Monographs Details: Anomospermum
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:Species Description - Inflorescences [male] either solitary or 2-3 in ascending series, axillary or shortly supra-axillary, sometimes borne many together along slender branchlets from which leaves fall prematurely, then appearing compound and twice (rarely thrice) racemose, the basic unit cymose but of two sorts: 1) cymose-dichotomous or cymose-paniculate, or 2) pseudo-racemosely 1-3-flowered; flower [male]: sepals (disregarding minute bracteoles) 6, the 3 outer small, the 3 inner much larger, imbricate in vernation; petals 6 (-9), either submembranous or heavily carnose, then often crowded into a button-like disc or 3-cornered inverted pyramid, always ± involute, often completely embracing the anteposed filament; androecium 6-merous, the filaments all free, either straight or strongly incurved distally, the anther-sacs either terminal, collateral, and looking upward or separated dorsally by an enlarged connective and then introrse, the dehiscence structurally vertical but sometimes appearing oblique or even transverse due to dislocation of the sac; inflorescence [female] usually solitary, sometimes 2 together, 1-flowered, axillary to expanded leaves, the peduncle minutely bractolate below the terminal flower; flower [female] little known, as [male] but the stamens reduced to staminodes; carpels 3; drupe (2-5 cm long), ± obHquely obovoid or subglobose, somewhat laterally compressed, often gibbous below the entry of the pedicel, the ventral (adaxial) side short and straight or shaUowly convex terminating in an obliquely apical style-scar, the dorsal side distended into a long curve through over half the fruit's circumference; exocarp (dry) leathery-mealy, the epidermis when ripe yellow or orange turning castaneous or black when dry, the mucilaginous mesocarp thin or almost 0; endocarp crustaceous or ligneous, externally incised-reticulate with sinuously anastomosing veinlets, the interspaces between veinlets smooth, rugulose-tumulose, or depressed into dimple-like pits corresponding with woody teeth impressed into the cavity, the inner wall undulately veiny, often bearing around the long curve a sharp narrow wing; condyle laminate, intruded from the ventral side at a point ± halfway between pedicel and style-scar, descending into the cavity in a plane horizontal to the seed's long axis; endosperm moulded over the condyle, ± J-shaped, lamellately ruminate, each lamella enclosed in a membranous integument; embryo linear-vermiform, following the curve of the endosperm, the cotyledons linear, equal, appressed.
Generitype: .A. nitidum Miers [= A. reticulatum subsp. nitidum (Miers) Krukoff & Barneby].
While our review of the fruits has confirmed the naturalness of most genera
studied, this is not the case with Anomospermum, which has been revealed as heterogeneous
and in need of redefinition. Of 14 species listed at the last revision [Mem.
N. Y. Bot. Gard. 20(2): 50] three are transferred in this paper to other genera of
tribe Anomospermeae, .A. hirsutum and .A. schomburgkii to Orthomene, and A.
glaucescens to Caryomene, while one, A. japurense, becomes type of a new genus of
tribe Tinosporeae, (Barneby, in sched.). For this reason it has seemed proper to present
a new description of the genus, embodying our present concept of it.
Emphasis on characters of the drupe and endocarp, which were not within reach
of earlier students of the group, has enabled us to acquire a more sophisticated insight
into the taxonomy, especially of the complex centering around A. chloranthum and
A. reticulatum. Recognition of the staminate type-collection of Hyperbaena solimoesana
as the male sex of what has been known as A. froesii has required a change in the
nomenclature of that species. The reduction of genus Elissarrhena, proposed in 1970
[Mem. N. Y. Bot. Gard. 20(2): 31] is confirmed, although we can now accept this,
modified in characters, as a distinct section. In the following pages we cite all fruiting
specimens re-examined, with very few exceptions all fruits of this genus ever collected.
Keys to Anomospermum are exceptionally difficult to construct. Some pairs of
entities, virtually identical in follage, differ in fruit-structure, whereas other pairs,
different in the leaves, may have either the same drupe, or the same staminate flower
(but not both at once). Thus no key based entirely on one sex can be successfully
carried out. A key based on sterile material is impractical, specimens in such condition
requiring for identification, even in the hands of specialists, an extensive,
correctly named collection for comparison of vegetative minutiae. We present here two
keys, the first, depending on presence of staminate flowers, more taxonomic in intent,
the second, more artificial, depending on structure of the drupe. But where possible we
make use of leaf-characters and factors of dispersal. The poorly understood A.
matogrossense (of sect. .Anomospermum) is omitted from both.