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

Flora Data (Last Modified On 3/28/2013)
Genus Ryania Vahl
PlaceOfPublication Eclog. Amer. 1: 51, pl. 9,-1796, nom. gen. conserv.
Synonym PatrisiaL. C. Richard, Act. Soc. Hist. Nat. Paris 1: 110, 1792.
Description Trees or shrubs, the wood hard, the indumentum mostly stellate. Leaves alter- nate, distichous, shortly petiolate, the stipules 2, glandular near the base within, deciduous; blade equilateral or subasymmetrical, the margins entire to irregularly denticulate-serrate, membranous to coriaceous, epunctate. Flowers often showy, axillary, solitary to 4-fasciculate, , heterostylous, pedicellate, the pedicels articu- lated and bracteolate at the base; sepals 5, quincuncial, nearly free, petaloid, spreading at maturity, erect after anthesis, deciduous or persistent; petals none; stamens 30-70, inserted in 2-3 series at the apex of the very short calyx tube, free or nearly so, subequal, the anthers attached above the base, oblong to linear, to 9 mm long, often conspicuously mucronate at the apex, introrse, longitudinally dehiscent; pollen smooth, with a single longitudinal colpus; disc coroniform, urceolate; ovary superior, sessile or manifestly stipitate, 1-locular, with 3-9 parietal placentas; ovules oo, many-seriate, anatropous; style short to long, entire or 3-9-fid at apex, the stigmas capitellate. Fruits capsular, ultimately valvately dehiscent, 1- locular, many-seeded; seeds small, arillate, hispidulous with scattered stellate hairs; endosperm copious; embryo straight; cotyledons flat and thin.
Habit Trees or shrubs
Distribution A neotropical genus of 9 species distributed in Panama, Trinidad and South America; one variety of the polymorphic R. speciosa reported from Panama.
Reference Monachino, J., A revision of Ryania (Flacourtiaceae). Lloydia 12: 1-29, 1949.
Note Probably all the species of Ryania are poisonous. All parts of the plant are to a greater or lesser extent deadly, the concentrated alkaloid acting as a violent stomach poison on both warm and cold blooded animals. According to Monachino (loc. cit. p. 5) the Indians of the Amazon have used R. angustifolia to poison alligators. Derivatives of Ryania (e.g. R. speciosa) are used as insecticides and "it is said to be as good and possibly better than DDT against the European Corn Borer, promising against the sugar cane borer and the Oriental fruit moth, and effective control of the soybean caterpillar." (Monachino, loc. cit.).
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