Monographs Details: Pimenta Lindl.
Authority: Landrum, Leslie R. 1986. Campomanesia, Pimenta, Blepharocalyx, Legrandia, Acca, Myrrhinium, and Luma (Myrtaceae). Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 45: 1-178. (Published by NYBG Press)
Family:Myrtaceae
Scientific Name:Pimenta Lindl.
Synonyms:Evanesca Raf., Pimentus Raf., Amomis, Pseudocaryophyllus, Cryptorhiza, Krokia, Myrtekmania, Pimenta Lindl., Myrtekmania, Mentodendron, Myrtekmania
Description:Genus Description - Shrubs or trees up to ca. 20 m high, usually strongly glandular, usually strongly aromatic with a spicy, lemony, or Eucalyptus-like odor; hairs whitish, yellowish, or reddish-brown, unicellular, simple or symmetrically dibrachiate, up to ca. 1 mm long. Leaves persistent, submembranous to coriaceous, the venation brochidodromous. Inflorescence a dichasium or panicle of 3 to ca. 100 flowers. Flowers pentamerous or tetramerous, the Calyx-lobes persisting until the fruit matures, or in one species the calyx completely closed in the bud, tearing irregularly at anthesis, falling before the fruit matures; bracteoles linear, narrowly triangular, or oblong-ovate, up to ca. 3 mm long, caducous at or before anthesis; stamens ca. 16-170, whitish, folded centerward in the closed bud, the filaments much longer than the anthers in the young bud, not stiff in the mature flower; petals whitish, suborbicular; ovary 1-2-locular (rarely 3-locular); ovules one, two, or up to ca. nine per locule, the placenta protruding or not, located near the apex of the locule on the septum in 2-locular ovaries. Fruit a globose berry. Seeds usually one or two, more or less round, the testa membranous, cartilaginous, or hard. Embryo coiled or C-shaped, the hypocotyl thickened, the cotyledons relatively very small.

Discussion:Britton and Wilson (1925) chose Myrtus acris Swartz as the lectotype of Amomis Berg. Myrtus acris, however, is an illegitimate name that can not be applied with certainty to a particular species. Thus, it has been necessary to designate a new lectotype, Amomis oblongata Berg. This species itself has been lectotypified with a specimen that Berg saw.

Berg’s Amomis corresponds closely with what is here recognized as Pimenta racemosa. An argument might be made for assigning those species with protruding stalklike placentae and 3-9 ovules to Amomis and leaving the rest in Pimenta. That would make the distinction of Pimenta more cryptic than it is already. Thus, I have chosen not to recognize Amomis.

Urban described two genera, Krokia and Myrtekmania, with unilocular ovaries. He reported Krokia to have four ovules per locule (I have found only one or two ovules per locule in the few specimens I have at hand of the species he assigned to Krokia); and Myrtekmania was said to have one ovule per locule. Burret (1941a) treated both genera as synonyms of Pimenta, a decision with which I concur. I do not believe that they merit even the subsectional status that he assigned them.

More recently Borhidi and Muniz (1978) have recognized Krokia as a good genus and Myrtekmania as one of three sections in it. These sections are based entirely on the number of ovules in the solitary locule. I have not found this to be a consistent character even within species in my investigations, and thus do not accept the sections of Borhidi and Muniz.

Lundell (1971b) described the genus Mentodendron as distinct from Pimenta because it is dioecious and has staminate flowers without locules. I agree with an earlier opinion of Lundell (1971a) that the type and only species in Mentodendron is best treated as a species of Pimenta. Perhaps Lundell was unaware that Pimenta dioica is functionally dioecious. The sexual systems of the other species of Pimenta are unknown.