Monographs Details: Roupala nitida Rudge
Authority: Prance, Ghillean T., et al. 2007. Proteaceae. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 100: 1-218. (Published by NYBG Press)
Family:Proteaceae
Scientific Name:Roupala nitida Rudge
Synonyms:Roupala laurifolia Knight
Description:Species Description - Tree, or shrub, 1.5-13 m tall, sometimes scandent. Branch bark sandy brown superficially, dark brown beneath, glabrous, lenticellate. Lenticels numerous, inconspicuous, minute to 2.5 mm longest axis, granular, raised, and pale brown. Leaves simple, thin-coriaceous, petiolate, drying pale green to green-brown, matte or shiny above, glabrous. Petiole not well defined, 1-3(-5) cm long, 1-2.5 mm broad at midlength, 1.4.6-1/9.9 the length of the lamina, rugose, terete towards base, grooved towards blade as lamina sides descending petiole form a channel, glabrous, the petiole base often with conspicuous pale brown scar at limit with branch (not stipular), the branch elevated where the petiole emerges. Lamina 10-25(-36.5) × 3.5-8(-10) cm, length:breadth (2-)2.5-3.5(-4):l, narrowly oblong or oblong, rarely elliptic; base cuneate or acute-decurrent, flat or folded, usually symmetrical, rarely asymmetrical; apex predominantly attenuate, less frequently acute, frequently folded, the apical point of midrib not protruding; margin always entire, revolute towards base; venation ± conspicuous above, slightly raised, midrib narrowly grooved, conspicuous and prominent beneath, semicraspedodromous (at times appearing eucamptodromous above where vein detail is less pronounced) often forming double marginal vein, the inner vein strong, outer vein weaker, midvein reaching the apex; lateral veins (4-)6-8(-ll) pairs. Inflorescence axillary, unbranched, 3.5-18.5 × 1-1.5 cm, sparsely pilose, ferruginous; peduncle 0.1-1.3 cm × 0.8-1.8 mm, with sterile bracts at base abundant and persistent. Common bracts 0.8-l × 0.5-0.6 mm, glabrous within and without except fimbriate margin of ferruginous to rufous hairs. Flower-pair axis absent. Pedicels 1.5-3 × 0.3-0.4 mm, sparsely pilose. Buds 0.7-0.8mm broad at apex, 0.4-0.5 mm broad at midlength, sparsely pilose. Flowers 3.5-5 mm long; filaments 0-0.7 mm long, adnate 2.8-4.5 mm from base of tepals; anthers 1-1.8 × 0.2-0.3 mm; nectary lobes 0.2-0.3 mm long, fleshy, commonly appressed or fused together forming a continuous ring, less commonly separated; ovary glabrous or with very sparse covering of short, appressed, yellow-brown hairs; ovules 0.3-0.4 × 0.2-0.3 mm. Infructescence 4.5-11.5 cm long, glabrous or glabrescent; fruit pedicels 3-5 × 1.2-1.5 mm, essentially glabrous. Fruit 3-3.7 × 1.8-2.2 cm, hemispherical around uppermost (sutured) edge, slightly rounded on lowermost edge, markedly constricted for 4-7 mm at the base, the apex constricted for 3-4 mm, the persistent base of style forming sharp apex, a prominent marginal vein running around periphery, the venation (vascular tissue) conspicuous on the surface, a pale brown groove 2 mm wide developing at suture, dark brown or black when immature, becoming paler and opening out completely so fruit sides are in the same plane when dehisced, remaining attached only for short distance along nonsutured side, glabrous. Seeds 2-2.3 × 1.6-1.8 cm, the wing somewhat coriaceous.

Discussion:Roupala nitida is most similar to Roupala suaveolens; it may be seen as the eastern and western extension to the distribution of that species. However, there are many differences which support the recognition of both of these species. Most conspicuous of all, R. nitida lacks the dense indumentum which covers most parts of R. suaveolens, although it may retain sparse, weak hairs on parts of the inflorescence. Roupala nitida frequently has a scar at the base of the petiole, which is never seen in R. suaveolens. The lamina of R. nitida has a larger length:breadth ratio, (2-)2.5-3.5(-4):l vs. (l.l-)1.5-2(-2.5):l, and the base is invariably < 90° (vs. invariably >90°); flowers are considerably smaller in R. nitida (3.5-5 mm long with anthers 1-1.8 mm long vs. 7-11 mm long with anthers 1.7-2.6 mm long). Despite the smaller flowers, fruits of R. nitida are larger, in particular in breadth (3-3.7 × 1.8-2.2 cm vs. 1.8-3.2 × 0.9-1.5 cm), and the suture has a wide groove that develops prior to dehiscence, which is not seen in R. suaveolens.

Roupala nitida may be confused with R. consimilis in the shape and color of the leaves, although both species differ in flower size (3.5-5 mm long vs. 8-13.5 mm long) and in the inflorescence indumentum, which is very dense in R. consimilis and very sparse in R. nitida. It may also be confused with the Amazonian R. obtusata, but the latter has larger flowers, 6-14 mm long, and usually has a densely hairy ovary (although it can occasionally be glabrous). Roupala dielsii also has hemispherical fruits, although they are even more strongly so in R. nitida. The other difference between both species are the leaf margins which are serrate in R. dielsii and entire in R. nitida.

Most characteristic of this species are the small flowers (3.5-5 mm long) and the more or less hemispherical fruits, drying dark brown or black when mature and which are conspicuously veined on the surface. In addition, the ovary is glabrous or possesses very sparse indumentum, which is unusual in the genus. It may be confused with Roupala obtusata, R. consimilis, and R. dielsii.

Small tree or scandent scrub 1.5-13 m tall, smelling somewhat agreeable. Bark very pale gray. Wood ochre-yellow to dark. Petiole bases swollen. Leaves thin-coriaceous, lanceolate, shiny and dark green above, pale green beneath, the marginal vein conspicuous at times. Flowers white, lightly fragrant. Fruit flat, green maturing brown.

Phenology. Flowering from Nov to Feb; fruiting from Apr to Jun.

Distribution:Pará Brazil South America| Cayenne French Guiana South America| Antioquia Colombia South America| French Guiana South America|

Common Names:wayãpi, tatukasi