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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 3/28/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 3/28/2013)
Genus Casearia Jacquin
PlaceOfPublication Enum. Syst. P1. Ins. Carib. 4, 21, 1760
Reference Select. Stirp. Amer. Hist. 132, 1763.
Description Trees or shrubs. Leaves alternate, distichous, petiolate, the stipules usually very small and early caducous, rarely persistent, the blade entire-margined or the margins crenate or serrate, often pellucid-punctate and/or striate. Flowers axillary, mostly in fascicles or glomerules, rarely solitary, sometimes in corymbose or panicu- late inflorescences, , small, usually greenish or yellowish; pedicels articulated, bracteate at the base, the bracts usually numerous, scale-like and often forming a cushion in the leaf axils; sepals 4-6(-9), imbricate, more or less united at the base into a short or rather elongated calyx tube, persistent or sometimes slightly accrescent; petals absent; stamens (5-)6-15(-22), 1-seriate, inserted on the tube of the calyx or at its base, alternating with as many staminodes, these inter- or intrastaminal, clavate or flattended and often pilose especially at the apex; filaments equal or alternately unequal, free or united among themselves and with the staminodes at the base into a more or less perigynous tube; anthers smafl, elliptic or subglobose, sometimes apically and dorsally glandulose; ovary free, 1-locular, the ovules usually numerous on 3-4 parietal placentas; style simple or divided at the apex into 3 branches, the stigmas 1 or 3, capitate. Fruit a dry or succulent capsule, 3-4-valved (3-angled when fresh, often 6-ribbed when dry); seeds few to numerous, with a fleshy aril, the testa coriaceous or crustaceous; endosperm fleshy, embryo straight, cotyledons flat.
Key a. Stigma 1; staminodes interstaminal (sect. Pitumba).
b. Inflorescences fasciculate; seeds without resinous glands.
c. Fascicles distinctly pedunculate, the peduncles to 4 mm long -... 1. C. arborea
cc. Fascicles sessile or nearly so,
d. Branchlets densely tawny-tomentellous; leaves conspicuously dis-
colorous .......... 2. C. grandiflora
dd. Branchlets minutely pubescent to inconspicuously puberulous; leaves
not conspicuously discolorous.
e. Sepals 5-7 mm long, united at the base into a tube 1-1.5 mm
long; leaf blades with the margins sharply serrate .-.. 3. C. arguta
ee. Sepals 4.5-5.5 mm long, scarcely united at the base.
f. Pedicels ca 2-3 mm long, articulated below the apex; branches
often with stout, spreading spinescent twigs; stipules deltoid,
ca 1.5 mm long; leaf blades ? distinctly crenate -. 4. C. stjohnii
ff. Pedicels to 6 mm long, articulated ca 2-2.5 mm above the
base; twigs without spines; stipules subulate, 2-5 mm long;
leaf blades serrulate-denticulate - 5. C. guianensis
bb. Inflorescences cymose-corymbiform; seeds with the testa covered with
numerous, dark, resinous glands -.. 6. C. nitida
aa. Stigmas 3; staminodes more or less intrastaminal or intrastaminal.
g. Style simple; leaves copiously pellucid-punctate; sepals 2-3 mm long; anthers
didymous, subglobose, with a dorsal, apical gland; staminodes + intra-
staminal (sect. Crateria) .... ............................ 7. C. sylvestris
gg. Style divided at the apex into 3 branches; leaves without pellucid dots;
didymous, subglobose, with a dorsal, apical gland; staminodes more or less intra-
staminal (sect. Piparea) .-.-... 8. C. commersoniana
Distribution About 250 species in the tropics and subtropics of both hemispheres.
Note The genus is badly in need of a comprehensive revision, "for some of the common species have been repeated by various authors under several different names" (cf. Bentham, Jour. Proc. Linn. Soc., Bot. 5 (Suppl. 2): 88, 1861). Eight species are reported here from Panama, while a few other species occur in Central America, north of Panama.
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