Monographs Details: Trophis
Authority: Berg, Cornelius C. 2001. Moreae, Artocarpeae, and (Moraceae): With introductions to the family and and with additions and corrections to Flora Neotropica Monograph 7. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 83: 1-346. (Published by NYBG Press)
Scientific Name:Trophis
Synonyms:Bucephalon, Malaisia, Dumartroya, Cephalotrophis, Maillardia, Calpidochlamys, Skutchia, Trophis americana L., Trophis racemosa (L.) Urb., Bucephalon racemosum L., Trophis racemosa (L.) Urb., Olmedia, Olmedia aspera Ruiz & Pav., Trophis caucana (Pittier) C.C.Berg, Malaisia tortuosa Blanco, Trophis scandens subsp. megacarpa (P.S.Green) P.S.Green, Dumartroya fagifolia Gaudich., Trophis scandens (Lour.) Hook. & Arn., Cephalotrophis javanica Blume, Maillardia borbonica Duch., Trophis borbonica (Duch.) C.C.Berg, Calpidochlamys drupacea Diels, Trophis drupacea (Diels) Corner, Skutchia caudata Pax & K.Hoffm., Trophis mexicana (Liebm.) Bureau
Description:Genus Description - Trees or shrubs, dioecious; uncinate hairs lacking. Leaves alternate and distichous; lamina pinnately veined; margin dentate to entire; stipules free, lateral. Inflorescences solitary, paired or more together in the leaf axils or just below the leaves, pedunculate, bracteate, the bracts basally attached (to subpeltate). Staminate inflorescences racemose to spicate with a distinct abaxial sterile strip or discoid-capitate and involucrate; flowers in racemose to spicate inflorescences in longitudinal rows, distant or crowded; tepals basally connate, valvate in the bud; pistillode present, mostly quadrangular, sometimes filiform. Pistillate inflorescences racemose to spicate with 3-ca. 35 flowers or with 1 (or 2) flower(s) and involucrate; perianth tubular or collar-shaped to campanulate; ovary partly adnate to the perianth or free; stigmas 2, equal, filiform. Fruit enclosed and then free or adnate to the enlarged fleshy, reddish to orange (or to purplish) perianth, or the fruit free, drupaceous and dark blue- to blackish-colored and the perianth not enlarged nor fleshy, greenish; endocarp (thinly) crustaceous, often with a woody plug near the hilum; seed large, without endosperm; testa with a vascularized part below the hilum; embryo longitudinally aligned; cotyledons equal and thick; radicle very short, apical.


Discussion: Linnaeus (1753) initially adopted Plumier's name Bucephalon for this genus, but in 1759 he chose the name Trophis, that had been established by P. Browne (1756). The genus Trophis was revised by Bureau (1873). He recognized two species, referred a third one with uncertainty to the genus, and excluded the Paleotropical taxa which had been described in the genus in course of time. Burger (1962) monographed the genus again. He recognized four species and included the genus Skutchia Morton (1937). In 1973 he described a fifth species, I involucrata. In 1962 Comer published a revised classification of the Moraceae, in which several genera, including Trophis, were considerably enlarged compared with previous concepts. In Comer’s concept the genus also comprises several Paleotropical species, namely those of the Old World genera Calpidochlamys and Maillardia. Berg (1988) remodelled the genus again and included the Asian genus Malaisia Blanco and the neotropical genus Olmedia. The latter genus was the type for the tribe Olmedieae (cf. Berg, 1972), but it proved to be so different from other genera inserted in the tribe that it had to be excluded and the tribe had to be renamed (Berg, 1977a). The main reason to reconsider again the delimitation of the genus Trophis were some exceptional features found in Trophis involucrata Burger (1973). When material in fruiting state became available, the species proved to be quite distinct from the other Trophis species, as the perianth did not enlarge and did not become fleshy and orange to red during the development of the fruit, but remained unchanged, subtending a dark blue to blackish drupe. Similar features occur in some species of the Paleotropical genus Streblus and the variation in fruits and fruiting perianths present in this genus is comparable with that in Trophis. As T. involucrata could be maintained in Trophis, the genus became diverse enough to accommodate the monotypic Olmedia as well. In the enlarged genus sections could be distinguished, largely representing the previously recognized smaller genera and, in addition, a new one was created to accommodate I involucrata. The neotropical members of Trophis are small or medium-sized trees or shrubs. The inflorescences are axillary or occur just below the leaves. They are racemose to spicate, but in T. caucana they are ± obliquely discoid-capitate and involucrate as the result of condensation of the rachis and enlargement of bracts. The inflorescences of T. caucana are in structure similar to those in the tribe Castilleae. The number of flowers in the pistillate inflorescences of Trophis varies from numerous to one. The staminate flowers have valvate tepals, a feature by which Trophis can be distinguished from related genera. In four of the five neotropical species the perianth of the pistillate flower is tubular and becomes enlarged, fleshy, and orange to red in fruit, enclosing the fruit, which is adnate to the perianth or free. Trophis involucrata is distinct in this respect, as indicated above. The fruiting perianth of this species often bears spine-like processes. The pollen grains of some of the Trophis species have been described by Niezgoda and Nowaczyk (1976). In the Neotropics the genus extends from Central America to Andean South America and to the Greater Antilles. Most of the species occur in more or less open vegetation, such as forest margins and river banks. According to the label data T. involucrata is an understory treelet. It is somewhat difficult to imagine how such a habit and habitat can go together with anemophily; label data do not indicate whether the treelets occur at random or along streamlets. Six sections can be recognized in the genus. Considering the nature of the differences, the infrageneric entities could be regarded as subgenera, rather than sections. The rank of sections adopted by Comer (1962) has been maintained to avoid neocreation of new combinations. Three of the sections (Calpidochlamys (Diels) Corner, Maillardia (Duchartre) Corner, and Malaisia (Blanco) C. C. Berg) are Paleotropical, the others tropical (section Trophis with three closely related species, and the sections Echinocarpa and Olmedia, both monotypic).