Monographs Details: Acanthella sprucei Hook.f.
Authority: Maguire, Bassett & Wurdack, John J. 1964. The botany of the Guayana Highland--Part V. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 10: 1-278.

A. montana Gleason. Mem. N. Y. Bot. Gard. 8: 134. 1953.

The internodal development, leaf, and seed characters cited for differentiation of the Sipapo collections from the lowland species all m a y be found exactly the same in Esmeralda (topotypical for A. sprucei) and other specimens. Until adequate cumbre flowering material demonstrates conclusive differences, I shall regard A. montana as a synonym. The species has also been collected (fruiting) on Cerro Yutaje (Maguire & Maguire 35142) and Cerro Guanay (Maguire, Phelps, Hitchcock, & Budowski 31653, 31734); its known range is from the Rio Parguaza in Edo. Bolivar (Venezuela) to the Rio Caqueta in Colombia. Students since Cogniaux have followed him in using a Velloso epithet [Acanthella conferta (Veil.) Cogn.] for the Orinoco-Rio Negro species. Patently this is ridiculous, as Velloso's scanty description of a 5-merous glabrous-stemmed herbaceous Melastome from Rio de Janeiro would imply. At present, I am skeptical about any attempts to identify the Velloso names in the Melastomataceae; in any event Melastoma conferta Veil, (if even Melastomataceae) is probably a microlicioid species, perhaps a Cambessedesia, and certainly not the same as Spruce 3222.

There also seems to be no real distinction between A. plicata Gleason and A. pulchra Gleason; the young leaves are plicate on Steyermark 58438 (US) and Wurdack & Monachino 41024 as in A. plicata, with older leaves being flat; the seed size is apparently correlated with the capsule age. The prior name is A. pulchra.