This genus was created by Krug & Urban (Symb. Ant. 5: 49. 1904), based on Cuban specimens collected by Charles Wright, and identified by him and by Grisebach as Euonymus cuncifolius. It is similar to Maytenus Molina because of its dehiscent capsule; it has 4-merous flowers, 4-ceUed ovary, with 1 ovule in each cell; Maytenus has 5-merous flowers, 2-4-celled ovary, with 2 ovules in each cell.
When he described this genus, Urban took the already described species as the
type species; Euonymus cuncifolius C. Wright ex Grisebach thus became Torralbasia
cuneifolia (C. Wright ex Grisebach) Krug & Urban. Urban later described a second
species, Torralbasia domingensis. In his short discussion, he says that the two species
are very close together; the differences given by him are as follows: leaf shape,
length of the inflorescence, length of the pedicels, calyx and petals, length of the
After collecting Torralbasia several times in the Dominican Republic, and comparing
my specimens with the Cuban and Puerto Rican material, I fail to recognize
any consistent differences between the two supposedly different taxa; some of the
Dominican and Puerto Rican specimens have a slightly larger flower, but the
dimensions alone are not sufficient to maintain two separate taxa; also some size
variation is noted throughout the range of the species.