Ocotea racemosa (Danguy) Kosterm., 1957

Werff, Henk Van Der, 2013, A revision of the genus Ocotea Aubl. (Lauraceae) in Madagascar and the Comoro Islands, Adansonia (3) 35 (2), pp. 235-279 : 264-266

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https://doi.org/ 10.5252/a2013n2a5



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Ocotea racemosa (Danguy) Kosterm.


26. Ocotea racemosa (Danguy) Kosterm.  

( Fig. 12 View FIG )

Notulae systematicae 8: 86 (1939).

Mespilodaphne racemosa Danguy, Bulletin du Muséum d’Histoire naturelle, Paris 26: 650 (1920)   .

— Typus: Madagascar, Analamazaotra , III.1919, fls, Thouvenot 140, (lecto-, P [ P00541561 ], designated by Kostermans [1939])   .

Ocotea laevis Kosterm., Notulae systematicae 8: 82 (1939)   .

— Typus: Madagascar, Tampina , 3.XII.1934, fls, Ursch 90 (holo-, P[ P00074160 ]!   ; iso-, L, P[ P00497868 ]!)   .

Ocotea platydisca Kosterm., Notulae systematicae 8: 87 (1939)   .

— Typus: Madagascar. Bords du Mangoro , 700 m, 25.II, fls, Perrier de la Bâthie 17192 (holo-, P[ P00541556 ]!   ; iso-, MO, P[ P00541555 ]!)   .

Ocotea alveolata Kosterm., Communication (Pengumuman) of the Forest Research Institute, Indonesia 60: 5 (1957)   .

— Typus: Madagascar, Tokakandra, Distr. Farafangana, 12.X.1951, fls, Service Forestier 4837 (holo-, P[ P00541621 ]!)   .

Ocotea discoidea Kosterm., Communication (Pengumuman) of the Forest Research Institute, Indonesia 60: 12 (1957)   .

— Typus: Madagascar, Massif de l’Anjanaharibe, fr., Service Forestier (Capuron) 955 (holo-, P[ P00541628 ]   ; iso-, K, P[ P00541629 , P00541630 ])   .

Ocotea similis Kosterm., Communication (Pengumuman) of the Forest Research Institute, Indonesia 60: 23 (1957)   .

— Typus: Madagascar, Perinet-Moramanga, 22. XII.1954, fls., Service Forestier 12467, (holo-, P[ P00541622 ]!   ; iso-, MO, P[ P00541623 ]!)   .

SELECTED SPECIMENS SEEN. — Antsiranana. Réserve Spéciale d’Anjanaharibe-Sud, Sud-Ouest d’Andapa , Ravelonarivo et al. 87 (MO, P[ P01977738 ], TAN)   ; Antananarivo, Ambohitantely RS, à 36 km au NE d’Ankazobe, Randrianaivo et al. 74 (MO, P[P01977743])   ; Antananarivo, Road Antananarivo-Mahajanga, 4 km past crossing of Manankazo River , Zarucchi et al. 7537 (MO, P[ P01955932 ])   ; Mahajanga, Forêt domaniale à Anjiamazava , Ravelonarivo et al. 1065 (MO, P)   ; Fianarantsoa, Parc National de Ranomafana, Kotozafy & Randriamanantena 12 (MO, TAN)   ; Toamasina, Commune Amparafaravola, Fkt. Vohimena, Randrianasolo et al. 293 (MO)   ; Toamisina, Masoala Peninsula , near village Ambanizana , van der Werff et al. 12787 (MO)   ; Toliara, 5 km N of Ilaka-Est forest, between Ambodisakoana village and Antandrainiminty , Randrianasolo 287 (MO)   .

DISTRIBUTION. — Ocotea racemosa   is a widespread species, from Ft. Dauphin in the south to Antalaha in the north from sea level up to 1200 m.

PHENOLOGY. — Most flowering collections were made between January and June; most fruiting collections between June and January.

VERNACULAR NAMES. — Varongy, Varongy mavo, varongy mainty, varongy fotso, varongy faza, tefimoa, tafonoana, rotr’ala.


Trees, to 20 m. Twigs angular or terete, appressed pubescent or glabrous, terminal buds appressed pubescent to subglabrous. Leaves 5-14 × 2-5.5 cm, opposite or subopposite, elliptic, stiffly chartaceous to coriaceous, glabrous or with a few appressed hairs on the lower surface, the base acute to obtuse, apex obtuse to acute, margin plane or inrolled, lateral veins 5-8, immersed, poorly visible, reticulation immersed or raised. Inflorescences usually in axils of deciduous bracts along leafless short shoots, paniculate cymose, sparsely pubescent, to 10 cm long. Flowers 4-5 mm in diameter, the tepals half-erect to spreading, sometimes reflexed in old flowers.Tepals 6, 2- 3 mm long, sparsely pubescent outside, pubescent or densely pubescent on the inner surface, stamens 9, all 4-celled, c. 2 mm long, the filaments usually pubescent, anthers glabrous, staminodia present, 3, stipitiform and pubescent; pistil 2 mm long, glabrous; receptacle cup-shaped, glabrous inside. Fruit ellipsoid, 8-15 mm long, cupule 1-2 cm wide, cup-shaped or bowl-shaped.


As accepted here, O. racemosa   is a very variable species occurring in a wide range of habitats and comprising all specimens with opposite or subopposite leaves as well as a number of specimens with alternate leaves. It is very likely that more than one entity is involved, given the variation in leaf shape, venation, cupule and fruit shape or size. Plants from the same locality may look similar and differ slightly in minor vegetative characters from plants from other localities, but there is also variation among plants from the same locality. For instance, the types of O. racemosa   and O. similis   are both from the Perinet region. They seem to differ in only one character, the density of indument on the inner surface of the tepals. With more specimens now available from that area than when these species were originally described, a full range of density of pubescence can be seen, from sparse to dense. Initially I had separated specimens with alternate leaves as O. laevis   ; most of which are from lowland sites. The type of O. laevis   however has both opposite and alternate leaves. Two collections in P, SF 13390 and SF 13392, both from Nosy Varika, are very similar and differ only in leaf position; SF 13390 has opposite leaves whereas SF 13392 has alternate leaves, suggesting that leaf position is variable and should not be used to separate O. laevis   from O. racemosa   .

Circumscribing O. racemosa   broadly to include specimens with opposite and alternate leaves has its shortcomings. For instance, two quite distinct forms from the Masoala peninsula, one with opposite leaves and one with alternate leaves, both end up in O. racemosa   s.l. despite the fact that they almost certainly represent different species. Geographically, several slightly distinct forms can be recognized among the specimens with opposite leaves; it is possible, however, that these forms reflect better collected sites more than taxonomic entities. These forms are as follows: a coastal form ranging from Tampolo south to Fort Dauphin; a second lowland form from further north around the Baie d’Antongil to Antalaha with larger leaves and inflorescences than the first form, a form at mid-elevation ranging from Ranomafana to Andapa, and a mid to high altitude form from the Sambirano area with larger, thinner leaves. I have not found floral differences between these forms and the vegetative differences are slight and not consistant. It is tempting to try to separate taxa geographically because certain localities are quite well collected (for instance Ranomafana, Perinet, Andapa among the mid-elevation sites). However, once the intervening areas are better collected, I expect that the minor vegetative differences that can now be discerned between the populations will evaporate. There is also some variation among specimens with alternate leaves, but this is not as pronounced as among the specimens with opposite leaves. The types of O. racemosa   , O. discoidea   , O. platydisca   and O. similis   are from mid-elevation, that of O. alveolata   is from the southern coastal area and that of O. laevis   is from Tampolo, a coastal site further north. Kostermans described O. alveolata   as having alternate leaves; the type and paratype have both some leaves opposite and others alternate or subopposite. Other collections, vegetatively similar, and from near the type locality, have opposite leaves.














Ocotea racemosa (Danguy) Kosterm.

Werff, Henk Van Der 2013

Ocotea alveolata Kosterm., Communication (Pengumuman) of the Forest Research Institute , Indonesia 60: 5 (1957)

Forest Research Institute 1957: 5

Ocotea discoidea Kosterm., Communication (Pengumuman) of the Forest Research Institute, Indonesia 60: 12 (1957)

Kosterm. 1957: 12

Ocotea similis Kosterm., Communication (Pengumuman) of the Forest Research Institute , Indonesia 60: 23 (1957)

Kosterm. 1957: 23

Ocotea laevis

Kosterm. 1939: 82

Ocotea platydisca

Kosterm. 1939: 87

Mespilodaphne racemosa

Danguy 1920: 650