Urceolaria exotica Gmel. Syst. Nat. 2: 890. 1791; Standi. N. Am. Fl. 32(2): 132. 1921 [excl. syn.]
Schradera capitata Vahl [excl. syn.] Eclog. Am. 1: 35. t. 5. 1796.
Schradera exotica (J.F.Gmel.) Standi. Field Mus. Bot. 4: 286. 1929.
Urceolaria capitata (Vahl) Fritsch, Oesterr. Bot. Zeits. 44: 288. 1894.
In citing Fuchsia involucrata Sw. in synonymy, Vahl's name, Schradera capitata, must be considered superfluous, and, therefore, rejected (Art. 63, p. 49. International Rules of Botanical Nomenclature). Vrceolaria exotica Gmel. (Syst. Nat. 2: 390. 1791) was published without description or with indication of origin, and has been accepted as a taxonomic synonym (Taxon 9: 118. April-May, 1960). It cannot be applied definitely to an existing taxon. Although Standley (N. A m . Fl. 32(2) : 132. 1921) used the name Vrceolaria exotica to apply to the Lesser Antillean Schradera capitata Vahl, with Montserrat (type locality of Schradera capitata) indicated as the type locality, his treatment included two other taxa, mentioned in synonymy, i.e. Schradera brasiliensis Mart, and S. cephalophora Griseb. As both the Brazilian S. brasiliensis and the Cuban S. cephalophora are distinct taxa that can be separated from the Lesser Antillean S. capitata, Standley's usage of Vrceolaria exotica perpetuates an uncertain name which includes at least three taxa.
Urceolaria exotica Gmel. is therefore judged to be a nomen confusum, having been used by Standley to include at least three taxa. According to article 69 of the International Rules of Botanical Nomenclature, which is here invoked to apply to the present case, " a name must be rejected if it is used in different senses and so has become a long-persistent source of error." Vahl's plate of Schradera capitata and his description of this taxon (excluding synonymy) fit the taxon encountered in the Lesser Antilles, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. Vahl's plate shows the leaves obtuse at the apex, acutish at the base, with 6-7 lateral nerves, the interior of the corolla-tube pubescent, and the reflexed cucullate appendage of the corolla-lobe at some distance from the apex. Specimens in NY from the Lesser Antillean islands of Guadeloupe, St. Vincent, St. Kitts, St. Nevis, and Martinique, and from the Dominican Republic, and Porto Rico, fit the description and plate of Schradera capitata. Although no material has been examined from the island of Montserrat, type locality for Schradera capitata, the specimen of H. H . & G. W . Smith 1741, collected on the island of St. Vincent, is a good match for the plate of S. capitata.
Vahl described S. capitata (loc. cit. p. 35) as having leaves "apice obtusa, basi parum acutiora." This variation of the species with the leaves obtuse at the apex is the one most frequently encountered. The base of the leaf-blade in the common variation usually varies from rounded or obtuse to subacute. Rarely, however, the apex may become acute to subacuminate, while the base of the leaf-blade is acute to subacute. This latter variation has been found on the island of Dominica and may be indicated as Schradera vahlii var. acutifolia Steyermark, var. nov.
A var. vahlii foliorum laminis anguste ellipticis vel lanceolato- vel oblongoellipticis 5.5-10 cm longis 2-4.8 cm latis apice plerumque acutis vel subacuminatis interdum obtusis basi acutis vel subacuminatis.