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Pyragra Bremek. Search in The Plant ListSearch in IPNISearch in Australian Plant Name IndexSearch in Index Nominum Genericorum (ING)Search in NYBG Virtual HerbariumSearch in JSTOR Plant ScienceSearch in SEINetSearch in African Plants Database at Geneva Botanical GardenSearch in Flora do Brasil 2020Search in Reflora - Virtual HerbariumSearch in Living Collections Decrease font Increase font Restore font

Published In: Candollea 16: 174. 1958. (Candollea) Name publication detail


Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/30/2014)
Acceptance : Synonym
Taxon Profile     (Last Modified On 7/30/2014)
Generic Distribution: endemic
No. of species in Fl. Madagasc.: not published

Pyragra was described with two species from northern Madagascar, and these are unusual morphologically and have often been overlooked. Pyragra is similar to Psychotria, with rapides in its tissues; a shrub habit; stipules that are persistent with the leaves, interpetiolar or shortly fused around the stem, and deeply bilobed on each interpetiolar side of the stem; cymose pedunculate inflorescences that are terminal but quickly become pseudoaxillary due to overtopping growth from one of the axillary buds; reduced bracts; 5-merous, distylous flowers; salverform white corollas with valvate lobes; and bilocular ovaries with a single basal ovule in each locule. However Pyragra was separated from Psychotria based on its unusual schizocarpous fruits. The fruits of the species included in Pyragra are dry, ovate, and strongly flattened in parallel to the septum. At maturity the fruits split along the septum into two mericarps, each with one reticulated seed and corresponding to the pyrene of Psychotria. See Bremekamp (1958: p. 148) for an analytic illustration. These mericarps are supported by a simple carpophore in the shape of a horse shoe, with the pedicel connected at the rounded basal portion. The plants are at least sometimes deciduous and at least sometimes found on limestone substratess. The growth form of the species included in Pyragra appears to be gently sylleptic, with the leaves clustered near the ends of the stems; collectors have noted that the leaf veins are whitened. The leaves of both species have well developed crypt domatia.

The fruits of the species included in Pyragra are unusual in the tribe Psychotrieae, and these dry schizocarpous fruits have been considered distinct evolutionarily from the fleshy drupes of Psychotria the other genera in this tribe. Similar dry schizocarpous fruits are also found in another genus of Psychotrieae Cremocarpon, which Bremekamp described from Madagascar and New Caledonia. However the molecular analyses of Razafimandimbison et al. (2014) found that these dry schizocarpous fruits have arisen several times independently within the overall species group and clade of Psychotria, and they synonymized both Pyragra and Cremocarpon with Psychotria.

In general aspect the species that have been included in Pyragra are similar to Triainolepis; Triainolepis differs in its ovaries with 2 ovules in each locule, subglobose fruits with several locules, and terminal inflorescences that are generally not displaced to pseudoaxillary. The species that have been includedd in Pyragra are also similar to the species that have been included in Cremocarpon, which also has dry schizocarpous fruits. However the fruits of the species that were included in Cremocarpon are smaller, not laterally flattened, and have the carpophore often branched, and its inflorescences are generally not displaced to pseudoaxillary.

Compiled or updated by: C.M. Taylor VIII 2013



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