Taxon Details: Cariniana estrellensis (Raddi) Kuntze
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Lecythidaceae (Magnoliophyta)
Scientific Name:

Cariniana estrellensis (Raddi) Kuntze
Primary Citation:

Revis. Gen. Pl. 3(2): 89. 1898
Accepted Name:

This name is currently accepted.

Author: Scott A. Mori, Ghillean T. Prance, & Nathan P. Smith

Type: Brazil. Rio de Janeiro: without date (fl), Raddi s.n. (holotype, FI).

Description: Trees, to 60 m tall, the trunk cylindric. Bark with shallow to deep vertically oriented fissures, the outer bark as thick or thicker than inner bark. Stems sparsely puberulous when young, soon becoming glabrous. Leaves persistent at anthesis; petioles 5-13 mm long, slightly winged, densely pubescent when young, usually pubescent to puberulous at maturity; blades elliptic, 7-11 × 3.5-6 cm, the base subcuneate, decurrent onto petiole, the margins distinctly crenulate to crenate, the apex acuminate, the acumen 2-5 mm long, slightly curved; venation brochidodromous throughout, the midrib plane adaxially, prominent abaxially, glabrous or slightly puberulous abaxially, the secondary veins in 10-19 pairs, prominulous adaxially, prominent abaxially, without domatia at junction with midrib, the tertiary veins oriented randomly or obliquely to secondary veins. Inflorescences usually ramiflorous, infrequently axillary, racemose, unbranched or once-branched , 3-6 cm long, the rachises pubescent, not obviously lenticellate; pedicels 2-5 mm long, puberulous. Flowers zygomorphic, ca. 10 mm diam.; calyx-lobes broadly triangular, 0.8-1.5 × ca. 1 mm, not imbricate, pubescent abaxially, the margins fimbriate, fused at bases to form calycine rim ca. 0.2 mm wide; petals narrowly obovate to narrowly oblanceolate, 4-7 × 2-3 mm, white; androecium fused at base to form short staminal tube, the tube with a reddish spot on inside, markedly prolonged on one side to form ligule, with 50-65 stamens inserted all over adaxial surface of tube and ligule, the filaments 0.4-1 mm long, the anthers 0.2-0.5 mm long, the tube and ligule mostly glabrous adaxially, the ligule white; ovary 3-locular, the style ca. 0.3-0.5 mm long, without stylar collar. Fruits nearly cylindrical but slightly tapered at each end, 6.5-9.5 × 3-3.5 cm, smooth (not costate), the calycine ring inserted ca. 1 cm below apex, the pericarp 2-4 mm thick at apex; operculum 1.5-2.5 cm diam., the opercular rim toothed (muricate). Seeds 12 × 6 mm.

Common names: Bolivia: Cusurú (Justiniano & Fredericksen, 1999), yesquero (Nee, 2008), yesquero preto (Justiniano & Fredericksen, 1999). Brazil: Most commonly known as bingueiro, cachimbeiro, coatingua, estopa, estopeira, jequitibá, jequitibá-rei, jequitibá-rosa, jequitibá-branco, mussambê, pau-de-cachimbo, and pau-estopa, (Lorenzi, 1992; Mori & Prance, 1983, Prance in Prance & Mori, 1979). Because the inner bark and the wood tends to be less reddish or rose-colored than those of C. legalis we propose that jequitibá-branco is the most appropriate common name for this species.

Distribution: This species is found in SW Amazonian Brazil, the Bolivian Amazon, and the Atlantic coastal forest of Brazil from northern Bahia south to Santa Catarina. The coastal population extends inward to the Distrito Federal in Brazil and a collection has been made in eastern Paraguay. See Leite (2007), attached below, for an overall distribution map of this species. A population of this species occurs in the Parque Nacional de Brasília at over 1150 meters (Leite, 2001) but most collections come from below that altitude.

Ecology: A tall tree of moist forests on terra firme and in gallery forest (Leite, 2001). Lorenzi (1992) states that it is most commonly found in climax forests on moist, deep soils but that it is rare in cerrado vegetation as well as in other dry habitats. In an ecological study of gallery forest in the Parque Nacional de Brasília, Leite (2001) found 52 individuals of this species greater than or equal to 15 cms in a 64 hectare plot of gallery forest. These individuals were aggregated in separate clumps within the plot. An individual reaching 60 m in height and 4 m in diam. has been reported (Journal do Brasil, 23 Oct 1978. This species is considered to be a late successional species by restoration ecologists (Pers. comm. R. A. Sartori to S. A. Mori, Oct. 2013).

Phenology: This species has been collected in flower from Oct to Apr (Prance in Prance & Mori, 1979). In the cocoa-producing region of Bahia it flowers from Nov through Dec and fruits between Jun and Aug.

Pollination: The label of Heringer 5515 states that the flowers attract many insects and several collections indicate that the flowers are aromatic. Leite (2007) reports that the slightly scented flowers open before dawn and pollinator visitation intensifies one hour after sunrise. He adds that the petals and androecium fall together in the afternoon. It is not known if the pollinators are rewarded by nectar, pollen, or by both.

Dispersal: The winged seeds are dispersed by the wind.

Predation: Lorenzi (1992) and Leite (2007) report that the seeds are avidly eaten by monkeys which has also been observed for the Amazonian Cariniana micrantha which are preyed upon by the capuchin money Cebus apella (Pires, 1991). Oliveira-Filho and Galetti (1996) have observed black howler monkeys (Alouatta caraya) eating the seeds of this species during a severe dry eason. The consumption of seeds by howler monkeys is unusual because they are generally folivores.

Field characters: This species is characterized by its large size and cylindric trunk, serrate-margined leaves with from 35-47 teeth, and fruits with distinct teeth around the opercular rim.

Taxonomic notes: This is a distinct species without known taxonomic problems. It was originally described as Couratari estrellensis, most likely because of the winged seeds. However, the wings of the seeds of Couratari completely surround the seeds and are derived from the seed coat whereas those of Cariniana are unilateral and are hypothesized to be derived from a flattened aril (Tsou & Mori, 2002). See Huang et al. (2008) for a redefinition of the genus Cariniana. Herbarium generally indicate that the flowers are white and do make any reference to the inside of the androecium being red.

Uses: The timber of this species is used in all kinds of construction and is extremely valuable (Mori & Prance, 1983). The fruits were used by Bolivian Indians to hold tinder (yesca), hence the common name yesquero in that country. This species is cultivated in Zimbabwe (M. Hyde, pers. comm. 2007) and is listed on the Flora of Zimbabwe web site as a cultivated plant of that country. Some of the common names of this species indicate that its inner bark has been used for caulking (estopa = caulk). Leite (2007) reports that the bark is astringent and extracts of it are used to treat diarrhea, leucorrhoea, and angina. Cariniana esrellenssis is used in reflorestation projects and seeds are grown for this purpose in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Pers. comm. to S. A. Mori by R. A. Sartori, Oct. 2013).

Etymology: The meaning of the epithet is not known to us but may refer to the Serra da Estrêla in Brazil.

Conservation: IUCN Red List: not on list (IUCN, 2009): Plantas Raras do Brasil: not on list (Giulietti et al., 2009). Leite (2007) reports that although this species occurs in several protected areas in Brazil, the areas are quite small and the populations in them are most likely not protected against genetic erosion and inbreeding. Cariniana estrellensis was one of the species used to reforest the Tijuca hills in the vicinity of Rio de Janeiro in 1862 (Leite, 2007). See Leite (2007) for a list of areas in Brazil in which this species occurs as well as for additional information about the conservation of Cariniana estrellensis.

Source: Based on Prance in Prance & Mori (1979) and Mori & Prance (1983).

Acknowledgements: We are grateful to D. C. Daly, C. Potasheff, and D. Woolcott for allowing us to use their images to illustrate the characters of this species.

Flora and Monograph Treatment(s):

Cariniana estrellensis (Raddi) Kuntze: [Article] Prance, Ghillean T. & Mori, S. A. 1979. Lecythidaceae - Part I. The actinomorphic-flowered New World Lecythidaceae (Asteranthos, Gustavia, Grias, Allantoma & Cariniana). Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 21: 1-270.
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