Taxon Details: Cariniana ianeirensis R.Knuth
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Lecythidaceae (Magnoliophyta)
Scientific Name:

Cariniana ianeirensis R.Knuth
Primary Citation:

Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 35: 340. 1934
Accepted Name:

This name is currently accepted.
Type Specimens:

Specimen 1: Isotype -- A. F. M. Glaziou

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

Type: Brazil. Rio de Janeiro: São Cristovão, without date (fl), Glaziou 13883 (holotype, B, lost; lectotype, C, designated Prance in Prance & Mori, 1979; isolectotypes, A, BM, BR, C, E, F, G, GH, IAN, K, MO, NY, P, RB, S, US).

Description: Canopy to emergent trees in undisturbed forests, to 37 m tall x 13 cn dbh (Justiniano & Fredericksen, 1999). Trunk cylindric, sometimes with poorly developed thick buttresses and/or running buttresses. Bark usually with at least shallow fissures in adults, gray, the inner bark reddish. Stems glabrescent when young, at first green, than gray, with few lenticels. Leaves: petioles 12-17 mm long, not winged, terete: blades ovate to elliptic, 5.5-9 x 2.3-5 cm, the base cuneate, slightly unequal, narrowly decurrent onto petiole, the margins crenate, the apex acuminate, the acumen 1-1.5 cm long, straight; midrib prominulous adaxially, prominent abaxially, glabrous, the secondary veins in 12-15 pairs, prominent on both surfaces, without domatia at junction with midrib. Inflorescences terminal, racemes, the rachis 3.0-6.0 cm long, glabrous; pedicels ca 1 mm long, glabrous. Flowers: calyx-lobes 3-4 mm long, broadly ovate, glabrous, green or reddish, the margins hyaline in fresh flowers; petals obovate, 10-15 mm long, white or yellowish-white; androecium with staminal tube ca. 4 mm diam. at base, the ligule well developed, the stamens ca. 150, on short filaments inserted throughout entire inner surface of staminal tube, the inside base of the androecial tube with a wine-colored spot; ovary 3-locular, the style short. Fruits nearly cylindrical but tapered at both ends, especially at base, 11-14 x 4-5 cm., the pericarp ca. 6 mm thick, densely, white lenticellate, the calycine ring scarcely visible, the operculum rounded, the opercular rim without teeth. Seeds 6-33 per fruit, including wing 3.5-8.5 x 1-2 cm (Justiniano & Fredericksen, 1999), the side against columella flat, the other side rounded, narrowly carinate.

Common names: Bolivia. Yesquero blanco (Toledo & Justiniano 711) and enchoque in the northern part of the country (Justinianoi & Fredericksen, 1999). Brazil. Jequitibá-açu (Luz 72).

Distribution: In the Atlantic coastal forest of Brazil from Bahia to Rio de Janeiro, the state of Matto Grosso, and Amazonian Bolivia.

Ecology: A large canopy to emergent tree in moist forests and smaller trees in drier, rocky habitats. This species is classified as a late secondary species by restoration ecologists (pers. comm. R. A. Sartori to S. A. Mori, Oct. 2013). In undiisturbed forests it often has multiple trunks perhaps because it is cut down by humans for its wood. is fire resistent and often sprouts new branches after damage by fire. In addition, this species also sprouts from roots if the roots are damaged (Justiniano & Fredericksen, 1999). In the vicinity of Santa Cruz, Bolivia there are are approximately one to two trees greater than 20 cm dbh per hectare. See Justiniano and Fredericksen (1999) for more information about its ecology and species assoicated with it Bolivia.

Phenology: Flowering collections have been gathered in October in Bolivia and in Oct and Dec in Brazil. According to Justiniano & Fredericksen (1999) flowers synchronously at the start of the dry season in October into November and the flowers last for less than a day. According to these authors, the leaves of this species fall in the dry season in Bolivia and indicate that not all individuals in an area flower every year.

Pollination: The flowers emit a strong, pleasant aroma and are visited by insects, especially bees (Justiniano & Fredericken, 1999). These authors did not carry out a detailed study of pollination and, thus, were not able to conclude which insects were pollinators and what reward they were seeking. Contrary to what they say, the staminal ring extension does not close the flower as there is always a smalll opening on one side of the androecium. We suspect that relatively small bees enter that opening or extend their proboscis into the flower to extract nectar.

Dispersal: The unilaterally winged seeds of this species are dispersed by the wind. The seeds are released at the end of the dry season between August and October when the winds in that part of Bolivia where this species grows are the strongest (Justiniano & Fredericksen, 1999). These authors also found that this species has a very high rate of seed germination ( between 70 and 90%).

Predation: The seeds are eaten by macaws abd parrots (Justiniano & Fredericksen, 1999; Wallace et al., 2000) as are many other species of Lecythidaceae with both thin- and thick-walled fruits. Justiniano and Fredericksen (1999) indicate that Phyrrhura molinae and Ara ararauna damage as many as 70% of the seed crop in years of low production. The monkey, Cebus apella, also destroy seeds of this species (Justiniano & Fredericksen, 1999).

Field characters: This species can be recognized by its relatively long and slender petioles; leaf blades with crenate, relatively large and few (<15 per side) teeth; absence of abaxially enrolled margins at the leaf blade base when dry; pericarp densely white lenticelate at maturity; and the relatively large fruits without teeth on the opercular rim.

Taxonomic notes: The exact function of the wine-colored spot inside the androecium (see image of Couvreur 271 below) and the extent of its occurence is unknown but it is thought to be a nectary or to serve as a visual attractant for pollinators. Similar spots are known to occur in other species of Cariniana (e.g., C. estrellensis). This species appears to be a tall tree of moist forests and a smaller tree of drier forests. Individuals in drier forests have buttressed trunks, produce sprouts from the trunk, and sometimes possess running buttresses. We do not have observations of the trunk bases for individuals growing in undisturbed forests. Most species of Cariniana growing in relatively undisturbed forests, however, have trunks cylindric to the ground.

Uses: This species and others species of Cariniana (e.g., C. estrellensis and C. legalis) are the source of valuable timber. In the area of Santa Cruz, Bolivia it is commonly logged and has been used in reforestation projects (Justiniano & Fredericksen, 1999). In additiion, the inner bark is used for tying things, such as the frames of temporary forest camps, together (Justiniano & Fredericks, 1999).

Etymology: The species epithet refers to Rio de Janeiro which is the locality of the type.

Conservation: IUCN Red List: endangered B1+2c, ver 2.3 (assessed in 1998) (IUCN, 2009). Plantas Raras do Brasil: not on list (Giulietti et al., 2009). This species has a much larger distribution than previously thought and, therefore, its status as an endangered species needs be reevaluated. In additiion, Cariniana ianeirensis is able to reproduce in highly disturbed areas.

Source: Based on Prance in Prance & Mori (1979). Last updated by Scott A. Mori on 24 Nov 2013.

Acknowledgements: We are grateful to Maristerra Lemes and Rogerio Gribel for allowing us to use their images of this species and for providing us with information on its classification and ecology.

Flora and Monograph Treatment(s):

Cariniana ianeirensis R.Knuth: [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.