Monographs Details: Sphyrospermum buxifolium Poepp. & Endl.
Authority: Smith, Albert C. 1952. Plants collected in Ecuador by W. H. camp. Vaceiniaceae. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 8 (1): 41-85.
Family:Ericaceae
Description:Distribution and Ecology - Guayas, Canar, Chimborazo, & Bolivar junction: Foothills of the western cordillera near the village of Bucay, Camp E-3833 (NY only). El Oro: In Moro-Moro region, about 21 miles west of Portovelo, Camp E-632, E~634 (both NY only). Napo-Pastaza: Valley of the Rio Pastaza and adjacent uplands, near El Topo, Camp E-1686, E-1688 (NY only), E-1689, E-1691 (NY only); same general region, east of Puyo, Camp E-1698 (NY only). Santiago-Zamora: Eastern slope of the cordillera, valley of the Rios Negro and Chupianza, El Partidero, between the Rios Paute and Negro, Camp E-1520 (NY only). Low hills west of Rio Upano, along Rio Chupiangas, F. Prieto CbuP-18. Cordillera Cutucu, Camp E-1181, E-1202, E-1341, E-1361 (all NY only).

Discussion:

Field notes accompanying this excellent suite of specimens indicate that the plant is a slender epiphyte, often pendant and high-climbing, rarely scrambling or trailing along banks, and in one case (no. 634) terrestrial and suberect to 50 cm. high; it occurs in forest at elevations of 2,100 to 5,900 ft.; the corolla is white and sometimes pink-tinged; the mature fruit is light blue or pale bluish lavender, sometimes subtranslucent, and insipid.

The related S. majus Griseb. was mentioned in my revision (Brittonia 1: 209. 1933) as having a southern limit of Venezuela, but I have since seen several specimens from Colombian Departments as far south as El Valle and Cundinamarca. However, at least in its typical form, the species does not seem to occur in Ecuador, although some of the cited specimens (e. g. those from the Cordillera Cutucu) approach it in their comparatively large ovate leaves. The value of S. majus as a specific entity at any rate is open to question, and I think it advisable to refer all the small-leaved Ecuadorian specimens with 4 or 5 stamens to S. buxifolium.

Distribution:Ecuador South America|