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Published In: Selectarum Stirpium Americanarum Historia ... 263–264, pl. 179, f. 40. 1763. (Jan 1763) (Select. Stirp. Amer. Hist.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/3/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2009)


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Lianas or scandent shrubs, climbing by circinate tendrils, the tendrils originating from axils of leaves, especially those subtending inflorescences, terminating axillary branches, or axillary from cyme bracts, plants unarmed, bud scales present. Leaves alternate, petiolate, venation pinnate, lateral veins without stripes, glands at junction of leaf blade and petiole frequently stipitate or foliaceous, margin dentate, each tooth with an apical gland; stipules free, borne laterally at base of petiole, un-lobed or more frequently 2- (or rarely 3-) lobed. Inflorescences axillary or terminal, racemiform or paniculate thyrses composed of small, multi-flowered cymes, the cymes subtended by bracts, peduncles of cymes usually very short, pedicels elongating as flowers mature. Flowers bisexual (in our area; reportedly elsewhere sometimes unisexual by abortion, the plants polygamous), 5-merous. Hypanthium shallow obconical to campanulate, adhering to the ovary. Sepals triangular, adaxially keeled, persistent. Petals usually smaller or equal to sepals in length, strongly concave, short-clawed, limb apically rounded to 2-fid, white or greenish-white, enfolding the stamens at anthesis. Stamens opposite petals, slightly shorter to slightly longer than petals at maturity. . Disk broadly annular nearly filling mouth of hypanthium excluding small central annulus, epigynous, fleshy, nectiferous, glabrous, pubescent, or trichomes restricted to rim of annulus, margin with 5 chartaceous lobes opposite the sepals (rarely un-lobed), the lobes entire or apically 2- or irregularly- lobed. Ovary inferior, 3-locular, style 3-fid, the style exerted through disc annulus, usually after stamen dehiscence, stigmas 3, small. Fruit a dry schizocarp, 3-winged at maturity, separating septicidally into three 2-winged mericarps each of which remains temporarily apically attached and suspended from 2 carpophores. Mericarps indehiscent, 1-seeded. Aprox. 50 species, pantropical with majority of species in the New World from Southern Florida to South America, the South American species in need of modern revision.
The shape of the mericarps is very helpful in distinguishing the species of Gouania. The dumbbell-shape mericarps are transversely oblong with a very broad sinus at the apex and base of the fruit body. The fruit body itself is like the narrow bar or handhold of the dumbbell. Bornstein (1989: 165) described this fruit shape as “Fruit wing attached to side of fruit body only,” and I borrow his description. It’s not technically true as a thin margin of the wing continues along the apex and base of the fruit body, but it does help to explain the shape. The other shape I term the butterfly. The butterfly-shape mericarps are more or less circular to transversely oblong with emarginations to deep clefts at the apex and base of the fruit body, or only at the base in G. velutina. Bornstein (1989:165) described this type as “Fruit wing attached to side and base, and/or apex of fruit body” and I borrow again from him. To help define the shape of mericarps, the following measurements were made: height of fruit body, height of mericarp wings, distance between highest points of two wings, width of mericarp, and width of fruit body.

Un grupo tropical y subtropical con quizás 50 especies; 4 especies se encuentran en Nicaragua and 1 expected. Modified AP 18 Aug 2013


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1. Frutos maduros glabrous or with few trichomes over fruit body only (rarely with few trichomes on wings in G. polygama)
 2. Fruit mericarp butterfly shaped with emarginations at apex and base, the wings more or less attached to apex and base of fruit body as well as sides, height of fruit body 4—7 mm, the width across the entire mericarp 1.5—3.3 times the height of the fruit body and (rarely, or) distance between highest points of two wings of mericarp 2/3rds to equal  height of fruit body; annulus of disc glabrous; pairs of lateral veins (3) 4 or 5 (6); stipules usually retained (at least in part) into fruiting … G. lupuloides
 2. Fruit mericarp out-line dumb-bell shaped, the wings more or less attaching to the sides of fruit body only, height of fruit body (2.5--) 3—4 mm, the width across the entire mericarp usually 3—4 (-5) times the height of the fruit body and (rarely, or) distance between highest points of two wings of mericarp usually 2—3 times height of fruit body; annulus of disc pilose; pairs of lateral leaf veins (6) 7 or 8 (9); stipules caducous often before leaves expand… G. polygama
1. Frutos maduros dense pubescent with numerous trichomes on fruit body and wings
 3. Disc glabrous; disc lobes (1/2--) 2/3rds to equal to sepals in length; at least some stipules usually retained into fruit, 2-lobed, the lower lobe more or less orbicular or broadly reniform, 3.5—10 x 4—11 mm; mature mericarp out-line butterfly shaped with emargination at base only and the apex truncate or nearly so; expected in southwestern Nicaragua … G. velutina
 3. Disc (excluding, or often including, lobes) entirely covered with trichomes, or trichomes around annulus and extending in numerous rays from annulus onto disc (rarely only around annulus in G. hypoglauca); disc lobes 1/6—1/3 length of sepals; stipules usually caducous, un-lobed or lower lobe a very small foot, if present, 0.2—1 x 0.1—0.5 mm; mature mericarps butterfly shaped with emarginations at apex and base
  4. Abaxial surface of leaves totally covered between venation with minute tightly appressed trichomes to 0.1 mm long (rarely lost with age), trichomes only visible at 20 x, pairs of lateral veins (2) 3—4 (5); fruits tomentose, with minute trichomes 0.05--0.25 mm, fruit body 6—12 mm high; Southeast Nicaragua … G. hypoglauca
  4. Abaxial surface of leaves pilose to tomentose with dense trichomes 0.25—0.75 mm, visible at 10 x, not totally coating leaf between venation, not tightly appressed, pairs of lateral veins 5 or 6 (7); fruits pilose to velutinous with trichomes 0.25—0.5 mm, fruit body 4—7 mm high; Northwestern Nicaragua south to Granada … G. pubidisca
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