Passiflora clypeophylla Mast., Bot. Gaz. 16: 6-7. 1891.

Porter-Utley, Kristen, 2014, A revision of Passiflora L. subgenus Decaloba (DC.) Rchb. supersection Cieca (Medik.) J. M. MacDougal & Feuillet (Passifloraceae), PhytoKeys 43, pp. 1-224: 94

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Passiflora clypeophylla Mast., Bot. Gaz. 16: 6-7. 1891.


9. Passiflora clypeophylla Mast., Bot. Gaz. 16: 6-7. 1891.   Figs 39, 40


Guatemala. Alta Verapaz: Barranca del Rubelcruz, 2500 pp., [estimated coordinates 15°29'N, 90°08'W], Apr 1889, J. Donnell Smith 1625 (lectotype, designated here: K! [K000323141]; isolectotype: US! [US00036858]).


Climbing vine, minutely antrorsely appressed-puberulent throughout with unicellular, curved trichomes, 0.03-0.10 mm long, 0.03 mm wide. Flowering stems 2.1-3.4 mm in diameter, subterete. Stipules (3.3-)5.9-6.4 mm long, 0.8-1.3 mm wide, narrowly ovate-triangular, acute; petioles 3.3-3.8 cm long, with 2, opposite to subopposite, sessile, discoid nectaries with flat rims, 1.3-1.7 mm wide (on the widest axis), 0.5-0.6 mm high, borne on the proximal half of the petiole (0.37-0.47 of the distance from the base toward the apex of the petiole). Laminas 6.0-8.7 cm long, 6.7-10.8 cm wide, somewhat coriaceous, distinctly peltate (the distance from leaf base to point of petiole insertion 10.4-14.4 mm), subrotund, obscurely 3-lobed 0.02-0.07 the distance from the leaf outline to the leaf base, lateral lobes 4.0-6.2 cm long, ca. 3.0-5.6 cm wide, somewhat elliptic, obtuse to emarginate, central lobe somewhat elliptic, obtuse to emarginate, central vein 4.6-7.3 cm long (measured from point of petiole insertion to the leaf apex), angle between the lateral lobes 110-125°, ratio of lateral lobe to central vein length 0.76-0.87, margins entire, hyaline, primary veins 3, diverging and branching above base, laminar nectaries present, 2, submarginal, associated with the minor veins of the abaxial surface, 0.8-0.9 mm in diameter, circular to widely elliptic, sessile; tendril 0.5-0.9 mm wide, present at flowering node. Flowers borne in leaf axils. Pedicels 16.9-17.3 mm long, 0.6 mm wide, 2 per node; bract(s) absent; spur(s) absent. Flowers 25.0-26.3 mm in diameter with stipe 9.4-14.3 mm long, 0.5-0.8 mm wide; hypanthium 5.8 mm in diameter; sepals 9.6-10.3 mm long, 4.3-5.0 mm wide, ovate-triangular, acute, greenish yellow; coronal filaments in 2 series, the outer 28, 4.7-5.5 mm long, 0.4-0.6 mm wide, linear, spreading, purplish to reddish with greenish yellow or yellow tips when dried, ratio of outer coronal row to sepal length 0.46-0.58, the inner 31, 2.3-2.5 mm long, 0.3 mm wide, linear, capitate, erect, purplish to reddish when dried, ratio of inner coronal row to outer coronal row length 0.42-0.51; operculum 1.6 mm long, plicate, purplish to reddish with greenish yellow tip when dried, the margin with narrow minutely fimbrillate teeth; nectary 0.3 mm high, 1.2 mm wide; limen recurved, 0.3 mm high, 0.2 mm wide, purplish to reddish at base lightening toward tip when dried, limen floor 2.7 mm in diameter, purplish to reddish when dried; androgynophore 3.8 mm long, 0.9 mm wide, purplish to reddish on proximal half and greenish yellow on distal half when dried; free portions of the staminal filaments 3.4-3.8 mm long, 0.5-0.6 mm wide, linear, greenish yellow when dried; anthers 1.7-2.0 mm long, 0.9-1.3 mm wide; styles 3.8-4.3 mm long including stigmas, 0.4-0.5 mm wide, greenish yellow when dried; stigmas 1.1-1.3 mm in diameter; ovary 1.8 mm long, 1.5 mm wide, globose, greenish yellow when dried. Fruit unknown.


The species has been collected in flower in April.


Endemic to Guatemala in the department of Alta Verapaz at ca. 762 m altitude. Based upon locality information included on the herbarium specimen and information gathered by J. M. MacDougal (pers. comm.) on a recent trip to the type locality, Passiflora clypeophylla   is (or was) likely found on slopes of premontane tropical moist forest.


Passiflora clypeophylla   is known only from the type collection from Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. Passiflora clypeophylla   is distinctive in supersection Cieca   because of its large, conspicuously peltate leaves that are deltoid in general outline. The flowers are not known to be borne in inflorescences and the pedicels are greater than 16.8 mm long. The floral stipe of Passiflora clypeophylla   is also one of the longest in the supersection and is greater than 9.4 mm long. In addition, the plant has very shallow leaf lobes (0.03-0.07 of the distance from the leaf outline to the leaf base).

Passiflora clypeophylla   resembles both Passiflora trinifolia   and Passiflora sexocellata   , which are somewhat similar vegetatively and also occur in Guatemala. Passiflora clypeophylla   is easily distinguished from Passiflora trinifolia   by its considerably narrower stipules, the obtuse to rounded leaf lobes that are very shallow and the leaves that are coriaceous as opposed to chartaceous in texture. The primary difference between Passiflora sexocellata   and Passiflora clypeophylla   is the ratio of the lateral to central lobe length. Passiflora clypeophylla   has lateral and central leaf lobes that are nearly equal in length, whereas Passiflora sexocellata   has lateral lobes that are commonly 1.3 to 2.8 times longer than the central lobes. Passiflora sexocellata   also commonly has a shorter central leaf lobe and more laminar nectaries than Passiflora clypeophylla   . As with Passiflora trinifolia   , the lateral leaf lobes in Passiflora sexocellata   are commonly acute as opposed to obtuse to rounded. The one known flower of Passiflora clypeophylla   has fewer filaments in the outer coronal row (28 filaments) than either Passiflora trinifolia   (35-39 filaments) or Passiflora sexocellata   (40-50). The staminal filaments in Passiflora clypeophylla   are nearly equal to the androgynophore length, but the filaments in Passiflora sexocellata   are commonly half the length of the androgynophore.

The seedling leaves of several species in supersection Cieca   (e.g., Passiflora sexocellata   , Passiflora megacoriacea   , Passiflora juliana   , and Passiflora viridiflora   ) are peltate and very similar in shape to the mature leaves of Passiflora clypeophylla   , and evolution by neoteny in this taxon seems plausible.

There are only two known specimens of Passiflora clypeophylla   in the world, one at the Kew Herbarium and the other at the United States National Herbarium. In his description of Passiflora clypeophylla   Masters did not cite a herbarium, only a collection. The specimen at K is much better than the one at US, so I have designated it the lectotype.

Specimens examined.

Only known from the type collection.