Monographs Details: Myrcia deflexa (Poir.) DC.
Authority: Maguire, Bassett. 1969. The botany of the Guayana Highland-part VIII. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 18: 1-290.
Family:Myrtaceae
Description:Distribution and Ecology - F R E N C H GUIANA. Without locality, Richard 74 (P, type of M . sulcata).V E N E Z U E L A . Amazonas: Rio Orinoco, Puerto Ayacucho, elev 100 m. M a y 1931(fl). Holt & Blake 775 (F, N Y ) , 20 M a y 1940 (fl), Williams 13011 {¥), 26 Jun 1942 (fl, imm fr), Williams 15931 {¥); Rio Orinoco above Tama-Tama, elev 150 m,23 Jun 1959 (fr), Wurdack & Adderley 43137 ( M I C H ) ; Rio Siapa below RaudalGallineta, elev 800-900 m, 21 Jul 1959 (imm fr), Wurdack & Adderley 43559( M I C H ) ; Esmeralda, upper Orinoco, elev 130 m, 18 M a y 1942 (fr), Williams 15484(F). Bolivar: Alto Rio Paragua, Cardona 1060 (F, N Y ) ; along Rio Uairen, Sta.Elena, Gran Sabana, Feb 1946 (imm fr), Tamayo 2842 (F). V E N E Z U E L A -BRAZIL. Bolivar-Rio Branco: Serra do Sol, near Rio Cotinga airstrip, 6 Jan 1955(bud), Maguire 40485 ( M I C H ) . BRAZIL. Para: Guedes 187, Froes 31603, 31742,Pires et al 6170 (all M I C H ) .

Discussion:

Eugenia deflexa Poir., Suppl. 3: 124. 1813.

Myrcia crassinervia DC., DC. Prodr. 3: 245. 1828.

Myrcia sulcata Berg, Linnaea 30: 667. 1861.

?Marlierea intonsa McVaugh, Mem. N. Y. Bot. Gard. 10(1): 85. 1958.

For description see Field Mus. Publ. Bot. 13(4) [Fl. Peru]: 634. 1958. For synonymy see Urban (Bot. Jahrb. 19: 587. 1895). This is one of the most widely distributed of the Myrtaceae of tropical America, ranging from Amazonian Peru to the Guianas and the Greater Antilles. It is also one of the most distinctive species, by virtue of the peculiar pebbled lower leaf-surface and the mixture of sharp erect hairs and fine scurfy-granular hairs in the inflorescence; neither of these features, as far as I know, has any counterpart in the Myrtaceae of our region.

The lectotype of Myrcia crassinervia D C , collected by Patris in French Guiana, is a representative specimen of M . deflexa, as shown by a photograph (Field Mus. neg. 7919). The characteristic pebbling of the lower leaf-surface is evident in the photograph. This synonymy was first suggested by Amshoff (Bull. Torrey Club 75: 533. 1948), who saw a fragment of the type of M . crassinervia.

The material cited by Amshoff in the Flora of Surinam under the name of Myrcia deflexa, however, is a mixture of species. I should refer to M . deflexa the following: Marowijne R., Melinon sn (U); Tafelberg, Maguire 24455 (K), 24602 (K). The following appear to represent a species near M . fallax, included in the present paper under the name M . magnoliifolia: Wachenheim 263; B. W 1685, 4266, 6101, 6327, 6391; Jenman 253 (NY). In some herbaria Jenman 253 represents Aulomyrcia divaricata Berg (= M . rufipila). Myrcia magnoliifolia is a relatively large-leaved, large-flowered species with copious pubescence; it bears a superficial resemblance in these respects to M . deflexa, but the two species are readily separated on close examination.

The type of Marlierea intonsa seems to be the only known specimen. After study of much additional material of Myrcia and Marlierea from Guayana, I suspect that this specimen may represent a velutinous form of Myrcia deflexa. The finely bullate lower leaf-surface of M . deflexa is, as far as I know, unique among American Myrtaceae except in the type of Marlierea intonsa, and almost every other feature of the latter can be matched in a series of specimens of Myrcia deflexa, except for the following: The mature or nearly mature fruits of Marlierea intonsa are velutinous, soft to the touch, and quite covered by the hairs; the collector noted that the fruit were "brownish-yellow green." In all other specimens of Myrcia deflexa I have seen, the hairs fall very soon from the developing fruit so that even when half-grown it is only sparingly pubescent. The very characteristic pubescence of the inflorescence of Myrcia deflexa, namely, that in which many or most of the hairs are short and inflated, with a granular appearance, is identiflable in Marlierea intonsa, but the short granular hairs are mostly covered by a thick growth of straight hairs. The petioles in Marlierea intonsa are 2 cm long or more, much longer than usual in Myrcia dcflc.xa. Aside from these discrepancies I can find no differences between the two, and unless it can be shown on the basis of flowering material that Marlierea intonsa is a distinct taxon, I suggest with some embarrassment that its name be relegated to synonymy.

Distribution:French Guiana South America| Venezuela South America| Brazil South America|