Hyperbaena solimoesana Moldenke, Phytologia 1: 277. 1938, quoad typ. [male], exclus. char, fruct.
Abuta froesii Krukoff & Moldenke, Bull. Torrey Club 70: 404. 1943.
Anomospermum froesii (Krukoff & Moldenke) Moldenke, Bull. Torrey Club 78: 262. 1951, quoad nom. & char, fruct., exclus. char. flor. [male].
Our concept of A. solimoesanum, in contrast to that accepted under the now
superseded combination A. froesii in previous papers, is radically refined and materially
extended. It is refined by exclusion of sterile foliage and staminate inflorescence
wrongly attributed to the species; and extended by recognition that the staminate
flowering plant described as Hyperbaena solimoesana is the hitherto missing male sex.
Discovery of the genuine staminate flower permits, furthermore, a reassessment of
A. froesii in terms of relationship within its genus. It now emerges as a third member
of sect. Elissarrhena, allied to A. grandifolium of which it has the membranous petals
and the drupe. The flower remains unique in the section, so far as known, in having
internally pubescent petals; the androecium is most like that of A. bolivianum.
While A. froesii was based in the first instance on mature fruiting specimens, the
taxonomic concept of the species was clouded from the first. In 1943 the important
fruiting characters of Anomospermum and .Abuta had not been appreciated, and
A. froesii, because its lustrous, tripHnerved leaves strongly suggest an Abuta alHed
to A. imene, was first described in that genus. At the same time two sterile coUections
(Froes 12168/79, 12180/91) which we now beheve to represent Anomospermum chloranthum subsp. confusum were referred to it. These differ from genuine A. froesii in subtle but (once recognized) easily observed, microscopic differences in reticulation of the leaf-blade, the ultimate elevated mesh on the lower surface of the
Anomospermum leaf forming areoles ± 0.4-0.7 mm diam, the floor of which is seen
under magnifications of X 10-20 to be divided into a yet finer network of coarse
veinlets, appearing finely punctate.
In 1951, when Abuta froesii was transferred to Anomospermum, where it belonged, the transfer was prompted by a misunderstanding of a mixed coUection (Ducke s n, 25/7-1948, IAN) of Abuta leaves taken from the forest canopy and associated with a segment of Tinosporeous rope and parts of a detached and broken, reportedly cauliflorous staminate inflorescence of Odontocarya. The connection between pistillate A. froesii and this misleading sheet came about through pardonable mismatching of superficially similar but not identical foliage. The irrelevant Odontocarya element having petaliferous flowers, foreign to .Abuta, seemed to show that A. froesii had been placed originaUy in the wrong genus. At this point the concept of Anomospermum froesii, now transferred for the wrong reason to the right genus, had degenerated into a mixture of at least three species representing three different genera and two different tribes.
The correspondence in foliage between the holotypes of Abuta froesii and Hyperbaena solimoesana is microscopically exact, and we feel confident that the two sexes of what must be called Anomospermum solimoesanum are now securely matched. This match may be seen as the more probable in that H. solimoesana has always rested uneasily in Hyperbaena and has never been correctly associated with a pistillate plant. Its inflorescence, although individually unusual, follows the pattern of sect. Elissarrhena, having the complexly cymulose branching and submembranous petals of that group.