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

Flora Data (Last Modified On 12/18/2012)
Genus CUPHEA P. Br.
PlaceOfPublication Nat. Hist. Jam. 216. 1756.
Synonym Melanium P. Br. loc. cit. 215. 1756. Parsonsia P. Br. loc. cit. 199. 1756. Balsamona Vell. in Vandelli, Fasc. pl. I5. 1771. Silene Leavenw. in Sillim. Journ. 7:62. 1799. Melvilla Anders. in Journ. Arts & Sci. 25:207. 1807. Bergenia Raf. Sylv. Tellur. 102. 1838. Endecaria Raf. loc. cit. 18 3 8. Quirina Raf. loc. cit. 183 8. Dipetalon Raf. loc. cit. 1838. Melfona Raf. loc. cit. 1838. Maja Klotzsch, in Schomb. Fl. Fauna Guian. 1191. 1848.
Description Annual or perennial herbs or shrubs, generally branched, sometimes rhizomatous. Leaves opposite or approximate, sessile or petiolate; the stipules setose. Inflores- cence of 1- to several-flowered interpetiolar cymes gathered into terminal bracteate or leafy paniculiform or racemiform clusters. Flowers 6-merous, bisexual, medianly zygomorphic. Hypanthium tubular, appendiculate, more or less gibbous, sometimes spurred, ribbed, occasionally colored, the calyx lobes equal or rarely unequal, valvate. Petals spatulate, 6 or rarely reduced to the posterior 2, inserted at the orifice of the hypanthium, red to violet. Stamens 11, the 2 posterior inserted lower in the hypanthium than the 9 anterior, included, the 9 anterior equal or when unequal the antesepalous stamens longer than the antepetalous, included or exserted, the posterior antesepalous stamen modified into a basal hypogynous, unilateral, ovate to ovate-reniform or more rarely strongly involute-cupuliform disc, the anthers oblong, the filaments glabrous or pubescent. Ovary bicarpellary, superior, sessile, bilocular toward the base, unilocular above, the placentation incompletely axile; ovules few to many; style slender; stigma capitate. Fruit a unilaterally loculicidal capsule enclosed within the persistent hypanthium which also is ruptured by the reflexed protuberant placenta. Seeds lenticular, sometimes marginate.
Habit herbs shrubs
Distribution A very perplexing genus. The United States, Central and South America, Galapagos and Hawaiian Islands.
Key a. Hypanthium at anthesis 4-10 mm. long. b. Flowers ebracteolate; disc cupuliform; seeds more than 20. -1. C. UTRICULOSA bb. Flowers bracteolate; disc unilateral; seeds less than 10. c. Cymes gathered into terminal bracteate racemiform or paniculi- form clusters; disc reflexed. d. Style and stamens included. - 2. C. SETOSA dd. Style and at least the antesepalous stamens greatly exserted - 3. C. EPILOBIFOLIA cc. Cymes gathered into terminal foliate racemiform or paniculiform clusters; disc erect to horizontal. e. Hypanthium not spurred, merely gibbous; seeds emarginate; plants often rhizomatous .- .......................... 4. C. CALOPHYLLA ee. Hypanthium spurred; seeds marginate; plants seldom rhizo- matous - 5. C. CARTHAGENENSIS aa. Hypanthium at anthesis 22-35 mm. long .------------ 6. C. INFUNDIBULUM
Note Cuphea ratundifolia Koehne, resembling C. calophylla but with more rotundate leaves, has been reported from Panama but I have not seen specimens of this species from that area.
 
 
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