Monographs Details: Euplassa legalis var. villanovae Sleumer
Authority: Prance, Ghillean T., et al. 2007. Proteaceae. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 100: 1-218. (Published by NYBG Press)
Description:Variety Description - Leaflets oval-oblong to oval-elliptic; apex rounded to emarginate, frequently with the midvein extending to form a minute mucro. Inflorescence not extending beyond the leaf rhachis; the indumentum tomento-pubescent; peduncle 1.5 mm diam, immediately below the inflorescence; pedicels 2-3.5 mm long. Hypogynous nectaries distinct, large abaxial and lateral gaps present. Ovary glabrous.

Discussion:The delimitation of this species has proved to be difficult, in great part due to the lack of material. The original description and the type illustration to uphold it are sound, yet confusion has arisen regarding the identification of this species and the number of heterogenous specimens that have been determined as Euplassa legalis. In the 1954 revision of this genus, Sleumer recognized the new variety E. legalis var. villanovae based on two specimens, one of which, Riedel 1449, has been elevated here to species level (see E. semicostata). The other specimen is the type specimen, which is deposited at K. The main differences in the Riedel specimen are the densely hirsute ovary and the midrib not reaching the leaflet apex, a strong differentiating character. The leaves and inflorescence are similar to those of Euplassa legalis var. legalis; therefore, in this revision it has been maintained as a variety, primarily because there is not enough material to support its elevation to a new species. However, Sleumer’s variety shows a very strong discrepancy within E. legalis, namely unfused hypogynous nectaries. Euplassa legalis var. legalis has fused nectaries and this is very consistent within species. This character could be strong enough to separate a new taxon at the species level, but because in this case the material is so poor, we have chosen to keep it at its present rank. This is by no means a definitive classification for this specimen, but further material must be collected to better define it. Another group of speci- mens from Rio de Janeiro collected by Glaziou (Glaziou 7816) are also quite different from E. legalis sensu stricto. In this case, while the flowers are similar (although the ovary in this case is pubescent at the base as opposed to glabrous), the leaflets are very different. They are reminiscent of E. bahiensis, in which the leaf margins are recurved.

This species shows some similarities with Euplassa semicostata (see the preceding discussion), E. inaequalis and E. saxicola. It differs from E. inaequalis in the tomentose perianth indumentum, and in possessing a distinct ovary (which is sometimes only slightly broader than the style in E. inaequalis). Specimens of E. legalis may, however, be difficult to separate from the more hairy specimens of E. inaequalis, like those from cerrado, but the indumentum is denser (especially on the floral organs) and more rufous in E. legalis. The leaves of E. saxicola have similar indumentum to those of E. legalis, but when in flower, differences between the two species are evident, such as the ferruginous-pilose indumentum covering the ovary in E. saxicola as opposed to the glabrous ovary of E. legalis.

The Edinburgh isotype of Euplassa legalis var. villanovae has a different date and locality from the Kew sheet: 8 Aug 1864, Serra das Orgãos.
Distribution:Rio de Janeiro Brazil South America| Brazil South America|