Monographs Details: Pera
Authority: Liogier, Alain H. 1971. Novitates Antillanae. IV. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 21: 107-157.
Scientific Name:Pera
Description:Distribution and Ecology - in Hispaniola.


Few collections of three species were available when I started studying the flora of Hispaniola: P domingensis Urban, P. depressa Urban & Ekman and P. glomerata Urban. I have made several collections of plants in this genus, and in trying to establish the differences between these three species and in comparing them with the Cuban and Bahama specimens of P. bumelifolia Griseb., I came to the conclusion that a variable species is involved that should be named P. bumelifolia Grisebach, and with a second, little-known but distinct species, P. glomerata Urban.

In his description of P. domingensis, Urban gave the leaf-shape as the only outstanding character separating it from P. bumelifolia. Pax in Engler, [Pflanzenreich IV. 147. XIII(68): 1919] seems to separate the two taxa by the leaf-shape also; at the time of Pax's studies, both species were known only from the type collections; P. bumelifolia known only from a staminate specimen, and P domingensis from a pistillate specimen. M y several collections show a tendency in the Hispaniolan races to have wider, more elliptic leaves, whereas the Cuban and Bahama specimens have more eUiptic-lanceolate leaves; some Cuban specimens agree perfectly with the Hispaniolan form. I see no point in keeping the two species apart.

Pera depessa Urban & Ekman was described from Ekman 9564, collected on Gonave Island, and the differences are noted as follows: P. domingensis has longer petioles, shiny leaves, the involucres are globose-obovate and short-pedunculate; m y collections show much variation in leaf-shape and petiole-length, and some have dull leaves; the immature involucres in Ekman 9564 were noted as having a "short peduncle"; according to my own observations the young involucres are nearly sessile. The peduncle develops as the involucre grows; after the latter is shed, the pistillate flowers begin to mature, the individual flowers develop a noticeable pedicel, and at the end w e have a 2-3-fruited infructescence. I do not think that P. depressa should be maintained as a separate taxon.

Pera glomerata Urban seems to be slightly different, though the fruits are unknown; it has a glomerate staminate inflorescence and the leaves are densely lepidote beneath. Only two collections are known, both from Tortue Island, and more specimens, particularly with pistillate flowers and fruits, are needed for further study. The leaf-shape agrees in general with that of P bumelifolia.

Distribution:West Indies|