Monographs Details: Comarostaphylis arbutoides Lindl. subsp. arbutoides
Authority: Luteyn, James L., et al. 1995. Ericaceae, Part II. The Superior-Ovaried Genera (Monotropoideae, Pyroloideae, Rhododendroideae, and Vaccinioideae P.P.). Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 66: 560. (Published by NYBG Press)
Synonyms:Comarostaphylis chiriquensis Camp, Comarostaphylis sleumeri Suess., Comarostaphylis costaricensis Small, Arctostaphylos costaricensis (Small) Standl., Arctostaphylos arbutoides var. costaricensis (Small) Wilbur & Luteyn
Description:Species Description - Shrubs or trees to 20 m; young twigs and petioles glandular hirsute to ferruginously tomentose, trichomes stalked, swollen-headed, and glandular or eglandular and hyaline. Leaves usually with dense ferruginous tomentum below; midrib pubescent, trichomes often glandular. Inflorescences with rachis, pedicels, bracts, bracteoles and calyces tomentose to glandular hirsute, often with stalked, swollen-headed glandular trichomes. Flowers with calyx lobes pubescent, trichomes glandular or not; corollas glabrous to tomentose; ovary pubescent or more rarely glabrous.

Discussion:Comarostaphylis arbutoides subsp, arbutoides is a variable, widespread, usually strikingly pubescent taxon, easily distinguished from the nearly glabrous subsp. costaricensis. The material of subsp. arbutoides from Panama, Costa Rica, and Honduras is quite distinct from the related C. discolor subsp. discolor in having entire leaves as well as pubescent stems and petioles, and ferruginously tomentose abaxial leaf surfaces. In Guatemala and adjacent Chiapas, Mexico, where it is sympatric with C. discolor subsp. discolor, the situation is less clear. Here, a number of individuals of C. arbutoides subsp. arbutoides have leaf serrations and the two taxa are separated primarily on the basis of pubescence, with C. discolor subsp. discolor having glabrous twigs, petioles, and abaxial leaf surfaces.

Lindley (1843) used the common name, arbutus-like gritberry, in the same article as the type description. Label data (Williams & Molina R. 14013, BM, F, GH, US) indicates that in Honduras the fruit is edible.

Distribution and Ecology: (Fig. 4) and ecology. Subspecies arbutoides occurs in mountainous areas from the central highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, to western Panama, at elevations from ca. 1350 to 3800 m. Habitats are quite variable and range from dry oak-pine to cloud forests and even paramo. The plants are among the largest in the genus, some individuals reaching 20 m. It is reported (Gómez et al. 21655, CR) that subsp. arbutoides has a mycorrhizal relationship with Leccinum aurantiacum. Repeated visitation of flowers by small bumblebee-like Hymenoptera was observed at a population in Guatemala (Dept. Totonicapán; Diggs, unpublished data). Flowering and fruiting throughout the year.

Distribution:Chiapas Mexico North America| Mexico North America| Panama Central America| Guatemala Central America| Totonicapán Guatemala Central America|

Common Names:chilú, nariz de perro, nariz de chucho