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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 1/14/2013)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 1/14/2013)
Genus TRIPLARIS Loefl.
PlaceOfPublication It. Hisp. 256. 1758.
Synonym Blochmannia Reichb. Consp. 163. 1828. Velasquezia Bertol. Fl. Guat. 39. 1840.
Description Flowers dioecious, solitary or fasciculate in the ocreolae, short-pedicellate to subsessile, the pedicels, rhachises and dorsal surfaces of the ocreolae usually densely pubescent. Staminate flowers in fascicles of 1-5 subsessile pairs; tepals 6, sub- equal, linear to ovate, uniseriate, pubescent; stamens 9, exceeding the more or less campanulate tepals, the filaments discretely attached to the bases of the free portions of the tepals, not forming a distinct annular ring; anthers versatile, introrse, 4-locular; pistillodes absent. Pistillate flowers pedicellate and mostly solitary in the ochreolae; tepals in 2 strongly dissimilar series; outer 3 (sepals) connate at the bases forming a rhomboidal to campanulate tube, the distal portions developing into oblanceolate wings; inner 3 (petals) much smaller, linear to ovate, free or partially adnate to the tube; staminodia absent or occasionally forming an annular disc from which apparently functional stamens arise; ovary trigonous; styles 3, with verrucose stigmatic tissue extending down their inner surfaces to about half their length. Achenes included, triquetrous or rarely terete, with a small beak formed of the persistent style bases, brown, lustrous or dull, occasionally verrucose or punctate. Trees with glabrous to densely tomentose or strigose hollow branches. Leaves alternate, entire, glabrous to densely tomentose or strigose, oblong to ovate, often slightly inequilateral, often with conspicuous longitudinal striae representing the plications of the leaf in the bud, the veins immersed above, but prominent below; ochreae deciduous. Inflorescences of predominantly terminal subspicate panicles or racemes.
Distribution Of this largely South American genus of some twenty species and fifty names, three species reach Panama, with only one reaching as far north as Mexico.
Note Many species with bright red inflorescences are cultivated as ornamentals. Some have weedy tendencies and constitute important elements in secondary successions. Much to the collector's consternation, the hollow internodes are almost invariably inhabited by vicious ants. Recent workers have pointed out the urgent need for a monograph of the genus. No monographic work, except on a regional basis, has appeared since Meissner's monograph of the Polygonaceae (in DC. Prodr. 14:1-186. 1856.). The genus, like so many dioecious amentiferous groups, is badly com- plicated by specific intergradations. A closely related largely South American genus Ruprechtia, which differs in having solid internodes and terete achenes, has been reported from Panama, but the report was based on vegetative material (Standley, in Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 27: 170. 1928.). I have seen no specimens of Ruprechtia from Panama.
Key a. Pistillate petals adnate to the calyx tube for 3 mm. or more, often auriculate or tubular near the peak of adnation, longer than the achene, mostly linear to spatulate; achene facies not sulcate; pedicels equaling or exceeding the ochreolae; hairs on the rhachis mostly less than 1 mm. long; staminate spikes more than 6 mm. broad, the tepals connate for at least half their length. b. Leaves broadly ovate, about twice as long as broad, with about 15 pairs of lateral veins; pistillate petals adnate to the calyx tube for at least 6 mm., conspicuously exceeding the tube and distally dilated. 1. T. MELAENODENDRON bb. Leaves oblong, 2-4 times as long as broad, with 17-30 pairs of lateral veins; pistillate petals adnate to the calyx tube for 2-5 mm., equaling or slightly exceeding the tube, not conspicuously dilated distally---------------------------------------------------------- 2. T. CUMINGIANA aa. Pistillate petals scarcely if at all adnate to the calyx tube, exauriculate, shorter than the achene, narrowly obovate; achene facies sulcate; pedicels mostly shorter than the ochreolae, hairs on the rhachises 2.5 mm. long; staminate spikes 5-6 mm. broad, the tepals connate less than half their length- ...............- ......... ....-... 3. T. AMERICANA
 
 
 
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