Croton pseudofragrans Croizat (1943: 126)

Caruzo, Maria Beatriz Rossi & Cordeiro, Inês, 2013, Taxonomic revision of Croton section Cleodora (Euphorbiaceae), Phytotaxa 121 (1), pp. 1-41: 26-27

publication ID 10.11646/phytotaxa.121.1.1

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scientific name

Croton pseudofragrans Croizat (1943: 126)


15. Croton pseudofragrans Croizat (1943: 126)   ( Fig. 10A–E View FIGURE 10 ).Type:— COLOMBIA. Putumayo: Selva higrófila del Rio Putumayo, en las márgenes del afluente izquierdo Piñuña Negro, 240 m, 20 November 1940, J. Cuatrecasas 10700 (holotype A!, isotypes COL!, F!, U!, US!)   .

Climbing shrubs 2.5–4 m tall; stellate, appressed-stellate and stellate-lepidote trichomes; branchlets cylindric, young branchlets slightly flattened, striate, floccose, pale and brown stellate-lepidote trichomes. Leaves discolorous, with a pair of sessile saucer-shaped basilaminar glands; lamina 7.5–23 × 3.5–9 cm, cordate, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, apex long acuminate, base cordate to rounded, margin entire, without glands, upper surface sparsely pubescent, scattered stellate trichomes, lower surface pubescent, appressed-stellate trichomes, rarely scattered stellate trichomes; venation pinnate, brochidodromous; petiole 0.8–3 cm long, pubescent, usually blackened, dark brown stellate-lepidote trichomes; stipules deciduous. Inflorescences 1.5–8 cm long, axilar, congested; inflorescence axis cylindric, smooth, floccose, brown stellate-lepidote trichomes; proximal cymules pistillate, with a single flower, distal cymules staminate, with a single flower; bracts 5–10 mm long, deeply 3-lobed, prophylls 2–4 mm long, linear-lanceolate. Staminate flowers 7–8 mm long, campanulate, pedicellate; pedicels ca. 4 mm long; calyx 2–4 mm long, pubescent externally, stellate-lepidote trichomes, glabrate internally; calyx lobes 5, united up to half of their length, then free for the terminal 1.5–2 mm, equal, entire, valvate, narrow-ovate, apex acute, margin villose; petals ca. 3 mm long, spathulate, apex acute, glabrate internally, margin villose; disk 5-segmented; stamens ca. 25, exserted from calyx, filaments linear, villose at the base; anthers narrow-ellipsoid; receptacle villose with simple trichomes. Pistillate flowers 0.7–1 cm long, campanulate, pedicellate; pedicels 3–4 mm long; calyx 4–6 mm long, pubescent externally, blackened, dark brown stellate-lepidote trichomes, scattered pale trichomes, glabrate internally; calyx lobes 5, 4– 6 mm long, inconspicuously united at the base, entire, equal, imbricate, ovate to broadly ovate, sometimes with borders with a different texture, apex acute to acuminate, margin villose, sometimes extending into the middle of the lobes leaving a narrow strip of dark brown trichomes on center; petals absent; disk entire, flatly 5-lobed; ovary subglobose, pubescent, appressed-stellate trichomes; styles 3, 4-fid, united at the base, entire up to 1/3 of their length then branching into 12 terminal arms, covered by pale appressed-stellate trichomes, included in calyx. Fruits 0.7–1 cm long, subglobose, smooth, scattered appressed-stellate trichomes; calyx lobes persistent, not accrescent; seeds ca. 5 mm long, subglobose, slightly ribbed.

Distribution and habitat: — Croton pseudofragrans   occurs in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, in “terra firme” forests of Western Amazon and lower slopes of the Andes, at 180–1050 m elevation.

Phenology:— Flowering in March, April, August, September and November; fruiting in April.

Taxonomic notes: —It is very distinct from other Croton section Cleodora   species, being the only one with climbing habit, which is also rare within Croton   . Other characteristics that make it a distinct species within the section are: deeply lobed bracts, and calyx lobes of pistillate flowers villose nearly to the middle, with a narrow strip of dark brown trichomes on center.

Selected specimens examined: — ECUADOR. Napo: Tiputini Biodiversity Station, río Tiputini, about 25 km (via air) east of confluence with río Tivacuno , on harpia trail at 850 m, 200–300 m, fl., 6 March 1998, R.J. Burnham 1651 (DAV, MICH, MO)   . PERU. Loreto: Alto Amazonas, Andoas, río Pastaza , near Ecuador border, 2º48’S, 76º28’W, 210 m, fl., 14 August 1980, A. Gentry et al. 29678 (AMAZ, F, MO, MICH) GoogleMaps   .


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