Ocotea puchury-major Martius in Buchner, Repert. 35: 171. 1830.
Type. In sylvis ad Tabatinga, Provinciae Rio Negro, Brasil., Martius (holotype, fr., photo F, GH).
A little-collected tree with very rigid, coriaceous leaves, pale green (in the dried state), shining above, with a prominent midrib and undulate margin, the reticulation conspicuous in varying degrees throughout. The large fruit, up to 5 cm long, enclosed for less than one-third the entire length in a thick, woody cupule often more than 4 cm in diameter and 4-7 mm thick, with the outer margin flaring and undulate, is unusual in the genus.
The Venezuelan material shows leaves consistently narrower and with reticulation on the upper surface inconspicuous, as compared with those of the type.
Allied to this species is the following number: COLOMBIA. Intendencia del Meta: tree up to 15 m, dense forest. Central Mountains Entrada Ridge, PhiUpson, Idrobo & Jaramillo 2272 (fr. BM, NY).
This is very probably a new species, but without flowering material I hesitate to describe it. The leaves closely approach the description of the type of Licaria puchury-major, in width and reticulation, but both surfaces are shining and the large, ellipsoid, acuminate buds are greyish-sericeous.
There has been much speculation concerning this species, heretofore known only from the type collection. Kostermans cites several numbers of which I have seen only Riedel s.n., collected near Borba, a sterile branchlet from a young sapling, if one may judge from the texture and loose reticulation of the leaf, not in agreement with the photograph of the type. Three sheets of cultivated material in the New York Botanical Garden Herbarium vrere determined by Ducke as Licaria (Acrodiclidium) puchury-major as follows: Ducke 45, Jucabi, Rio Negro, 19981, Belem do Para, and Froes 21085, Santa Isabel, Rio Negro. These numbers do not accord with the photograph of the type or description. In leaf-structure, particularly the rather fine reticulation of more or less equal density and prominence on both leaf-surfaces, and in the presence of very large flowers, these specimens are precisely the same as those of the Puerto Rican taxon Licaria brittoniana Allen & Gregory, which is cultivated locally for general construction. The fruit and subtending cupule of the two species are very different, the fruit of the Puerto Rican taxon being not more than 15 mm long, oblong with the base and apex more or less rounded, the outer cupule-margin slightly undulate, and the inner 3 mm longer and slightly lobed.