Monographs Details: Phthirusa myrsinites Eichler
Authority: Maguire, Bassett. 1978. The botany of the Guayana Highland--part X. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 29: 1-288.
Discussion:Phthirusa myrsinites Eichler, Mart. Fl. Bras. 5(2): 66. 1868.
In recent years a number of collections have been made of this once rare species which match satisfactorily Eichler's original description and fine drawings in Martius' Flora Brasiliensis. The species may be characterized by the following set of features: branches rufo-furfuraceous; leaves thickly coriaceous, glaucescent, nerveless or having palmate nerves faintly prominulous, the stomata easily visible on both pages, the margins (and midrib when present or part of it) black and slightly scurfy, ovate or oblong to suborbicular; flowers aggregate in axillar glomerules, hermaphroditic (some can possibly be estaminate); filaments almost totally connate to the tepals, the upper ones slightly but distinctly excavated at the sides; anther thecae widely separated by the connective; fruit from the outset of development presenting a typical white or bluish bloom.
The several collections now available show variation patterns in leaf form that make it advisable to divide the present taxon into two well-defined varieties as follows.