Monographs Details:

Luteyn, James L. 1983. Ericaceae--part I. Cavendishia. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 35: 1-290. (Published by NYBG Press)


Species Description - Terrestrial or epiphytic shrub with branches to 2 m; stems subterete, bluntly or sometimes sharply angled, glabrous or pilose and glabrate, often with punctate or pustular scars from deciduous, short-stalked, stout, spherical glands. Leaves ovate-elliptic, elliptic, oblong to obovate, (3.5-)7-14(-16) X (1.5-)3.5-8 cm, basally rounded, obtuse or broadly cuneate, apically acute, obtuse, or rounded often bluntly cuspidate, glabrous or rarely puberulent along veins on both surfaces, lower surface (sometimes more along veins) provided with deciduous, scattered, stout, glandular fimbriae with ± capitate heads, these deciduous often leaving a punctate or pustular scar and when occurring along leaf margins they may appear weakly "dentate"; 3-5-plinerved with inner pair of lateral nerves arising 1-2 cm above base, midrib and lateral nerves impressed above and conspicuously raised and carinate beneath, reticulate veinlets slightly impressed or raised above and raised beneath; petioles subterete, rugose or ribbed, (2-)4-8(-16) mm long and 2-4 mm diam., glabrous or rarely short-pilose or hispid. Inflorescence 15-25-flowered, encircled at base by numerous bracts which are subcoriaceous to thick membranaceous, smooth to striate, ovate, hemispheric, or oblong-obovate, to 60 X 35 mm; glabrous or dorsally densely appressed short-pilose, marginally eglandular, ciliate, ciliate and glandular-fimbriate, or with stalked glands proximally; rachis congested or elongate, subterete to bluntly angled, glabrous or puberulent, 1.5-4(-5 fide Mansfeld) cm long and 4-6 mm in diam., proximal 5-10 mm peduncular, deep pink when living, often bearing stalked glands; floral bracts conspicuously veined, oblong, spatulate to obovate, (25-)40-65 X (4-) 15-30 mm, apically obtuse to rounded and then rarely emarginate, glabrous or dorsally puberulent, rose-pink to rose-red when living, marginally provided with subspherical, stalked (1.5-2 mm) glands usually over entire margin or rarely proximally on lowest bracts; pedicels subterete, ribbed, glabrous, densely short-pilose, hispid proximally and glabrous distally, (5-)8-14(-17) mm long and ca. 1.2 mm diam., deep rose-pink when fresh, provided with scattered stalked glands (stipe 0.3-1 mm long, subspherical head 0.1-0.2 mm diam.) sometimes restricted to distal tip, sometimes lacking; bracteoles linear often appearing pinnatisect due to stalked glands, 3.5-7 X 0.3-1.5 mm, glabrous or hispid. Flowers: calyx glabrous to variously pubescent, (8-)10-12(-15.5) mm long, deep rose-pink when fresh; hypanthium cylindric, 10-ribbed, 3-5(-10) mm long, basally apophysate with margin undulate, rarely nonapophysate, glabrous, puberulent, or hispid, also with none to few (rarely densely) stalked glands; limb spreading, (4-)6-9 mm long, usually glabrous but sometimes hispid, rarely with a few stalked glands; lobes oblong-triangular (rarely broadly triangular), obtuse to acute, (1.8-)3-5 mm long and 2-3 mm, semierect after anthesis, glabrous, weakly hispid, or ciliate, each margin provided with an oblong, irregularly oblong, or pustular gland 0.5-1 mm long and also sometimes with 1-2 stalked glands; sinus obtuse; corolla cylindric, glabrous, or puberulent, (16-) 18-26(-28) mm long and 7-8 mm diam., when fresh basal half rose-pink, distal half with alternating longitudinal bands of rose-pink (opposite lobes) and maroon (opposite sinus), lobes oblong, obtuse, 2-2.5 mm long; stamens 18—23 mm long; filaments short-pilose on ventral surface, alternating 3-5.5 mm and 7-8.5 mm long; anthers alternately 14.5-20.5 mm and 11.5-17 mm long; thecae alternately 7-9.5 mm and 6-8 mm long; style equal to corolla. Berry at least 12 mm diam., edible.


In Valle local inhabitants have reported to me that the fruits are edible, and flowers are sold in the markets in Cali (Pérez-Arbeláez s.n.). Killip 34759 notes that “boys present a branch of this [plant] to girls (and vice versa) to make them fall in love.” The beauty of this species is its undoing. Local inhabitants and entrepreneurs uproot plants of C. adenophora, C. quereme and C. tryphera and then cut off the floriferous branch-tips for sale in Cali, leaving the uprooted plants to die. These three species have very restricted ranges and are becoming progressively threatened and endangered.

To me, C. adenophora is the most beautiful and ornamental species in the genus. Its “candy-cane” striped corolla is very showy, being unequalled in South American Ericaceae. The unique corolla color combined with rose-pink floral bracts, large nitid dark green leaves, and stipitate-capitate reddish-maroon glands on the pedicels, calyces and floral bract margins make this plant unforgettable.

The collections of C. adenophora display variation in the density of the pedicel glands, and in the degree of pubescence (when present) of the pedicels, calyces, and corollas. This variation appears, however, to be scattered in occurrence and seemingly not correlated with geography or elevation. Several collections from the vicinity of Cerro Tatamá and along the Ansermanuevo-San José del Palmar road in Chocó show calyces which become stipitate after anthesis with the hypanthium elongating considerably and thereby obscuring the apophysate nature of the hypanthium base. I do not feel that any of the above-mentioned variations warrants formal recognition.

Cavendishia adenophora was originally characterized by stalked glands and serrate leaf margins. In reality the leaf margins are always entire but only appear serrate when the leaf glands lie on the margins themselves and the drying of the leaves effects a slight “crimping.”

Cavendishia adenophora is most closely related to C. nitens, which has the same distinctive stalked glands on the floral bract margins, pedicels, and calyces. The two species are distinguished by the characters mentioned in the key, and also by distinctive color patterns; they represent a somewhat isolated pair within ser. Englerianae.

Distribution and Ecology: Found in thick woodland, disturbed cloud forest, and on roadsides along the western slopes of the Cordillera Occidental in southern Chocó and Valle Depts., Colombia at elevations of 675-1990(-2800) m. The whereabouts in Dept. Antioquia of the type locality (Caldera) is unknown to me. Flowering occurs sporadically throughout the year; fruiting specimens have been collected in March-April and October.


Colombia South America| Cauca Colombia South America| Chocó Colombia South America| Valle Colombia South America|

Common Names:

quereme rosa, uvito, quereme