Monographs Details: Sciadotenia ramiflora Eichler
Authority: Barneby, Rupert C. & Krukoff, Boris A. 1971. Supplementary notes on American Menispermaceae. VIII. A generic survey of the American Tricilisisae and Anomospermeae. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 22: 1-89.
Description:Distribution and Ecology - PERU. Loreto: basin of Rio Huallaga, Poeppig 2271 (imm fr Feb) (F-fragment and photo 4986 of holotype). COLOMBIA. Meta: Sierra de la Macarena, Philipson et al. 1817 (COL), 2191 (COL).


The type of S. ramiflora, collected by Poeppig on Rio Huallaga in southwestern Loreto, Peru, was in young fruit. We have compared a photograph of the Berlin sheet (apparently only fragments from that at Vienna, now lost) and a leaf from it (F) with all relevant Amazonian material now available and found an extremely close match in one staminate flowering specimen from Sierra de la Macarena, Meta, Colombia (Philipson, Idrobo & Jaramillo 2191, COL), which we propose to take as a standard of comparison for the male sex, the sex that in Sciadotenia can be expected to express most of the practical differential characters. Proceeding from this identification we find that the staminate inflorescence described as that of S. ramiflora in the revision (Brittonia 3: 29) was incorrectly assigned, that of genuine S. ramiflora being narrowly spiciform and essentially unbranched, whereas the filiformly branching inflorescence thought to be that of S. ramiflora is actually that of S. amazonica. Study of the individual staminate flowers brings out further differences in number and of the sepals and in size of petals, summarized in our key above, and provides additional evidence that there really are two related but distinct species corresponding with S. ramiflora and S. amazonica, although the original descriptions, based on fruiting specimens, one of them incomplete, could not provide any firm differential characters. The differences in leaf-outline, once thought important, are now recognized as valueless, a point clearly demonstrated by the plant from Sierra de la Macarena just mentioned, in which the leaves vary in outline from narrowly oblong-elliptic truncate at base to ovate-oblong-elUptic subcordate at base. See further under S. amazonica, below.

In the isthmus region of Panama and adjoining Colombia this group of the genus is represented by an obviously related entity with shorter, more richly branched inflorescences bearing flowers that differ substantially in features of petal and androecium. First described as Odontocarya nitida Riley, a name which we listed [:Mem. N. Y. Bot. Gard. 20(2): 76] as a synonym of S. ramiflora, it now appears adequately distinct and reasonably treated as an independent species.

It may be worth noting that the epithet ramiflora, which suggests a branched staminate inflorescence, refers, on the contrary, to six-armed carpophores issuing from the solitary terminal pistillate flower.

Distribution:Peru South America| Colombia South America|