Monographs Details: Rhodostemonodaphne ovatifolia Madriñán
Authority: Madriñán, Santiago R. 2004. (Lauraceae). Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 92: 1-102. (Published by NYBG Press)
Description:Latin Diagnosis - Rhodostemonodaphne laxae et R. velutinae affinis, sed foliis ovatis bene distincta.

Species Description - Trees: branching unknown; twigs angular, soon becoming terete, 5 mm diam.; epidermis brownish, barely visible due to indument cover; terminal bud plump, 8 x 4 mm; cataphylls caducous; indument tomentose, caducous after one flush, the hairs dense, to 1 mm long, straight to curved, erect, brownish to reddish. Leaves: petioles robust, 1-1.5 cm X 2-4 mm, terete; blades coriaceous, flat, ovate, 12-16 X 6-9 cm; base rounded (flat to almost cordate), 150-180°; apex acute to attenuate, 100-120°, acuminate for up to 2.5 cm; margin plane; primary vein above slightly raised, below prominent; secondary veins 10-11 pairs, equidistant, eucamptodromous, above slightly raised, below raised, diverging at 55°, abruptly arching near margin (forked), chordal angle 40°, lowest pair more obtuse than rest; tertiary veins above inconspicuous, below raised, random-reticulate; higher-order veins above inconspicuous, below slightly raised; surface above yellowish brown, below reddish brown; indument above tomentose, the primary and secondary veins densely tomentose, caducous after one flush, below tomentose, the hairs dense to sparse, to 0.8 mm long, straight, erect, yellowish brown, persisting for at least two flushes. Staminate inflorescences: along whole length of flush, erect, peduncles 7-12 cm long, the hypopodia 4-6 cm X 1-2 mm, branch orders 4, the second-order branches 4-5, dispersed, lowest branch to 3 cm long, color and indument of all axes as on twigs; bracts caducous; bracteoles caducous. Staminate flowers: pedicels 3 X 1.2 mm, the diameter gradually increasing apically; receptacle obconical, ca. 3 X 5 mm; tepals coriaceous, ovate, ca. 3 X 2.5 mm (inner whorl slightly smaller), at anthesis erect to spreading, reddish brown, adaxially tomentose; stamens of whorls I and If the anthers sessile, chubby trapezoid, ca. 2.5 x 1.8 mm, glabrous, the locelli 4, apical, in a shallow arch, introrse, the glands absent; whorl III columnar, ca. 2.5 X 1 mm, glabrous, the locelli 4, the upper pair latrorse, the lower pair extrorse, the glands globose, more or less fused, ca. 1 mm diam.; whorl IV absent; all stamens reddish; pistillode filiform, ca. 2 X 1 mm, glabrous. Pistillate flowers and fruits unknown.

Discussion:Field notes. Trees to 4-5 m tall. Tepals red.

Etymology. Named for its ovate leaves [Lat. ovatus, + folium, leaf].

Rhodostemonodaphne ovatifolia has distinctly ovate leaves; only R. dioica has a leaf shape that approaches this ovate outline. Unusually for the genus, the stamens of both outer whorls have a pair of distinct lateral appendages, similar to the glands of whorl III.

The general shape of the stamens of Rhodostemonodaphne ovatifolia resembles that of R. laxa and R. velutina, but the tepals lack the distinct thick medial ridge of these two species. Externally the flowers are very similar to those of R. mirecolorata.

On the basis of both vegetative morphology and biogeography this species forms part of the core of the R. laxa group (e.g., R. laxa and R. velutina). The twigs and leaves are densely covered with a yellowish brown indument, characteristic of the species of this group, and like them it is a high-altitude species of the N Andes.
Distribution:Colombia South America|