Monographs Details: Lyonia ekmanii Urb.
Authority: Luteyn, James L., et al. 1995. Ericaceae, Part II. The Superior-Ovaried Genera (Monotropoideae, Pyroloideae, Rhododendroideae, and Vaccinioideae P.P.). Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 66: 560. (Published by NYBG Press)
Family:Ericaceae
Scientific Name:Lyonia ekmanii Urb.
Description:Species Description - Evergreen shrub with longitudinally furrowed bark; twigs moderately to slightly angled, slender, sparsely to moderately lepidote, otherwise glabrous to very sparsely pubescent; buds ovoid, 1-2 × 1-1.3 mm. Leaf blades elliptic to widely elliptic, obovate, or ovate, 2-9 × 1.3-6 cm, ± flat, coriaceous, ca. 0.4-0.57 mm thick; base attenuate, narrowly cuneate to rounded; apex rounded to truncate; margin plane to slightly revolute, apical portion entire to sinuous, basal portion ± entire; venation brochidodromous, 3° veins reticulate; adaxial surface lepidote but scales quickly deciduous, densely pubescent on midvein, especially basal portion, sometimes sparsely pubescent on 2° veins, with 3° and higher-order veins visible, 2° veins visible and slightly raised; abaxial surface moderately lepidote, otherwise glabrous, the 3° and higher-order veins ± flat or nearly so, slightly and laxly reticulate, the 2° veins raised and visible; scales rust colored, usually persistent, ca. 0.14-0.25 mm in diam., entire to irregular; petiole 5-18 mm long, lepidote, otherwise pubescent adaxially to nearly all around; flower buds ± intermixed with vegetative buds. Inflorescences fasciculate (or shortly racemose), 1-11-flowered; pedicels clearly to only weakly articulated with calyx, slender, 4-8 mm long, lepidote, otherwise sparsely pubescent to glabrous; bracteoles subopposite, near base of pedicel, narrowly triangular, 0.8-3 mm long; floral bracts to ca. 3 mm long. Flowers 4(-5)-merous; calyx lobes triangular, with acuminate apices, 1.6-2.6 × 1.5-2.5 mm, adaxial side glabrous to very sparsely pubescent toward apex, abaxial side lepidote, otherwise glabrous to sparsely pubescent, especially near base; corolla urceolate to long-urceolate, white, 4-5 × 3-4 mm, abaxially ± moderately lepidote; filaments roughened, 2.5-3 mm long, usually with pair of short spurs just below anther-filament junction; anthers 1.2-1.8 mm long; ovary lepidote, otherwise pubescent, placentae ± subapical. Capsules ovoid to globose or subglobose, usually with ± convex valves, 3.5-5 × 3.5-4.6 mm, lepidote, otherwise densely to moderately pubescent, the pale, very thick sutures separating as unit from adjacent valves; seeds 3-3.5 mm long.

Discussion:Lyonia ekmanii may be the sister species to a Cuban clade containing L. myrtilloides, L. macrophylla, L. longipes, L. obtusa, L. nipensis, and L. latifolia. The species is most similar to L. macrophylla (see above). The leaves of L. ekmanii have a lignified hypodermis that those of L. macrophylla usually lack. The two species differ ecologically, because L. ekmanii has been collected only in sandy soil, while L. macrophylla grows on red, lateritic soil. Lyonia ekmanii and L. macrophylla are geographically isolated, the former occurring in Pinar del Río and the latter in Oriente. Lyonia ekmanii probably is related also to L. myrtilloides, from which it is easily differentiated by its larger leaves, its more sparsely pubescent twigs, its wider capsules, its larger corollas, and its longer calyx lobes. Both taxa occur in the vegetation of the siliceous soils of Pinar del Río.
Distribution:Cuba South America| Piñar del Río Cuba South America|