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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 10/29/2012)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 10/29/2012)
Genus CALATHEA G. F. W. Meyer
PlaceOfPublication Prim. Fl. Esseq. 6. 1818.
Synonym Endocodon Raf. Fl. Tellur. 4:49. 1836. Zelmira Raf. loc. cit. 50. 1836. Monostiche Koernicke in Gartenfl. 7:76, 88. 1858.
Description Massive to relatively small perennial herbs, caulescent or acaulescent; leaves 2-ranked, less frequently spiral; inflorescence terminating the stem or arising directly from the rhizome, spiciform, simple, solitary or clustered, the bracts usually closely imbricated, persistent, foliaceous to chartaceous or coriaceous and frequently strikingly colored, subtending cicinnate clusters of rather small sub- sessile, bracteolate flowers; flowers perfect, very asymmetric, epigynous; sepals 3, more or less connate at the base, the lobes essentially equal; corolla lobes 3, unequal, connate at the base into a fairly short tube; fertile stamen 1, petaloid, united at the base with 2-3 more or less conspicuous petaloid staminodia; ovary inferior, 3-celled; fruit a loculicidally dehiscent, 3-seeded capsule.
Key a. Bracts 2-ranked. b. Spikes borne upon leafy stems; bracts numerous, closely imbricated. c. Spikes relatively narrow, the bracts sharply ascending and nearly parallel to the peduncle, heavily coriaceous, yellowish brown usually flushed with red or purple; plants heavily pruinose, par- ticularly the lower surface of the leaves -1. C. LUTEA cc. Spikes relatively broad, the bracts widely spreading or nearly horizontal to the peduncle; plants not pruinose. d. Bracts glabrous or essentially so, chartaceous, rich yellow, nearly horizontal to the peduncle, not recurved at the tip or scarcely so; leaves ovate to broadly elliptic -2. C. INSIGNIS dd. Bracts densely pilose, membranaceous, pale yellowish green, widely spreading, rather strongly recurved at the tip; leaves oblong to oblong-lanceolate -3. C. LASIOSTACHYA bb. Spikes borne upon naked scapes; bracts very few, relatively distant, not imbricated at anthesis, densely pilose - 4. C. VILLOSA aa. Bracts spiral. b. Spikes borne upon leafy stems. c. Stem leaves distant, occasionally approximate in lax groups of 2-3. d. Bracts green, rarely yellow, relatively numerous (about 15-30); petioles of upper stem leaves usually fairly elongate and only partly callous. e. Spikes with relatively long peduncles; bracts green, broadly obtuse or rounded, frequently lacerate in age. f. Bracts deep green, closely imbricated at anthesis or only slightly spreading at the tip; flowers sharply ascending, deep violet or pale yellow; plants 1.0-2.0 m. tall -5. C. ALLOUIA ff. Bracts pale green, irregularly reflexed or spreading at an- thesis; flowers lax, pale yellow; plants 2.0-2.5 m. tall - 6. C. INDECORA ee. Spikes sessile or with a much shorter peduncle; bracts yellow, deeply round-emarginate, usually with an inconspicuous cen- tral cusp, closely imbricated at anthesis; flowers yellow; plants about 1 m. tall - 7. C. ALLENII dd. Bracts white, yellow, or bronze, relatively few (about 5-15); petioles of upper stem leaves usually very short and wholly callous; flowers white. e. Bracts yellow, about 10-15, imbricated at anthesis, tomentose toward the base, chartaceous; peduncles glabrous; petioles of upper stem leaves 1-3 cm. long, the sheaths obtuse, not auriculate - 8. C. LAGUNAE ee. Bracts bronze, 5-10, widely spreading, glabrous, chartaceous; peduncles glabrous; petioles of upper stem leaves 0.3-0.6 cm. long, the sheaths auriculate -9. C. PICTA eee. Bracts white or yellowish at the base, about 5-10, loosely sheathing, glabrous, delicately membranaceous; peduncles densely and minutely puberulent; petioles of upper stem leaves 0.5-2.0 cm. long -10. C. WARSCEWICZII cc. Stem leaves densely whorled beneath the inflorescence; bracts laxly spreading at anthesis, tomentose -11. C. FOLIOSA bb. Spikes borne upon leafless scapes. c. Spikes subsessile or very shortly (about 1-3 cm.) pedunculate, the bracts relatively few, 3-4 cm. long, membranaceous, green or tinged with red; flowers bright yellow, 2.5-4.0 cm. long; plants 3-4 dm. tall -12. C. PANAMENSIS cc. Spikes with elongate peduncles. d. Plants massive, 1.5-5.0 m. tall; spikes broadly ovoid, 5-12 cm. long, very dense; bracts numerous, subcoriaceous, yellow flushed with red, irregularly lacerate; flowers pale greenish yellow, 3.0-3.5 cm. long -13. C. ALTISSIMA dd. Plants slender, 1.5-4.0 dm. tall; spikes turbinate, 1.5-2.5 cm. long, rather lax; bracts few, foliaceous, lanceolate or ovate- lanceolate, entire; flowers white, 1.0-1.5 cm. long -14. C. MICROCEPHALA
 
 
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