Monographs Details: Miconia bipatrialis subsp. peruviana Wurdack
Authority: Wurdack, John J. 1967. Plants collected in Ecuador by W. H. Camp. Melastomataceae. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 16: 1-45.
Description:Latin Diagnosis - Folia ápice late hebeti-acuta supra pilis incurvis 0.2-0.5 mm longis persisten-tibus modice obsita, subtus pilis gracilibus 0.5-0.8 mm longis dense armata.
Discussion:Type Collection: J. J. Wurdack 914 (holotype US 2404236; isotype USM; 4 additional isotypes to be distributed), collected on the hills west-northwest (310°-320°) of Pomacocha, Prov. Bongará, Depto. Amazonas, Peru, elev. 2300-2700 m, 19 June 1962. “Shrub 3-5 m, occasional on forested ridge top. Corolla white.”
Miconia lasiocalyx has cauline, petiolar, and inflorescence branch pubescence of simple hairs and essentially lacks an underlying pinoid indument; the inconspicuous appressed external calyx teeth are only 0.5 mm long. Another more distant relative, M. subglabra Cogn. (isotype K) has underlying pinoid hairs as in M. bipatrialis; however, the upper leaf surfaces are smooth and glabrous, the lower leaf surface pubescence is sparse and mostly confined to the primary veins, the hemicircular calyx lobes are only 1 mm long, the style is glabrous, and the ovary apex is very minutely (hairs 0.1 mm long and caducously gland-tipped) puberulous on the angles. Miconia ruizii Naud. (sensu Cogniaux) and M. trichrona Macbr. lack pinoid hairs; otherwise Jameson 833 (US) has much the general appearance of M. bipatrialis subsp. peruviana.
Miconia trichrona was originally described from Cajamarca, Peru, but the species seems to be also quite abundant in southern Ecuador (Azuay: near Seville de Oro, Camp E-4327, E-4343, E-4379; between Cuenca and Loja, Maguire & Maguire 44333. Loja: Zamora road, km 13-14, Maguire & Maguire 44339, 44362; 15 km south of Loja, Harling 3831). Macbride’s remarks in the Flora of Peru concerning the closeness to M. capitellata Cogn. and M. hamata Cogn. are certainly true; indeed, Gleason indicated in his notes of 1930 that the then undetermined duplicate of Weberbauer 6309 (B) was probably M. hamata. A branchlet of Weberbauer 4447 preserved in the Cogniaux herbarium (BR) shows much longer lower leaf surface hairs (averaging 1-1.5 mm in length, curved but not crisped) than in M. trichrona; the “plumose” cauline, petiolar, and peduncular hairs cited in the original description actually are very fine much crisped smooth trichomes. Thus M. hamata is only a slight permutation to be considered in the species-group lacking pinoid or stellulate pubescence underlying the obscuring simple smooth hairs. The distinctness of M. trichrona from M. scabra Cogn. is certainly only in pubescence quantity on the stems and lower leaf surfaces.
Bonpland’s original description of M. obscura (Bonpl.) Naud., particularly the bullose-setose 5-7-plinerved leaves and peltate stigma, indicates that this may well be the oldest name in the complex; the Poeppig Peruvian collections later cited by Cogniaux contradict Bonpland’s plate and diagnosis in several particulars. Certainly the desirable infraspecific combinations cannot be made without examination of the Bonpland holotype of M. obscura.