Monographs Details: Ocotea florulenta (Meisn.) Mez
Authority: Maguire, Bassett & Wurdack, John J. 1964. The botany of the Guayana Highland--Part V. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 10: 1-278.
Family:Lauraceae
Description:Distribution and Ecology - Distribution. Shrub or small tree with dioecious flowers growing on wooded, periodically inundated banks of the Amazon, Rio Negro and Rio Orinoco and their tributaries in Brazil and Venezuela, at an altitude of 100-125 m. VENEZUELA. Amazonas: en las margenes anegadas y arboreadas del Caño Macasi, Capihuara, Alto Casiquiare, Williams 15598 ([male] fl. F, US), 15769 ([female] fl. F, US); en los sitios sombreados en la selva alta, frondosa, fuera de las inundaciones periodicas, San Carlos, Rio Negro, Williams 14461 (fr. A, US); frequent on river banks above Cuao Creek, Rio Orinoco, Maguire d; Politi 27391 (fr. NY).BRAZIL. Amazonas: Secus Rio Negro, inter S. Gabriel et Barcellos, Spruce 3791 (fr. isotype of Gymnobalanus Sprucei Meissner, GH, NY). VENEZUELA. mazonas: along Rio Cuao, Maguire & Politi 28153 (fr. NY); frequent along Caño Cupueni, right bank of the Rio Orinoco opposite mouth of Rio Atabapo, Maguire, Wurdack & Bunting 36202 ([male] fl. NY).

Discussion:

Oreodaphne florulenta Meissner in DC. Prodr. 15^: 125. 1864. Type. In vicinibus Santarem, Para, Brazil, Apr 1850, Spruce 812 [Ocotea (1)], (isotype, [male] fl.NY).

Vernacular Name. Laurel Blanco, Laurel Negro (Williams).

The species resembles Ocotea fallax (Miquel) Mez from the Guianas but differs, according to Mez, in the globose fruits subtended by a shallow cupule with expanded, obconical pedicel, as opposed to the subglobose fruit of O. fallax which is subtended by a smaller cupule seated on a scarcely thickened pedicel. With the fragmentary fruit and flowering material of cited specimens and no available types of O. fallax, it is difficult to be certain that Mez was justified in maintaining Miquel's species.

It is with hesitation that I cite the following fruiting specimens under O. florulenta. The branchlets are sturdier in every way than those of Spruce 812; the leaves are more coriaceous and tend to be larger, characteristics not significant in themselves; but, when coupled with a much coarser infructescence with scarcely expanded pedicels, they assume more importance. Because these specimens are not to be distinguished by floral or fruiting characteristics, they are placed here for the time being. It is entirely possible that with more material available, they may prove to be worthy of at least varietal rank under O. flortdenta.

Mention might be made here of the possibility of variation in species resulting from seasonal flooding. It is conceivable that a complex growing for a long period under these conditions might be more susceptible to hybridization, which might perhaps, if it is true, account in part for the instability of certain groups that occur under such conditions. Years of painstaking collecting and field observation would be necessary before any conclusive evidence pertaining to such species could be offered with confidence.

Distribution:Venezuela South America| Brazil South America|