Odontocarya nitida Riley, Kew Bull. 1927: 119. 1927.
(?)Sciadotenia ramiflora Eichler var. colombiana Moldenke, Revista Sudam. Bot. 10: 229. 1956.
Like 5. ramiflora; petioles 2-6 cm long; leaf-blades varying from ovate-acuminate
to broadly lance-elHptic, at base varying from shallowly cordate to truncately rounded,
6-14 X 3-6 cm, in texture membranous, drying dark and lustrous above, beneath
paler, olivaceous, rather dull; reticulation beneath of raised veinlets forming a mesh
of areoles ± 1 mm diam (but these sometimes enclosing an extremely fine, barely
raised mesh); inflorescence [male] 4-8 cm long, branched at least below middle, the
secondary axes several-flowered, up to 1-2 cm long; flower [male]: sepals 18, the largest
ovate, 1.8-2.3 X 1.2-1.3 mm; petals 6, concave, carnosulous, grooved ventrally to
accommodate the anteposed stamen, pilosulous dorsally, 0.9-1.2 mm long; androecium
of 6 free filaments, the outer set somewhat smaller and shorter, the 3 larger ones
cuneate in dorsal view, grooved ventrally, ± 0.6 mm long, 0.35-0.5 mm wide just
below the prominulous anthers; inflorescence [female] very shortly 3-4-f lowered, the main
axis less than 1 cm, the pedicels 3-4 mm long; flower [female]: sepals 21, the fifth cycle
up to 2.5 mm long, 1.7 mm wide, the 6 innermost ± 2 mm long; petals 6, liguliform,
up to 1.2 mm long, 0.45 mm wide; carpels 6; fruit unknown (but see discussion).
The foregoing description was prepared from four collections from Panama,
all staminate, and one pistillate from near Turbo, Antioquia, Colombia (on Gulf
of Darien just east of Panama). We are unable to reach a decision as to the status
of the obviously related but not identical plant from the middle Magdalena valley in
Santander, Colombia, already described as S. ramiflora var. colombiana Mold. This
differs, very likely without taxonomic significance, in the large size of the leaf-blades (12-22 X 5-9 cm), which are either truncately rounded or broadly flabellate at insertion of the petiole. Perhaps more important, the pistillate inflorescence (mature) is only 1-flowered, the peduncle 1.5-2.5 cm long, and the plumply ovoid-subglobose drupe (± 1.1 cm diam) is when ripe berry-like, with very thin epidermis described as red when fresh, and heavy mucilaginous pulp, white and sweet according to the collector becoming black and flaky when dry. Until fruits of Panamanian S. nitida are known at the same stage of ripeness, it will be impossible to settle the status of var. colombiana. We do not yet have any information as to the ripe fruits of Amazonian S. ramiflora.