Monographs Details: Rhodostemonodaphne scandens Madriñán
Authority: Madriñán, Santiago R. 2004. (Lauraceae). Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 92: 1-102. (Published by NYBG Press)
Description:Species Description - Scandent shrubs: with long, slender and sparsely branched shoots; branches basitonic, in axils of cataphylls, pseudo-verticillate; twigs terete, 2-3 mm diam.; epidermis brownish, barely visible due to in-dument cover; terminal bud plump, ca. 4 X 5 mm; cataphylls persisting on current flush (and for at least three flushes), to 6 mm long; indument pubescent, persisting for at least two flushes, the hairs dense, to 1.2 mm long, straight, erect, reddish. Leaves: (pseudo-verticillate at flush apex); petioles pulvinate, 0.4-0.7 cm X 2-3.2 mm, terete; blades coriaceous, flat to bullate, narrowly elliptic, (9-)13-19(-28) x (4-)6-9 cm; base acute to obtuse, 50-110°; apex obtuse, 50-110°, ultimately acuminate for up to 1.5 (-2.4) cm; margin minutely recurved; primary vein above slightly raised and rounded, below raised and longitudinally furrowed; secondary veins (7-)8-11 (-12) pairs, indistinguishable from tertiary veins at base and apex of lamina, equidistant, brochidodrom-ous, above and below slightly raised to inconspicuous, diverging at 60-70°, straight, the angle uniform along blade length; tertiary veins above and below inconspicuous to slightly raised, random-reticulate; higher-order veins above and below inconspicuous; surface above olive-green to brown, below brown; indument above absent, below tomentose to puberulous or glabrous, the hairs sparse, to 0.5 mm long, straight, erect, reddish brown to yellowish brown, persisting for at least two flushes. Staminate inflorescences: in axils of foliage leaves of current flush or previous flushes, along whole length of flush (in axils of cataphylls), pendulous, peduncles 1-10 cm long, the hypopodia to 3 cm X 1-1.8 mm, branch orders 2(-3), the second-order branches 5-11, dispersed, lowest branch to 0.2 cm long, color and indument of all axes as on twigs; bracts persistent, to 4 mm long, adaxially glabrous; bracteoles persistent, to 3 mm long, adaxially glabrous. Staminate flowers: pedicels ca. 1.5 X 1.1 mm, the diameter even throughout; receptacle flat, ca. 0.8 X 3.3 mm; tepals chartaceous, ovate, ca. x 5-3.5 mm (inner whorl slightly smaller), at anthesis spreading, reddish brown, adaxially glabrous; stamens of whorls I and II, the anthers sessile, chubby, trapezoid, ca. 2 X 2.4 mm (whorl II slightly smaller), glabrous, the locelli 4, apical, in a shallow arch, in-trorse, the glands absent; whorl III columnar, ca. 2 x l.2 mm, glabrous, the locelli 4, the upper pair latrorse, the lower pair extrorse, the glands often fused to adjacent glands and stamens of outer whorls, forming a continuous ring, ca. 1.2 mm diam.; whorl IV absent; all stamens reddish; pistillode absent (minute, linear, ca. 0.3 mm long, hairy). Pistillate flowers unknown. Fruits: pedicels to 13 X 3 mm, gradually enlarging to form the cupule; cupule hemispherical, to 12 X 14 mm, smooth (chartaceous), the margin undulate, tepals persisting; berry elliptic, to 12 X 15 mm.

Discussion:Field notes. Scandent shrubs, sprawling over neighboring vegetation, to 3-5 m tall and 5 cm diam. (trunk rhomboid in cross-section); buttresses absent. Tepals whitish. Cupule red.

Rhodostemonodaphne scandens, although a very distinct species on account of its scandent habit, bullate leaves, and large flowers, shares a number of characters with R. licanioides and R. miranda (for distinguishing features see Table IX).

In the discussion in the original publication (Madriñán, 1996), I suggested that the five species from the Guayana highlands with scandent habit (R. celiana, R. steyermarkiana, R. leptoclada, R. scandens, and E. vinotincta) may constitute a group of closely related species. After having looked at the genus as a whole, it seems more likely that the scandent habit shared by these species is the result of convergence rather than indicating common ancestry (see “Species Groups”).

The Guyanan specimens cited here have been made available to me after the original publication of the species. They are similar in their bullate leaves to the specimens from the Brazilian state of Amapá and extend the range of the species considerably.
Distribution:Guyana South America| French Guiana South America| Brazil South America| Amapá Brazil South America|