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: Paramo between Biblian and Canar, Camp E-447. Parroquia Bayas, valley of Rio Tabacal, about 15 km. northeast of Azogues, F. Prieto P-118. Region of San Marcos, about 10 km. northeast of Azogues, F. Prieto P-80. Uplands called "Huairacaja," 10-20 km. northeast of Azogues, Camp E-1754, E-1811. Azuay: Cruz Pamba region above Banos, about 15 km. southwest of Cuenca, Camp E-3939 (coll. M. Giler & F. Prieto). The eastern Cordillera, 4-6 km. north of the village of Sevilla de Oro, Camp E-4702. Vicinity of El Pan, Camp E-500. Paramo del Castillo and surrounding forested areas (crest of the eastern Cordillera on the trail between Sevilla de Oro and Mendez), Camp E-716, E-721 (NY only), E-724 (NY only).

Discussion:

The cited specimens were obtained at elevations between 8,500 and 11,000 ft.; they came from erect, spreading, or scrambling shrubs 2-5 m. high, sometimes with large soft burls; leaves deep green and subnitid above, pale and dull beneath; hypanthium crimson; corolla crimson to pink, tipped with yellow, white, or pale pink; fruit ellipsoid, when mature about 2 x 1.5 cm., pink- or red-flushed, sweetish but flat in taste; local name guayapa, used for plants of this general affinity.

These collections agree with M. hirtiflora in the indument of their flowers and sometimes of their foliage, but their inflorescences are subtended by elongate bracts similar to (or approaching in size) those of M. benthamiana. It must be assumed, I think, that these two species are interfertile where their ranges coincide, if indeed either species is more than a series of variations from M. rupestris. The cited specimens also suggest other "species" of this complex. In some, e. g. no. 4702, the leaves may be coriaceous and prominently nerved as in typical M. benthamiana, but sometimes strictly glabrous and sometimes pilose in precisely the manner typical for M. ecuadorensis. Number 721 is accompanied by extraordinarily large leaves (blades up to 16 x 10 cm.), although its inflorescences are associated with leaves of normal size.

Distribution:Ecuador South America|