Taxon Details: Eschweilera alvimii S.A.Mori
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Lecythidaceae (Magnoliophyta)
Scientific Name:

Eschweilera alvimii S.A.Mori
Primary Citation:

Brittonia 33: 469. 1981
Accepted Name:

This name is currently accepted.
Type Specimens:

Specimen 1: Isotype -- S. A. Mori
Specimen 2: Isotype -- S. A. Mori

Author: Scott A. Mori & Nathan P. Smith

Type: Brazil. Bahia: Mun. Santa Cruz de Cabrália, vic. Pau-brasil ecological reserve, 18 Oct 1978 (fl, fr), Mori et al. 10819 (holotype, CEPEC; isotypes, K, RB, US).

Description: Trees, 4-25 m x 5-80 cm. Bark not fissured, the outer bark 2 mm thick, the inner bark laminated, 10 mm thick, yellow (fide Mori et al. 10819). Twigs slender, ca. 2 diam. Leaves and flowers present at same time; petioles 5-8 mm long, 1-1.5 mm diam.; blades elliptic, 4.5-7 x 3-3.5 cm, glabrous, chartaceous, the base acute to obtuse, the margins entire, very slightly revolute when dry, the apex acute to acuminate, the acumen less that 10 mm long when present; venation eucamptodromous toward base, brochidodromous toward apex, the midrib slightly carinate adaxially, salient abaxially, the secondary veins in 7-10 pairs, nearly plane adaxially, prominulous abaxially, intersecondary veins present, the higher order venation reticulate, visible adaxially and abaxially when leaves dry. Inflorescences 1-branched, terminal or in axils of uppermost leaves, the main rachis 4-10 cm long, not zig-zagged, with horizontally oriented squamae; pedicels tapered to articulation, 5 mm long x 2 mm diam. at middle; bract and bracteoles caducous. Flowers 2-2.5 cm diam.; calyx with 6 lobes, the lobes widely ovate, 2-5 x 4-5 mm, imbricate at bases (calycine rim absent), the apices rounded; petals 4, widely obovate, cucullate, size not available, white; androecium with staminal ring with ca. 100 stamens, the filaments tapered to apex to slightly clavate, ca.1.5 mm long, color not available, the anthers 0.5-0.7 mm long, staminal ring lip erect, very narrow, the hood ca. 10 x 10 mm (from large bud), yellow, with single coil bearing vestigial stamens on exterior surface and angular, longer staminodes and vestigial stamens on inner surface, anterior hood extension absent; ovary 2-locular, with ca. 10 ovules per locule, inserted on floor of locule, the summit of ovary plateau-like, the style obconical, ca. 1.5 mm long, slightly obliquely oriented toward anterior end of flower, not well differentiated from summit of ovary. Fruits turbinate to broadly turbinate, 4.5-8 x 6-7.5 cm, the calycine ring inserted above middle of fruit base, the infracalycine zone tapered to pedicel, the supracalycine zone erect, the pericarp 10-12 mm thick, the operculum of type with slight umbo. Seeds oblongoid, semi-circular or triangular in cross section (flattened on two sides, rounded on other), ca. 2.5 x 2.5 cm, the testa chestnut colored at maturity, the veins slightly impressed, color of veins not known, the areas between veins smooth (i.e., higher order veins not visible); aril not seen but scar suggests small basal aril.

Common names: None reported

Distribution: All collections of this species have been gathered in the vicinity of Santa Cruz de Cabrália, Bahia.

Ecology: Found in coastal forests and perhaps in restringa.

Phenology: Flowers collected in Oct (Mori et al. 10819) and November (Belém & Pinheiro2858). A fruit with seed was collected in Oct (Mori et al. 10819).

Pollination: No observations recorded but the flower structure and color is similar to other species of Lecythidaceae known to be pollinated by bees.

Dispersal: No information recorded. The aril, as indicated by a scar, is basal and small and may attract animals that consume it and disperse the seeds. On the other hand, there is evidence that seeds of species with arils may also be dispersed by animals that eat the seeds with some of those hidden in caches germinating when the place of the seeds is forgotten by the dispersal agents (Vilela et al., 2012).

Predation: No observations recorded.

Field characters: A small to medium-sized tree species characterized by its not fissured bark; slender twigs; slender petioles (1-1.5 mm diam.; leaf blades usually less than 10 cm long, chartaceous, all orders of venation at least prominulous on both surfaces of the blade; and imbricate calyx-lobes without calycine ring; petals 4, white; thick-walled fruits; seeds with slightly impressed veins and smooth intervenal areas.

Taxonomic notes: The drawing in the protologue is a mixture of E. imbricata sp. nov.> (Mori in Mori & Prance, Fig. 65 A) and E. alvimii (Fig. 65 B-F).

Conservation: IUCN Red List: vulnerable B1+2c, ver 2.3 (assessed in 1998) (IUCN, 2009); Plantas Raras do Brasil: rare (Giulietti et al., 2009)

Uses: None recorded.

Etymology: The species epithet honors Dr. Paulo Alvim, pioneer Brazilian botanist and long-time scientific director of the Centro de Pesquisas do Cacau (CEPEC) in Bahia, Brazil. Dr. Alvim invited S. A. Mori to direct the herbarium of CEPEC and Mori was able to see this and many other species of Bahian plants in the field from 1978-1980.

Source: Based on Mori & Prance in Mori & Prance (1990).The species is now circumscribed differently than it was in that publication.

Flora and Monograph Treatment(s):

Eschweilera alvimii S.A.Mori: [Article] Mori, S. A. & Prance, Ghillean T. 1990. Lecythidaceae - Part II: The zygomorphic-flowered New World genera (Couroupita, Corythophora, Bertholletia, Couratari, Eschweilera, & Lecythis). With a study of secondary xylem of Neotropical Lecythidaceae by Carl de Zeeuw. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 21: 1-376.