Monographs Details: Strychnos pedunculata (A.DC.) Benth.
Authority: Krukoff, Boris A. 1965. Supplementary notes on the American species of Strychnos VII. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 12: 1-94.
Description:Distribution and Ecology - Venezuela: Federal District: Bredemeyer s.n. (Hb. Jacq.) (W) (? isotype of S. Bredemeyeri); Steyermark 92087 (Ven) (laderas pendientes del lado del mar que miran hacia el Norte, arriba del pueblo de Naiguatá; bosque humedo denso, lomas de Las Delicias, entre Quebrada de Basenilla y Quebrada Guayoyo, 912 kms. suroeste de Hac. Cocuizal). Bolivar: Steyermark 75559 (Ven) (Chiman-thá Massif, near Rio Tirica, alt. 1000 m), Cardona 1228 (Ven) (Rio Carum, affl. del Paragua, 350 m).Distribution : The species is known to me from one collection from the Island of Trinidad, four collections from Venezuela (Federal District and Bolivar), five collections from the southern part of British Guiana and one collection from the Territory of Rio Branco (Rio Cotingo), Brazil. Its range doubtless will be extended considerably by new collections. It likely will be found in patches of forests in savannas in Brazilian Amazonia. It will be recalled that S. Melinoniana, known previously only from the three Guianas, was found later to occur in the basin of the middle Rio Tocantins in the State of Para (Froes 23397).
Discussion:(?) Lasiostoma Bredemeyeri Schult. Mant. Syst. 3:64. 1827.
(?) Rouhamon Bredemeyeri DC. Prodr. 9:18. 1845.
Rouhamon pedunculatum A.DC. in DC. Prodr. 9:561. 1845.
Strychnos Schomburgkiana Klotzsch; Rich. Schomb. Reisen 3:1144, hyponym. 1848.
Strychnos trinitensis Griseb. FI. Brit. W. Ind. 407. 1861.
(?) Strychnos Bredemeyeri (Schult.) Sprague & Sandw. Kew Bull. 1927:128. 1927.
Recently I had the privilege of examining Bredemeyer’s specimen from Venezuela, sent to me through the kindness of the Conservator of the Herbarium, Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna at which institution a set of Bredemeyer’s Venezuelan collection is deposited. This specimen was located through a helpful suggestion of N. Y. Sandwith who wrote to me as follows: “If the type of S. Bredemeyeri exists, it may be in the Vienna Herbarium. I have never seen it. I think Bredemeyer was a gardener sent out to Venezuela by Jacquin.”
This specimen is labelled: “Bredemeyer-Caracas-Jacquin,” providing proof that it was collected in Caracas by Bredemeyer, as stated in the original description by Schultes. In his letter of Feb. 13, 1964 Kurt Fitz of Naturhistorisches Museum wrote me as follows: In our herbarium we have found only one specimen of Strychnos collected by Bredemeyer and this one is originating from Caracas, filed under S. pedunculata, ex Herb. Jacquin. Could this be an isotype? The herbarium of Willdenow is kept at the Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem, DBR; it is not given away on loan.”
The above referred to specimen (leaves and flowers past anthesis) unquestionably is conspecific with S. pedunculata, and quite likely it is an isotype of S. Bredemeyeri. This has to be confirmed by examination of Bredemeyer's specimen at the Herbarium of Willdenow (if such still exists). Schultes’ description however may be íegarded as nomen subnudum by some of the taxonomists. In addition to this it is likely that an error was made by Schultes in the original description. He describes corolla as “glabrous at throat” whereas corolla-tube in the species is pilose within from near base up to throat. It is noteworthy that the above quotation is the only diagnostic words of Schultes’ description of the species.
In our monograph (1: 321) S. Bredemeyeri was treated among doubtful species and I am now transferring it with doubts to the synonymy of S. pedunculata.
“Local names: Uraichá (Arekuna Indians, Rio Carum, Venezuela).
It is satisfactory that the type locality of S. trinitensis has now been ascertained. I refer to the letter of Sandwith quoted by Ducke (31: 30) and which reads: “The type locality for S. trinitensis Griseb. is in Trinidad all right, where there is a very well-known Caura River.” Thus the previous suggestion of Ducke (3: 66) that the type locality of S. trinitensis is on the Rio Caura, in Bolivar, Venezuela, proved to be erroneous.
Only immature fruits of this species are known. It would be important to collect and describe mature fruits and seeds and place this species in the proper place in the key made by Ducke which is based on the fruit characters (31: 53-57).
Richard Schomburgk mentions this species as providing, under the name “Yakki,” an ingredient of the curare of the Makusi Indians of British Guiana (1: 291).
Fanshawe (34: 66) gives the following information on the local names, on the field characters of this bush-rope, on its distribution in British Guiana and on its alkaloids, probably on the authority of Dr. King:
“Local names: Devildoer; kwabanaro (Arawak); humarawa (Akawaio, Arekuna, Patamona, Macushi).
“A canopy climber, 1-2 inches in diameter.
“It occurs occasionally in seasonal forest on hillocks in the Rupununi savannas or along the foothills of the Kanuku and Pakaraima Mountains, or in the rainforest on the Kanuku Mountains.
“It contains alkaloids with a curare-like action, i.e., producing paralysis of the peripheral nerves. It is used by the Arekuna Indians to prepare a blowpipe poison.”
Distribution:Trinidad and Tobago South America
| Venezuela South America
| Guyana South America
| Brazil South America