Conostegia fragrantissima Almeda

Kriebel, Ricardo, 2016, A Monograph of Conostegia (Melastomataceae, Miconieae), PhytoKeys 67, pp. 1-326: 64-65

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Conostegia fragrantissima Almeda


Conostegia fragrantissima Almeda   Fig. 78 View Figure 78

Conostegia fragrantissima   Almeda, Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 46: 327. 1990. Type: Panama. Bocas del Toro: Fortuna Dam area, along continental divide bordering Chiriqui province, 1200-1300 m, 10 March 1988, F. Almeda, T. Daniel, & G. McPherson 6064 (holotype: CAS!, isotypes: MO!, US, AAU, BM, BR, CR!, DUKE, F, MEXU, PMA, TEX, NY!).


Shrubs to small trees 4-11 m tall with apically tetragonal glabrous stems; the nodal line present. Leaves of a pair equal to somewhat unequal in length. Petioles 0.7-3 cm long. Leaf blades 3.5-10 × 1.2-4 cm, 3-5 plinerved, with the innermost pair of veins diverging from the mid vein up to 5 mm above the blade base, mostly elliptic, glabrous adaxially, glabrous or with some scattered minute trichomes abaxially, the base acute, the apex acuminate to caudate acuminate, margin entire. Inflorescence a terminal panicle 3-10 cm long branched well above the base, accessory branches apparently absent, the rachis glabrous or with some minute furfuraceous lepidote hairs, bracts apparently early deciduous, not observed, bracteoles 0.5-2 mm, narrowly triangular to subulate, early deciduous. Pedicel 2-7 mm long. Flowers 6-7 merous, calyptrate. Flower buds 5-7 × 2-3.25 mm, oblong-ellipsoid, the base rounded, the apex acute to apiculate, slightly constricted below the calyptra; the hypanthium 2.75-3.25 × 3.5-4 mm, glabrous or sparsely furfuraceous lepidote. Petals 4.5-5 × 4-4.5 mm, white with a red band at the base, obovate, reflexed to slightly spreading, glabrous, the apex three lobed. Stamens 14-19, 4-5.5 mm long, zygomorphic resulting from their bending all to one side, the filament 2.5-3.5 mm, white, non geniculate, anthers 1.5-2.3 × 0.65-0.75 mm, linear-oblong, sagittate at the base, yellow-orange, the connective thickened and forming a slight hump, the pore ventrally inclined, 0.25 mm wide. Ovary 6-7 locular, inferior, the apex glabrous and lacking an elevated collar. Style 5-5.5 mm, bending opposite the stamens, vertical distance between the anther and the stigma absent, horizontal distance 2-2.3 mm, the stigma capitellate, with 6 or 7 lobes, 1.4-1.5 mm wide. Berry 3 × 3.5-4 mm, purple black. Seeds 0.5-0.75 mm, oblong or narrowly pyramidate, smooth.


(Fig. 79 View Figure 79 ). Known from south eastern Costa Rica and west Panama, 1200-1700 m elevation.

Schnell (1996) and Almeda (2009) synonimized Conostegia fragrantissima   under Conostegia montana   . Despite the heterogeneity present in Conostegia montana   , there was no stigma lobes in several living populations studied, or was there an evident style declination as is present in Conostegia fragrantissima   . My observations contrast with Schnell’s because he stated most populations of Conostegia montana   do present a lobed stigma and a declinate style. Although Schnell (1996) makes a good point in stating that collectors tend to overlook fragrance, Conostegia montana   is one of the most frequently collected species of Conostegia   and none of the specimens studied cited floral fragrance. On the other hand, of the only six specimens of Conostegia fragrantissima   , one describes evident fragrance (Almeda et al. 6040 - CAS, MO, NY). The stigma lobes present in Conostegia fragrantissima   as well as the declinate style (Fig. 78 View Figure 78 ) also suggest a possible relationship to Conostegia pittieri   . Unfortunately this species was not included in the phylogeny of Conostegia   and thus its close relatives remain unknown.

Specimens examined.

COSTARICA. Puntarenas: Coto Brus, Z. P. Las Tablas, sendero Las Tablas camino a Cotoncito, Kriebel and Solano 3174 ( INB, NY).

PANAMA. Chiriquí: SE slopes and summit of Cerro Pate Macho, trail between Rio Palo Alto, 4 km NE of Boquete, Sytsma et al. 4884 ( MO, NY).