Monographs Details: Chamaecrista rufa var. polyphlebia H.S.Irwin & Barneby
Authors:Howard S. Irwin, Rupert C. Barneby
Authority: Irwin, Howard S. & Barneby, Rupert C. 1982. The American Cassiinae. A synoptical revision of Leguminosae tribe Cassieae subtrib Cassiinae in the New World. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 35, part 2: 455-918.
Description:Latin Diagnosis - Chamaecrista rufa (Martens & Galeotti) Britton & Rose var. polyphlebia Irwin & Barneby, var. nov., ab aliis speciei formis foliolis secus rachin confertissimis utrinque argute ac confertim multistriatis, ulterius a var. rufa, quoad flores majusculos simili, foliorum majorum foliolis magis numerosis 30-44 (nec 18-32)-jugis, a var. exsuli, quoad foliolorum numerum comparabili, costa exacte marginali floribusque magnis, ab ambabus patria procul aliena diversa. A Ch. glandulosa var. tristicula in vicinis Colombiae montibus obvia foliolis confertis angustissimis 0.8—1.5 mm tantum latis exacte dimidiatis multivenulosis facilius separatur.—COLOMBIA. Cundinamarca: grassy bank, 1400-1500 m, "Monte Redondo" to Quetame, 7.IX.1917 (fl), F. W. Pennell 1869.

Species Description - Diffuse herbaceous or erect frutescent, at anthesis 2.5-10(-?+) dm, subappressed-strigulose; petiolar gland 0.45-0.8 mm diam, elevated on a stout columnar stipe slightly constricted distally, the whole 0.6-1 mm tall, in profile 0-0.35 mm longer than diam of head; fls of var. rufa; otherwise as given in the key.—Collections: 7.

Distribution and Ecology - Open grassy or rocky hillsides, 800-1790 m, local, known only from the e. slope of Cordillera Oriental on the Upía and Guatiquía forks of río Meta (±lat. 4-5°N) in Cundinamarca and adjoining Boyacá, Colombia.—Fl. VIII-XII, III.


The type-collection of var. polyphlebia was at first mistaken by Britton & Killip (1936, p. 184) for Ch. tristicula (our Ch. glandulosa var. tristicula), but Britton later recognized the error and assigned to Pennell 1869 (NY) a manuscript binomial, which however remained unpublished at his death in 1934, and was not taken up by his editor Killip. We agree with Britton that the large-flowered chamaecristas with strongly asymmetric leaflets found on the west and east slopes of Cordillera Oriental in Cundinamarca are sharply distinct entities. We differ only in our estimate of their affinities, referring Ch. tristicula to varietal status under Ch. glandulosa, which see for discussion of differential characters, while we describe the eastern one as a new variety of Ch. rufa.

As brought out in the varietal key, var. polyphlebia differs from other forms of Ch. rufa, all remotely allopatric either to the north of Panama or in Amazonian Brazil, in its very numerous, exactly dimidiate leaflets crowded along the rachis at intervals of no more than 0.8-1.5 mm, with blades coarsely and densely multivenulose from the marginal costa, the venules all of about equal length and strength. The var. exsul has about as many pairs of leaflets but these less crowded and different in the intramarginal costa giving rise to fainter and more distant secondary venulation; the var. rufa ordinarily at once fewer and less crowded leaflets consistently more simply and remotely venulose.

Distribution:Cundinamarca Colombia South America| Boyacá Colombia South America| Colombia South America| Meta Colombia South America|