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

Flora Data (Last Modified On 1/14/2013)
PlaceOfPublication Syst. 10:881. 1758-9.
Synonym Triplaris pyramidalis Jacq. Select. Stirp. Amer. Hist. 113. 1763. Triplaris noli-tangere Wedd. in Ann. Sci. Nat. 313:264. 1850. Triplaris felipensis 'Wedd. loc. cit. 313:263. 1850. Triplaris pavonii Meissner, in DC. Prodr. 14:172. 1856. Triplaris euryphylla Blake, in Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 20:239. 1919. Triplaris laxa Blake, loc. cit. 20:240. 1919.
Description Small trees up to 20 m. high, the upper branches geniculate, glabrous to pubescent, mostly grayish-brown. Leaves mostly tapering to a petiole 1-4 cm. long and canaliculate; blades ovate, about twice as long as broad (in Panama), 15-30 cm. long, 7-15 cm. broad, apically abruptly acuminate, basally tapered, glabrous to hirsute on the veins below, with mostly 20-25 pairs of lateral veins. Staminate inflorescences of scattered fascicles forming lax spikes mostly less than 6 mm. broad, the spikes simply or racemosely disposed; perianth in 1 series of 6 narrowly ovate tepals 2 mm. long, 1 mm. broad, connate for about 0.5 mm.; filaments about 2 mm. long, adnate to the tepals for about 0.5 mm.; anthers about 0.5 mm. long. Pistillate flowers with pedicels 2-5 mm. long, sepals becoming 30-45 mm. long; wings mostly about 3 times as long as the tubes, oblanceolate with rounded apices, with 1 conspicuous vein from which several laterals arise, plicate just above the tubes; tubes as pilose within as without; petals 4-7 mm. long, 1-2 mm. broad, essentially free of the tubes, narrowly ovate to obovate; ovary trigonous; styles 3, 3-4 mm. long, their inner surfaces stigmatic. Achenes 7-8 mm. long, 3-5 mm. broad, yellowish brown, with a medial sulcation in which the petals fit.
Habit trees
Specimen DARIEN: Marraganti and vicinity, 10-200 ft., Williams 988; vicinity Pinogana, 20 m., Allen 4276.
Note This variable species ranges from Panama to Brazil mostly at elevations below 900 meters and seems to be an important element in rain forests and in secondary successions. In Panama it is probably called palo santo; in Colombia it is called vara santa; in Peru, tangarana and tangarana blanca; in Brazil, formigueira. Comparison of the achenes of the Panama material with those of the types of T. felipensis, T. pavonii, T. williamsii (in herb. N. Y. Bot. Gard.), and T. eury- phylla and T. laxa (in U. S. Nat. Herb.) reveals that they possess in common the sulcate achenes as they are so clearly illustrated in the original description of T. pyramidalis Jacq. (Select. Stirp. Amer. Hist. pl. 173, fig. 5. 1763.). Dugand (in Mutisia 10:4. 1952) has correctly associated Colombian specimens with T. pyramidalis, and he indicates the close applicability of this name to the descriptions of T. euryphylla and T. felipensis. T. williamsii Rusby and T. laxa Blake are narrow-leaved variants perhaps worthy of specific designation. Kiug 2I62 from Peru and Krukoff 8330 from Brazil probably represent T. bonpiandiana Wedd., which differs in having slightly sulcate, terete achenes and the petals occasionally lacking. Ruprechtia martii Meissner is very similar to and probably conspecific with T. bonplandiana. T. brasiliana Cham. (incl. T. formicosa Moore) represents a small-fruited departure from T. americana. T. guanaiensis Rusby [[T. guanaiensis is involved in a species complex centering about T. setosa Rusby, a species with stiff pustulate hairs up to 1 cm. long. Britton (ex Rusby, in Bull. Torr. Bot. Club 27:130. 1900) described T. hispida from Bolivia. I believe this to be a hybrid between T. guanaiensis and T. setosa. In the same year Huber (in Bol. Mus. Goeldi 4:559. 1900) described T. !ongifolia from sterile material which had the distinctive hairs of T. setosa and might or might not be a hybrid. Then Rusby (in Mem. N. Y. Bot. Gard. 7:237. 1927) described T. setosa noting its affinity to T. hispida. Plants fitting T. setosa have long been passing as T. poeppigiana Wedd., but the type of T. poep- pigiana has rhomboidal tubes with strongly plicate wings; furthermore it was described as having glabrous branches. The type of T. setosa contrasts sharply with its campanulate tubes with non- plicate wings and broad, round sinuses, and with pustulate hairs up to 1 cm. long. None of the Meissner types (in herb. N. Y. Bot. Gard.) and none of the Meissner descriptions (in DC. Prodr. 14:171. 1856) seems to resemble 7. setosa. Standley (in Field Mus. Bot. 132:467. 1937) errone- ously listed 7. setosa as a synonym for T. poeppigiana. He also there described T. punrtata, which seems to differ from T. setosa only in lacking the pustulate hairs. ]] (incl. T. boliviana Britton) differs slightly from T. americana in having lanceolate petals exceeding and masking the achene.  The name T. americana L. has long remained a mystery since the Linnaean description divulges no diagnostic secrets. A mysterious sheet, bearing only a fragment of a fruiting inflorescence, from the Bernhardi herbarium, which houses the type of T. surinamensis, is inscribed simply "Triplaris americana". This could very possibly be a fragment of the Linnaean type or a comparable specimen; the fruits are the same size as those in a microfiche of the Linnaean type. The leaves, as evidenced by the microfiche, are also identical with those of the specimens that I am treating as T. americana. A more firm substantiation of my claim, that T. americana and T. pyramidalis are conspecific, may be desired, but this would require a dissection of the Linnaean type. I sense no discomfort, however, in [[The prediction has already been fulfilled. In a letter dated Oct. 4, 1960, Prof. Dugand informs me that he has sent "nearly topotypical" T. pyramidalis to Sandwith for comparison with the type of T. americana. Dr. Sandwith confirmed Dugand's view that T. americana and T. pyramidalis are conspecific.]] that such an operation would unclothe an achene with a groove in each of its three facies, and that in the groove or closely appressed to it will be a narrowly ovate or obovate petal, so characteristic of the extant Panamanian collections of what I here call T. Americana L.
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