Monographs Details: Orites myrtoidea (Poepp. & Endl.) Engl.
Prance, Ghillean T., et al. 2007. Proteaceae. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 100: 1-218. (Published by NYBG Press
Synonyms:Embothrium myrtifolium Poepp. ex Meisn., Lomatia chilensis Gay, Lomatia alpina Phil., Orites myrtoides Benth. & Hook.f., Roupala myrtoidea Poepp. & Endl., Tricondylus chilensis Kuntze
Description:Species Description - Shrub, to 1 m. Older stems grayish-brown to black, glaucous, with prominent oval or crescentshaped leaf scars towards the base. Lenticels few, inconspicuous, <0.5 mm long, oval to orbicular, weakly prominent, sometimes producing fissures and appearing linear. Leaves spirally arranged, erect, obscuring stem, subsessile to short-petiolate, drying light green to brown, coriaceous, glabrous to glabrescent. Petiole 1-3 mm long, semiterete, 1.25-1.5 mm diam. Lamina 1.3-3.8 × 0.4-0.9 cm, oval to elliptic-oblong, or weakly ovate or obovate; base symmetrical, rounded to cuneate; apex acute to rounded, mucronulate; margin entire, not revolute, thickened and raised beneath; venation reticulate, sometimes cladodromous, the midvein and secondaries weakly prominent on both surfaces of lamina. Inflorescence generally axillary or sometimes terminal with several inflorescences per stem apex, unbranched, ca. 0.8 cm wide; peduncle to 3 mm long, ca. 1 mm diam, immediately below lowest flower-pair; floral rhachis 1-4 cm long, the indumentum ferruginous-puberulent, apressed or spreading. Common bracts rapidly caducous, membranous, glabrous except for a ciliate margin, 2-3 mm long, ovate, the apex acuminate, the margin recurved. Pedicels 0.5-1 mm long, the indumentum as for rhachis. Buds 4-5 mm long, glabrous. Flowers 3-4 mm long; tepals fused only at the base. Filaments almost entirely adnate to tepals, free for only 0.25-0.5 mm; anthers ca. 0.75 mm long, curved, remaining more or less perpendicular to tepals when these curl back. Hypogynous nectaries very fleshy, juxtaposed only at the base, 0.3-0.4mm long, triangular to more or less crescent shaped, yellowish. Ovary 1-1.25 mm long, the indumentum golden to ferruginous-puberulent, dense, covering entire ovary; style truncate, not swollen at apex; stigma undifferentiated, with flat region at style apex. Infructescence 2.3-3.5 cm long, sparsely puberulent. Fruit pedicel 1-2 × 1 mm. Fruit 1.6-2.2 × 0.6-0.7 cm, the bottom suture side more strongly curved than the upper side, narrowing towards the apex; style persistent, curving upwards with maturity, drying brown, minutely striated, glabrescent, sometimes with a very sparse ap-pressed puberulence. Field characters. Evergreen shrub to 1 m in height. Mostly prostrate, some branches erect. Leaves leathery. Fruits yellowish-brown to brownish-gray.
In Chile, Orites myrtoidea is listed as endangered. In recent years the population on Volcán Callaquí is thought to have been destroyed by flooding due to a hydroelectric dam, and in the Valle Maule, 90% of the population has been destroyed due to the construction of a new highway into Argentina (Gardner 2005, pers.comm).
Used as a dye to color wool (original description).
Phenology. Flowering in Nov-Jan; fruiting in Nov-Feb.
Distribition and Ecology: Restricted to a few locations in Maule, Bío Bío, and Araucania (Chile) between 760 and 1750 m alt. In Parque Nacional Laguna del Laja it grows on dry slopes with sclerophyllous vegetation dominated by Austrocedrus chilensis, and in Parque Nacional Tolhuaca, on the margins of Laguna Verde in Araucaria araucana forest. In its most northerly locations in Valle de Maule and Reserva Nacional Los Bellotos de Melado, it occurs above the tree line as an alpine shrub associated with volcanic substrates. Until recently, no specimens were seen from Argentina, but this species is recorded in Plantas Vasculares de la Argentina, Nativas y Exóticas (Boelcke, 1986), as occuring in the province of Neuquen, and was recently collected by G. Seijo (see below).
Neuquén Argentina South America
| Maule Chile South America
| Bío-Bío Chile South America
| Araucanía Chile South America
Common Names:Randal, radal, radal de hojas chicas, radal enano, mirtillo, rada