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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 1/28/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 1/28/2013)
Species PFAFFIA PANICULATA (Mart.) 0. Ktze.
PlaceOfPublication Rev. Gen. 542. 1891.
Synonym Iresine erianthos Poir. in Lam. 3: suppl. 180. 1813. Hebanthe paniculata Mart. Nov. Gen. & Sp. 2:140. 1826. Hebanthe i'irgata Mart. loc. cit. 143. 1826. Iresine paniculata Spreng. Syst. Veg. Cur. Post. 103. 1827. Gomphrena paniculata Moq. in DC. Prodr. 13 2:3 8 5. 1849. Xerea paniculata 0. Ktze. Rev. Gen. 545. 1891. Pfaflia eriantha (Poir.) 0. Ktze. loc. cit. 543. 1891.
Description Suffrutescent subglabrous clanmbering perennials to about 3 m. long. Leaves glabrous to appressed strigose below, lanceolate to ovate, apically acute, basally rounded to cuneate, 2-8 cm. long, 1-4 cm. broad; petioles 2-7 mm. long. Inflores- cence a terminal panicle of pedunculate, opposite or verticillatc, siunle or compound spikes, the lowermost often subtended by reduced leaves, the rhachises and peduncles slightly cinereous-pubescent. Flowers perfect, often infertile, sessile, bracts and bracteoles subequal, broadly ovate, translucent except for the carinae, 1-1.5 mm. long, 1-2 mm. broad; sepals 5, subequal, elliptic, the outer 3 con- spicuously 3-ribbed, 1.5-2.5 mm. long, 1-1.5 mm. broad; stamens 5, 1.5-2 mm. long, united below into a tube with 2 rounded lobes between adjacent filaments, the tube about 0.5 mm. long; ovary at anthesis obovoid, occasionally distally 4-lobate; stigma 1, bilabiate, subsessile. Fruit an included indehiscent utricle about 1 mm. long; submature seeds cochleate-orbiculate, reddish brown, about 0.5 mm. broad, on funicles about 1 mm. long.
Specimen COCLE: El Valle, floor, 1800 ft., Allen 4475.
Distribution This species, far from its reported range of Brazil to Peru and Paraguay, is possibly a recent introduction in Panama.
Note The conspicuous cottony mass of hairs are certainly an aid to fruit dispersal. Three recent works on Pfaffli (Fries, in Ark. Bot. 1612:1. 1921; Suessenguth in Rep. Sp. Nov. 35:325. 1934; and Stiutzer, in Rep. Sp. Nov. Beih. 88:1. 1935) all recognize that P. erianXtha was described from a monstrosity. This monstrosity, which occurs in at least three species, has many or all of the flowers reduced to small sterile clusters of short stout hairs. However any flowers that may develop normally are adequate f or identification. Moquin (in DC. Prodr. 13 2:386. 1849), who examined the type of P. e-riantba, gives a description adequate to identify it with P. paniculata. International rules of nomenclature recommend that names based on monstrosities be rejected; therefore the name P. paniculata is upheld.
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