Monographs Details: Tapeinostemon spenneroides Benth.
Authority: Maguire, Bassett. 1978. The botany of the Guayana Highland--part XI. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 32: 1-391.
Family:Gentianaceae
Description:Distribution and Ecology - Distribution. Generally distributed and frequent as an annual herb 1-3 m high, at savanna elevations about 1000 meters, in the Gran Sabana of Venezuela and the Pakaraima Plateau of Guyana.VENEZUELA. Estado Bolívar: herb 2 ft tall, corolla white, "Cave Rock," 2130 m alt, Ptari-tepuí, 4 Nov 1944, Steyermark 59861 (F); perennial herb 2 m high, corollas white, occasional, 1200 m alt, Cerro Guaiquinima, Rio Paragua, 27 Dec 1951, Maguire 32768 (NY, VEN); herb 2-3 m, flowers white, infrequent, southwest slope forest and savannas, Ptari-tepuí, 1500-2000 m alt, 17 Dec 1952, Maguire & Wurdack 33886 (NY, VEN); coroUa white, leaves membranous, occasional along stream banks in rain forest on lower northwestern slopes of Abacapa-tepuí, 420 m alt, 30-31 Mar 1953, Steyermark 74769 (NY, VEN); flowers white, leaves membranous, common on shaded moist sandstone boulders along stream in quebrada, 700 m alt, lower northwestern slopes of Abacapa-tepuí, 3 Apr 1953, Steyermark 74801 (NY, VEN); forested narrow ridge of Apacara-tepuí between waterfall and dwarf woods, 1200-1600 m ak, 19 Apr 1953, Steyermark 75155 (unicate); flowers white, Faldas del Aprada Tepuy, Uriman, 1000-1100 m, 15-20 Aug 1953, Bernardi 779; subfrutice, frecuente, Rio Auacapa, affluente del Apacara, 22 Aug 1954, Bernardi 1532; herb to 1 m, leaves rugose, subcoriaceous, corolla lobes spreading, white, base of corolla tube pale green becoming whke above, anthers pale yellow, occasional, dry side of Middle Falls of Río Tirica, below Summit Camp, 1760 m alt, Torono-tepui, Chimanta Massk, 1 Mar 1955, Steyermark & Wurdack 1227 (NY, VEN); flores blancas, region de los rios Icabaru, Hacha, y cordillera sin nombre a 280° de las cabeceras del Río Hacha, 450-850 m alt, selva pluvial o sabana natural, 23 Dec 1955, Bernardi 2688; s. frutice de flores blancas, region de los rios Icabaru, Hacha, y cordillera sin nombre a 280° de las cabeceras del Río Hacha, 450-850 m alt, selva pluvial o sabana natural, 29 Dec 1955, Bernardi s n; herbacea en playa Salto, Río Ichun, Alto Paragua, 380 m, 1 Mar 1958, Cardona 2851; herb 1.5 m, corolla whitish, calyx green, wooded ridge of Fila de La Danta, between campamento 125 and km 127, between Luepa and Cerro Venamo, 1200 m alt, 15-17 Apr 1960, Steyermark & Nilsson 171; herb 1 m tall, quebrada, arriba del valle de Kamarata, 1500-1530 m, Auyantepuí, 18 May 1964, Steyermark 94113 (VEN, NY); herb 0.5 m tall, flowers greenish, Cerro Venamo (suroeste), 1400-1450 m, 1 Jan 1964, Steyermark & Dunsterville 92532 (VEN, NY). Territorio Amazonas: herb, slope, rain forest, 1000 m elev, Cerro Marahuaca, 3 May 1949, Maguire & Maguire, Jr. 29179 (NY); flowers white, occasional, valley head above camp, Cerro Paru, 2000 m alt, 10 Feb 1951, Cowan & Wurdack 31364 (NY); herb to 1 m, flowers white, frequent in forest. Camp 3, 1600 m alt, Cerro de la Neblina, 14 Nov 1957, Maguire, Wurdack & Maguire 42053 (NY); to 1.5 m, flowers white, occasional, Cañon Grande S SW of Cumbre Camp, 2200 m elev, Cerro de la Nebhna, 24 Dec 1957, Maguire, Wurdack & Maguire 42481 (NY); alt 1510 m, Lat 1°30'N, Long 65°51'W, Cerro Avispa, Rio Siapa, 5 Dec 1972, G. C. K. & E. Dunsterville, sn (NY, VEN). GUYANA. Herb, in Cimuria forest, 1000 m alt, Membaru-Kurupung Trail, Pakaraima Mountains, 29 Oct-4 Nov 1951, Maguire & Fanshawe 32346A (NY, K); shrub to 1 m, corolla greenish-white, infrequent at base of cliffs, in mixed evergreen forest, along NE side of Mt. Ayanganna, 900 m alt, 1 Aug 1960, Tillett, Boyan & Tillett 44997 (NY); herb to 1.5 m, corolla creamy-white, infrequent in dense scrub on shoulder of E flank, about Thompson Camp, 1418 m alt, Mt. Ayanganna, 14 Aug 1960, Tillett, Boyan & Tillett 45127 (NY, K). BRAZIL. Subscandent, 2 m high, corolla and stamens white, in catinga forest between Missao Salesiana and Serra Pirapucu, Rio Maturaca, 400-800 m alt, Serra da Neblina, 13 Jan 1966, Silva & Brazdo 60811 (NY, MG).

Discussion:3. Tapeinostemon spenneroides Bentham, Hook. Jour. Bot. Kew Misc. 6: 194. 1854. Fig 79. Stahelia surinamensis Jonker, Rec. Trav. Bot. Neeri. 34: 494, fig 7. 1937. Type. Top 1280 (1100 m), Wilhelmina Gebergte, Suriname, 20 Jun 1926, Ceroid Stahel 520 (holotype U; isotypes U, NY). Stahelia spenneroides (Benth.) Jonker, Rec. Trav. Bot. Neeri. 41: 149. 1948. Tapeinostemon ptariense Steyermark, Lloydia 14: 61, figs 1-7. 1951. Type. Herb 2 feet tall, steep forested slopes, "Cave Rock, at 2130 m all, Ptari-tepui, Bolivar, Venezuela, 4 Nov 1944, Julian A. Steyermark 59861 (holotype F, not seen by me). Type. Igarape, deep in forest near Panure, Rio Uaupes [Amazonas, Brazil], September 1852, Richard Spruce 2480 (type K, photo NY). Tapeinostemon spenneroides is an annual herb often exceeding two meters in height, distributed over much of Guayana and occupying a considerable altitudinal range, from the lowland of the Rio Negro region and the cumbres of Cerro Neblina in Venezuelan Amazonas eastward to the upper montane forests of PtaritepuĂ­ in Estado BolĂ­var and the forested summit of the Wilhelmina Mountains in Suriname. In habit the species is fairly consistent throughout its altitudinal and geographic range. Other than general conformity of facies, distinctions have chiefly been recognized by flower criteria, especially flower size and coroUa length, and by prominence and form of style and stigmas. None of these morphologic variations seems to be correlatable with either geography or habitat. The species was estabhshed by Bentham on a purported unicate collection, " A single plant of this was found by Mr. Spruce by the side of an igarape, deep in the forest near Panure, in September, 1852." Bentham did not indicate a Spruce collection number. I have not seen this specimen or any putative duphcate specimens, but have before me a photograph of Spruce 2480, a presumptive type of Tapeinostemon spenneroides. The photograph is indeed adequate for evalution. It is consistent with the rather large accumulation of specimens that are here referred to Tapeinostemon spenneroides. The Spruce specimen is completely in late fruiting stage, no flowers being present, many of the fruits having been dropped, and of those remaining all styles have been partly deciduous, leaving only style bases of somewhat irregular lengths. Obviously no stigmas are to be seen. Therefore, Spruce 2480 is here designated as the type collection of Tapeinostemon spenneroides Benth. It is evident that the photographed specimen was viewed by Bentham, since the sheet bears the notation of locality and dates of the Spruce 2480 in the unmistakable handwriting of Bentham. The specimen in question bears no flowers, and ofthe capsules present and visible, as indicated above, without exception the style has been dropped and, therefore, no stigmas are to be observed. We must, therefore, disregard the Bentham characterization "Stylus brevissimus, lobis stigmatosis ovatis brevibus," but that the observation "... stylo omnino deraso obtusata" is accurate. Further, the pertinent stylar descriptions under Tapeinostemon capitatum (see discussion under that species) and that of the generic description also must be disregarded.
Distribution:Venezuela South America| Guyana South America|