Monographs Details: Cavendishia
Authority: 1836. Bot. Reg. 21.
Description:Genus Description - Erect shrubs, evergreen, epiphytic or terrestrial; bark thin, cracking longitudinally; bud scales not stipular. Leaves alternate, simple, estipulate, plinerved or pinnate, coriaceous, marginally entire and revolute, both surfaces usually with multicellular, reddish or blackish, slightly sunken, glandular trichomes to 0.2 mm long, if glabrescent appearing punctate. Inflorescence axillary, racemose or subfasciculate, usually solitary, encircled at the base by a progression of bracts, the smallest bracts minute and triangular, the largest conforming to the shape and size of the individual floral bracts, the inflorescence bracts few to numerous, imbricate, coriaceous, smooth or minutely striate or muricate, marginally scarious and usually minutely glandular fimbriate; floral bracts solitary at base of pedicel, caducous or usually persistent, usually large and showy; pedicel cylindric, bibracteolate near the base or rarely midway up the pedicel; bracteoles chartaceous or coriaceous, basal or rarely midway up the pedicel, usually glandular. Flowers 5-merous, without odor; aestivation valvate; hypanthium articulate with pedicel, fused with the ovary wall, basally expanded into an apophysis or not, constricted at the base of the limb; limb erect or spreading, free from the ovary wall, 5-lobed; lobes erect or connivent after anthesis, usually glandular; corolla tubular, usually carnose when fresh, 5-lobed, the lobes valvate or conduplicate valvate, usually flaring at anthesis; stamens 10, subequal or rarely unequal, subequalling the corolla, lacking spurs; filaments ligulate, usually distinct, rarely slightly coherent at the extreme base at anthesis, alternately unequal, shorter than anthers; anthers alternately unequal, lacking disintegration tissue; thecae smooth or slightly granular; tubules about the same width as the thecae and about twice as long, flexible, dehiscing by introrse, elongate clefts; pollen without viscin threads; ovary inferior, 5-locular, surmounted by a flat or cupuliform nectariferous disc; style filiform, straight or sigmoid, usually glabrous; stigma minutely 5-lobed, truncate but slightly flaring at anthesis. Fruit a juicy, spherical, dark blue black berry; seeds many, minute, 0.5-1 mm long, the testa ruminate.
Cavendishia (Ericaceae) is a neotropical genus of about 150 species ranging from Mexico (Oaxaca), south through montane Central America to Bolivia, and east through the Guianas to Brazil (Amapa). It may be easily recognized by usually large, brightly colored floral bracts and by stamens with alternately unequal filaments and anthers. The following WWW version of a taxonomic treatment of the genus Cavendishia is incomplete at this moment, lacking a full introduction and complete key. The reader is referred to the published account of this genus in Flora Neotropica Monograph 35: 1-290 (Luteyn, 1983), which deals with the 100 species known at that time.