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


The first species in this genus to be described from Hispaniola was Meriania involucrata (Desrousseaux) Naudin, published in 1797 as Melastoma involucrata Desrousseaux (Lam. Encyc. 4: 35). This same species was described by P. de Candolle as Meriania obtusifolia (Prodr. 3: 101. 1828) and by Cogniaux as Blakea reticulata (Urban, Symb. Ant. 7: 531. 1913). A second species was described by Urban as Meriania ekmanii in 1927 [Ark. Bot. 21A(5): 37] and a third one, M. squamulosa, in 1929 [Ark. Bot. 22A(7): 28].

There seems to be much variation in M . involucrata. I have examined a few collections and studied principaUy the calyx-lobes and their appendages. I have found that usually the lobes are rounded or semiorbicular, with an appendage commonly wide at base and abruptly narrowed into a linear tip; in some cases, the base is also narrowed. Urban in describing M . ekmanii says that the calyx-lobes are acuminate but later he says that the interior lobe is semiorbicular or semilunar. There is obviously some confusion in the use of terms. I here consider as with most authors the inner part as the calyx-lobe proper, and the outer part as the appendage. In this case, both M . involucrata and M . ekmanii have rounded calyx-lobes and linear appendages, which may be widened or not at the base. The leaf-shape and size are quite variable, as is the color of the flower. I have collected both the red- and the white-flowered races on the slopes of La Rucilla, growing a few feet apart; the color of the flowers is the only difference noted between the two plants collected. The bracts subtending the flowers also are variable in shape, from oblong-obovate to orbicular-truncate, orbicular or orbicular-obovate; they simulate an involucre surrounding the flower.

Unable to find any consistent differences between M . involucrata and M . ekmanii, I consider both plants as part of the same taxon

Distribution:West Indies|