Cryptocarya ambrensis van der Werff, 2013

van der Werff, Henk, 2013, Nomenclatural notes on Cryptocarya R. Br. (Lauraceae) from Madagascar, Candollea 68 (2), pp. 303-306 : 304-305

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Cryptocarya ambrensis van der Werff

nom. nov.

Cryptocarya ambrensis van der Werff   , nom. nov.

Ξ Ravensara areolata Kosterm.   in Not. Syst. (Paris) 8: 107. 1939 [non Cryptocarya areolata Gamble   in Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1910: 144. 1910].

Typus: MADAGASCAR. Prov. Antsiranana: Roussettes , Diégo Suarez, s.d., fl., Ursch 187 (holo-: P [ P00540982 ]; iso-: BO, P [ P00853166 ]!).  

= Ravensara acutifolia Kosterm.   in Bull. Jard. Bot. Etat Bruxelles 28: 175. 1958 [non Cryptocarya acutifolia H. W. Li in Acta Phytotax. Sin. 17: 69. 1979   ].

Typus: MADAGASCAR. Prov. Antsiranana: J. B. 19, Roussettes, Diégo Suarez , 11.XI.1954, fl., Service Forestier 11014 (holo-: P [ P00853165 ]!; iso-: P [ P00540987 ]).  

Observations. – Cryptocarya ambrensis   is an inconspicuous species with small (to 7 × 3cm), chartaceous, e lliptic, glabrous leaves. Terminal buds and inflorescences are minutely brown puberulous; twigs are glabrous except for the very tips. Inflorescences are laxly flowered and up to 5 cm long; fruits are ruminate. Numerous small gland dots are visible on the lower leaf surface, but there is some variation in leaf shape from distinctly acute apices to blunt apices.

I have not seen the two paratypes of Ravensara acutifolia   cited by KOSTERMANS (1958) which were collected in “Tianarantsoa”, believed to be an error for Fianarantsoa, in southcentral Madagascar. The type and all recent collections are from the Montagne d’Ambre in the far north of Madagascar, between 840 and 1240 m elevation. The collection Gautier & Chatelain 4973, collected near Daraina 85 km SE of Montagne d’Ambre resembles Cryptocarya ambrensis   vegetatively; however, it lacks the gland dots on the lower leaf surface and the fruit is not ruminate; it represents an unknown Cryptocarya species.  

Recent collections seen. – MADAGASCAR. Prov. Antsiranana: Montagne d’Ambre , 1.X.2005, buds, Acevedo-Rodriguez 14514 ( MO)   ; Montagne d’Ambre PN, Lac Maudit , 12º34’S 49º09’E, 1100- 1250 m, 3-10.VI.1993, fr., Andrianantoanina & Bezana 143 ( MO) GoogleMaps   ; ibid. loc., Andrianantoanina & Bezana 166 ( MO) GoogleMaps   ; Montagne d’Ambre , prÈs d’Antsalaka, 12º27’S 49º13’E, 250-500 m, 19- 26.VII.1993, fr., Andrianantoanina & al. 229 ( MO) GoogleMaps   ; Parc National de Montagne d’Ambre au Grand Lac, 12º35’S 49º09’E, 1475 m, 9- 17.IX.1993, fr., Andrianantoanina 327 ( MO) GoogleMaps   ; Montagne d’Ambre , à la Station des Roussettes vers la piste d’Ankorefo, 12º31’30”S 49º10’ 17”E, 800-1000 m, 26.IX.1995, Andrianantoanina & Bezara 872 ( MO) GoogleMaps   ; Montagne d’Ambre National Park , at Cul de Sac , 12º31’36”S 49º10’20”E, 840 m, fr., Harder & al. 1642 ( MO) GoogleMaps   ; Montagne d’Ambre , partie centrale, 12º34’S 49º10’E, 1249 m, 11.XI.2007, buds, Ranirison & al. 1167 ( MO) GoogleMaps   ; Montagne d’Ambre , partie nord, 12º28’S 49º10’E, 1015 m, 30.V.2008, fr., Trigui & al. 460 ( MO) GoogleMaps   .

Three other Cryptocarya species   have been reported from the North of Madagascar,including two others from Montagne d’Ambre.

Cryptocarya septentrionalis van der Werff   (type Ursch 96, prope Diego Suarez) differs from C. ambrensis   by its lanceolate leaves; the eight recent collections are from lowlands up to 320 m.

Cryptocarya ocoteifolia Kosterm.   is based on a type collected in the forêt d’Ambre (Service Forestier 7208) which consists of a leafy twig and a detached fruit. KOSTERMANS (1957) also cited four sterile paratypes. However, KOSTERMANS (1962) noted that Capuron had pointed out that the type collection was a mixture, consisting of Cryptocarya   fruits and leafy Ocotea   twigs. Because neither detached Cryptocarya   fruits nor sterile Ocotea   twigs can be identified with any confidence, I consider Cryptocarya ocoteifolia   an incompletely known species.

Cryptocarya rotundifolia Kosterm.   is only known from the type collected in the Forêt d’Ambre near Antsiranana (Service Forestier 7192). The specimen consists of leafy twigs and detached fruits; the leaves are large, broad (to 14 × 8 cm) and chartaceous. The fruits are old and the fleshy outer layer has disappeared. The fruits are not ruminate. The large, rather thin leaves are unlike any other collection of Cryptocarya   from the north of Madagascar. It is possible that the type is also a mixed collection. More and better collections are needed to establish C. rotundifolia   as a good species.


University of Helsinki


Naturhistorisches Museum Wien


Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Zentraleinrichtung der Freien Universitaet


"Alexandru Ioan Cuza" University


Missouri Botanical Garden














Cryptocarya ambrensis van der Werff

van der Werff, Henk 2013

Ravensara acutifolia

H.W. Li 1979: 69
Kosterm. 1958: 175

Ravensara areolata

Kosterm. 1939: 107
Gamble 1910: 144