Monographs Details: Macleania hirtiflora (Benth.) A.C.Sm.
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 - Cañar: Uplands called "Huairacaja," 10-20 km. northeast of Azogues, Camp E-1756. Azuay: Paramo de Tinajillas and surrounding chaparral and forests, 30-50 km. south of Cuenca, Camp E-386. Cordillera de Alpachaca, Camp E-285, E-532, E-536, s. n. (May 22, 1944). Paramo de Carboncilla, about 15 km. south of Ona, Camp E-554A-E-544F incl. (NY only). Paramo del Castillo and surrounding forested areas (crest of the eastern corflillera on the trail between Sevilla de Oro and Mendez), Camp E-4844. Eastern Cordillera, between Ona and the Rio Yacuambi, F. Prieto P-231 (NY only).

Discussion:

The cited specimens were collected at elevations of 8,000 to 11,200 ft., on paramo or subparamo; they are noted as shrubs up to 4 m. high, often spreading from large burls (these sometimes more than 1 m. in diameter); leaves deep green and subnitid above, paler beneath; hypanthium often red or crimson; corolla deep crimson to pink at base, paler or yellowish or white distally; fruit elongate-spherical, when ripe purple-black and up to 1.5 cm, in diameter, sweetish or insipid.

These specimens are variable in details, as indeed are those I referred to this species in 1932 and the numerous ones so identified since that time. It seems unlikely that this concept represents a natural genetic unit; actually the specimens might be construed as representing extreme forms of various strains of M. rupestris, characterized by the pilose flowers, a tendency toward shorter corollas and stamens, and frequently pilose leaves. The indument seems persistent on the pedicels and calyx, but it is sometimes fugacious on the corolla. Among the specimens, from Azuay, nos. 285, 386, 532, and 536 have an unusually persistent corolla-indument, as well as a tendency toward very small leaves.

Distribution:Ecuador South America|