Monographs Details: Martiusia rubiginosa (Juss. ex Pers.) Britton
Authority: Britton, Nathaniel L. Flora Borinqueña.
Description:Species Description - A slender, densely long-hairy, twining or trailing vine, frequent on banks, in thickets or open woodlands at lower and middle elevations in Porto Rico, mostly in moist districts, from sea-level up to at least 250 meters. In the West Indies it grows also in Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, Santo Domingo, in the Lesser Antilles from Guadeloupe to Trinidad; in continental tropical America from British Honduras to French Guiana. The large, fragrant, nearly white flowers are attractive but not numerous.
The genus Martiusia was named by the German botanist Schultes in 1822, in honor of Karl Friedrich Philipp von Marti[ ]s, editor of the monumental "Flora Brasiliensis", and consists of a few tropical American herbaceous vines or nearly upright herbs, their compound leaves with 3 leaflets (rarely only 1), their large, purple to white flowers stalked in the leaf-axils, solitary, or few in a cluster, subtended by bracts. The tubular calyx is 5-cleft, with the 2 upper lobes more or less united; the standard petal is large and usually notched; the oblong wing-petals are somewhat united to the shorter, curved and pointed keel; the 10 stamens are united by their filaments, or one of them is separate; the stalked ovary contains several ovules; the long style is bearded along the inner side. The pod is oblong, swollen, stalked, and splits longitudinally into 2 convex valves, each, with a central, prominent, crest-like midrib; the few or several seeds are globular and viscid.
Martinsia rubiginosa (reddish) is a vine from 0.6 to 1.5 meters long, the stem covered with long, spreading hairs. The pointed, paralleled-veined stipules are from 4 to 7 millimeters long, the hairy leaf-stalks from 1 to 4 centimeters long; the 3 leaflets are oblong, or oblong-lanceolate, thin, from 3 to 10 centimeters long, smooth on the upper side, hairy on the lower. The flowers, solitary or 2 or 3 together, are borne on a hairy stalk from 3 to 13 centimeters long, the bracts pointed; the calyx is from 2 to 3.5 centimeters long, its lobes about one-half as long as its tube; the corolla is about 5 centimeters long, the nearly white, broad, standard petal with purplish and crimson veins. The smooth pod is from 3 to 4.5 centimeters long, about 8 millimeters thick, the seeds about 3 millimeters in diameter.
Another species, Martinsia laurifolia, also illustrated in this work, inhabits sandy soil on the northern coastal plain of Porto Rico.
Discussion:Flor de pito
Clitoria rubiginosa Jussieu; Persoon, Synopsis Plantarum 2: 303. 1807.
Martiusia rubiginosa Britton; Britton & Wilson, Scientific Survey of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands 5:411.1924.