Monographs Details: Rhodostemonodaphne elephantopus Madriñán
Description:Species Description - Trees: branches basitonic to mesotonic, in axils of cataphylls or basal foliage leaves; twigs angular and remaining so for at least two flushes, 1-3 mm diam.; epidermis brownish to black; terminal bud slender, ca. 5 x 4 mm; cataphylls caducous; indument sericeous to glabrous, caducous by next flush, the hairs sparse, to 0.5 mm long, straight, appressed, ascending, silver. Leaves: petioles slender, 0.2-1.3 cm x (0.8-)1.5-1.8 mm, adaxially flattened; blades chartaceous, flat, narrowly ovate to obovate, (2-)4-10 x cm; base cuneate to acute, minutely decurrent, 50-70°; apex obtuse, 80-110°, mucronate; margin minutely recurved; primary vein above and below flat to slightly raised; secondary veins (4-)6-7(-9) pairs, equidistant, brochidodromous, above and below flat, diverging at 60-80°, straight, the angle uniform along blade length; tertiary veins inconspicuous, random-reticulate; higher-order veins visible only in transmitted light; surface above and below brown, the primary veins above slightly darker, inconspicuously black-dotted, below primary vein lighter at base of lamina, darker apically; indument above absent, below minutely puberulous, silver. Staminate inflorescences: along whole length of flush, erect, peduncles 2-8 cm long, the hypopodia 1-5 cm x ca. 0.8 mm, branch orders 4, the second-order branches 5-7(-8), dispersed, lowest branch to 1.5 cm long, color and indument of all axes as on twigs; bracts and bracteoles caducous (not seen). Staminate flowers: pedicels ca. 2.4 x 0.8 mm, the diameter even throughout; receptacle globose, ca. 2 x 2 mm, constricted at the place of tepal inception; tepals chartaceous, ovate (margin slightly recurved), ca. 1.6 x 1.5 mm (inner whorl slightly larger), at anthesis spreading, reddish, adaxially papillose; stamens of whorls I and II capitate, filament long, the anthers reniform, ca. 1.4 x 1.4 mm (whorl II slightly larger), glabrous, the locelli 4, apical, in a shallow arch, introrse, the glands absent; whorl III filamentous, capitate, ca. 1.4 x 0.6 mm, with a few hairs at base, the anthers trapezoid, the locelli 4, the upper pair latrorse, the lower pair ex-trorse, the glands globular, ca. 0.8 mm diam.; whorl IV absent (staminodial, staminodes columnar); all stamens yellowish brown; pistillode teardrop-shaped, ca. 1.4 x 0.4 mm, glabrous. Pistillate flowers: pistil ca. 1.5 x 0.7 mm; ovary ovoid, ca. 1 mm long, glabrous. Fruits unknown.
Discussion:Field notes. Trees to 40 m tall and 80 cm diam.; buttresses thick, low, symmetric; outer bark smooth, peeling in large plates towards base, orange, with red concentric bands; wood aromatic. Tepals green.Rhodostemonodaphne elephantopus has pointed terminal buds covered with silver, appressed hairs; it is otherwise conspicuously glabrous. It has small leaves with a rounded, mucronate tip. It is vegetatively very similar to R. avilensis, Ocotea ceanothifolia (Nees) Mez, and O. congestifolia Lasser, particularly in leaf size and shape. It differs from Rhodostemonodaphne avilensis both in habit (R. avilensis is a small shrub), and in its less conspicuous venation. Ocotea ceanothifolia has smaller inflorescences and shorter pedicels, while O. congestifolia differs most obviously in its leaves, which are conspicuously clustered at the tips of the branches.
Distribution:French Guiana South America