Monographs Details: Crantzia ambigua (Urb.) Britton
Authority: Britton, Nathaniel L. Flora Borinqueña.
Description:Species Description - An epiphytic plant, growing on trees, in wet or moist parts of Porto Rico, restricted in distribution to this island, and thus classified as endemic. It occurs, for the most part, at middle and higher elevations, inhabiting forests and woodlands, adhering by its roots to the bark of larger trees. No popular names have been recorded.
Crantzia, commemorating H. J. K. von Crantz, an Austrian botanist, who lived from 1722 to 1790, was described as a genus by Scopoli in 1777; some 30 species, or more, inhabit tropical America; shrubs, often epiphytic, with opposite leaves and axillary flowers. The calyx is 5-parted; the corolla has a straight or curved tube and an oblique, 5-lobed limb; there are 4 perfect stamens, borne at the base of the corolla ard 1 imperfect one (staminodium); the 1-celled ovary contains several or many ovules; the style is elongated, the stigma dilated, or 2-lobed. The fruit is a many-seeded fleshy capsule, or berry. Only the species here illustrated grows in Porto Rico.
Crantzia ambigua (untypical in the genus) usually has clustered stems from 30 to 50 centimeters long, 4-sided, hairy, at least when young. The ovate leaves, from 4 to 10 centimeters long, are unequal, one smaller and one larger in each opposite pair; they are wavy or continuous-margined, slightly hairy, blunt, or pointed, with stalks from 5 to 15 millimeters long. The flowers are from 2 to 6 together in the axils; the ovate-oblong, red or green, pointed calyx-segments are from 8 to 12 millimeters long, the yellow corolla about 2 centimeters long. The snow-white fruit is globose, ovoid, about 7 millimeters in diameter.
Discussion:Porto Rican Crantzia
Alloplectus ambiguus Urban, Symbolae Antillanae 1; 408. 1899.
Crantzia ambigua Britton; Britton and Wilson, Scientific Survey of Porto Rioo and the Virgin Islands 6: 204. 1925.