and fall off during that day. The flowers are homostylous. The seeds are apparently wind-dispersed. The corolla lobes are convoluted in bud in C. valerioi, but imbricated with three lobes external in the other three species. Cosmibuena valerioi resembles Hillia in this arrangement of the corolla lobes in bud and in its solitary rather than cymose flowers but resembles Cosmibuena in its stipules and seeds, thus this species is problematic in taxonomic placement.

Species of Cosmibuena can be confused with those of Hillia Jacq.; however Hillia differs in its interpetiolar stipules (i.e., separate rather than united around the stem) and its seeds with a tuft of silky filaments 1-3 cm long attached at the apical end. Cosmibuena was monographed by Taylor (1992). Based on a detailed morphological analysis, Andersson (1995) included Cosmibuena in an expanded tribe Hillieae, and subsequent molecular work has supported this classification and the inclusion of C. valerioi in this genus (Bremer & Eriksson 2009).

Author: C.M. Taylor. The content of this web page was last revised on 3 December 2010.
Taylor web page: http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/Research/curators/taylor.shtml


Neotropics: Wet lowland and mangrove forests to montane forests, southern Mexico to Bolivia.

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 next section of this webpage, with links 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 directly from that page, go to the upper right of the screen and under "Project", choose "TROPICOS".

Buena latifolia Benth. = Cosmibuena grandiflora
Buena macrocarpa Benth. = Cosmibuena macrocarpa
Buena obtusifolia (Ruiz & Pav.) DC. = Cosmibuena grandiflora
Buena skinneri Oerst. = Cosmibuena grandiflora
Buena triflora Benth. = Cosmibuena grandiflora
Cinchona grandiflora Ruiz & Pav. = Cosmibuena grandiflora
Cinchona longiflora Mutis ex Steud. = Cosmibuena grandiflora
Cosmibuena acuminata Ruiz & Pav. = Hillia parasitica
Cosmibuena arborea Standl. = Cosmibuena grandiflora
Cosmibuena dichotoma (Ruiz & Pav.) G. Don = Joosia dichotoma
Cosmibuena gardenioides Wernham = Cosmibuena grandiflora
Cosmibuena gorgonensis Wernham = Cosmibuena macrocarpa
Cosmibuena grandiflora var. latifolia (Benth.) Steyerm. = Cosmibuena grandiflora
Cosmibuena holdridgei Monach. = Cosmibuena matudae
Cosmibuena latifolia (Benth.) Klotzsch ex Walp. = Cosmibuena grandiflora
Cosmibuena obtusifolia Ruiz & Pav. = Cosmibuena grandiflora
Cosmibuena obtusifolia var. latifolia (Benth.) Hook.f. ex Monach. = Cosmibuena grandiflora
Cosmibuena ochracea Endl. = Ladenbergia hexandra
Cosmibuena ovalis = Cosmibuena grandiflora
Cosmibuena paludicola Standl. = Cosmibuena macrocarpa
Cosmibuena quinqueflora Klotzsch = Cosmibuena grandiflora
Cosmibuena rhizophorae Standl. = Hillia maxonii
Cosmibuena skinneri (Oerst.) Hemsley = Cosmibuena grandiflora
Cosmibuena triflora (Benth.) Klotzsch = Cosmibuena grandiflora
Hillia chiriquiensis Dwyer = Cosmibuena valerioi
Hillia ligulifolia Dwyer = Cosmibuena valerioi
Hillia matudae Standl. = Cosmibuena matudae
Hillia valerioi Standl. = Cosmibuena valerioi


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Glabrous succulent trees or shrubs, sometimes epiphytic, unarmed. Leaves opposite, drying thickly coriaceous, venation usually not visible; stipules interpetiolar, oblanceolate to obovate, in bud erect and flatly appressed, caducous. Inflorescences terminal, pedunculate to subsessile, umbelliform or corymbiform and few-flowered or with flowers solitary, ebracteate or bracts reduced. Flowers pedicellate, large, showy, homostylous, protandrous, nocturnal, fragrant. Hypanthium ellipsoid to cylindrical. Calyx limb with short tube, lobes (4)5-6(7), without calycophylls. Corolla salverform with the tube well developed, white becoming yellowed with age, internally glabrous, the lobes (4)5-6(7), in bud imbricate with 3 lobes external or sometimes convolute (C. valerioi). Stamens 5-6, inserted just below the corolla mouth; anthers narrowly oblong, basifixed, included, sometimes shortly bicaudate at the base. Ovary 2-locular; ovules numerous in each locule, on axile placentas. Fruit capsular, oblong or cylindric, woody, septicidal from the apex. Seeds small, flattened, papery, winged, the wings entire to erose.



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Key to the Species of Cosmibuena


1. Leaves 1-4.2 cm wide, obovate, obtuse to broadly rounded at apex, drying thickly coriaceous; plants drying red-brown; old stipules turning red; calyx limb divided to base; flowers solitary; capsules smooth; Costa Rica and Panama, 700-2300 m...C. valerioi

1. Leaves 2.4-16 cm wide, elliptic to obovate, obtuse or broadly rounded to acute at apex, drying coriaceous to subcoriaceous; plants drying green or gray-green; old stipules turning white; calyx limb truncate or partially to deeply lobed; flowers 2-9 in cymes; capsules smooth or lenticellate.


   2. Capsules 7.3-11.2 cm long; seeds 7-9 mm long (including the wing); leaves obtuse to broadly rounded at apex; Costa Rica to Peru, 0-500 m... C. macrocarpa

   2. Capsules 4.0-6.5 cm long; seeds 5-6 mm long (including the wing); leaves obtuse to acute at apex; southern Mexico to Bolivia, 0-2200 m.


      3. Calyx limb truncate to lobed, with its lobes if present shorter than or equal in length to its tube; leaves 3.6-16 cm wide; southern Nicaragua to Bolivia, 0-2200 m...C. grandiflora

      3. Calyx limb lobed with its lobes longer than its tube; leaves 3-8 cm wide; southern Mexico to northern Nicaragua, 0-500 m...C. matudae

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