Monographs Details: Myrcia splendens (Sw.) 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 - C O L O M B I A . Ocaiia, elev 1500 m, Apr (fl), Schlim 525 (MICH). Meta: PuertoLopez, elev 240 m, 28 Jul 1944 (fr). Little 8278 (MICH). VENEZUELA. DeltaAmacuro: Rio Acure, between La Margarita and Puerta Miranda, elev 80-100 m,23-26 Nov 1960, Steyermark 87750 (fr, M I C H ) , 87789 (bud, M I C H ) . Amazonas:Rio Casiquiare between Capibara and Rio Paciba, elev 130 m, 3 Apr 1953 (fl),Maguire & Wurdack 34790 ( M I C H ) ; upper Rio Yatua, elev 100-140 m, 30-31 Jan1954 (bud), Maguire et al 37451 (MICH), 20 Oct 1957 (fr), Maguire et al 41937( M I C H ) . Bolivar: San Mateo, bajo Rio Paragua, elev 80 m, 9 Apr 1940 (fr), Williams12804 {¥). S U R I N A M E . Lower Saramacca River, 25 Nov 1960 (bud),Kramer & Hekking 2166 ( M I C H ) ; concession Haenen, W of mouth of CoppenameRiver, 5 Mar 1954 (fl), Lindeman 5582 (MICH, U ) . BRAZIL. Amazonas: RioNegro at Isla Macara, 15 Jan 1946 (fl), Cardona 1272 ( N Y ) ; Rio Negro, Sta. Isabel, 10 Apr 1929 (fl), Tate 983 (NY). Amapa: Mazagao, 1 Feb 1955 (fr), Pires & Silva4759 (MICH).

Discussion:

Myrtus splendens Sw., Prodr. 79. 1788.

Eugenia periplocaefolia [sic] Jacq., Coll. 2: 108. pi. 4. Apr 1789.

This is apparently by far the most abundant and widespread species of Myrcia in the West Indies, where it seems to vary but httle. The leaves are mostly 1.5-3 cm wide, 2-3 times as long as wide, ovate to lanceolate or elliptic, relatively thin and strongly reticulate-veined, the small connecting veinlets on the lower surface often almost as strong as the parallel lateral veins; the upper surface of the leaves is smooth and polished, with no suggestion of impressed glands; the inflorescence is sparingly or densely pubescent with pale appressed hairs, usually quite without any small upright hairs even in the inflorescence.

In South America typical Myrcia splendens seems to be comparatively rare. Occasional specimens can be referred confidently to M . splendens, but these vary from one locality to another, and apparently represent extremes rather than means in the populations in which they occur; see discussion under M . fallax.

In contrast to this scanty representation of typical Myrcia splendens, the commonest Myrcia of the Guayana mountains and the streams of the Orinoco-Amazon basin seems to be intermediate between M . splendens and the more extreme forms of M . sylvatica. In typical M . sylvatica the leaves are lanceolate, seldom more than 1 cm wide, 3-5 times as long as wide, thick and not much shrunken in drying, the lateral veins and veinlets inconspicuous or sometimes not perceptible in dried leaves; the upper surface of the leaves is smooth, and abundantly impressed-punctate; the pubescence is scanty or abundant, but usually plainly of two types, including minute erect hairs about 0.1 m m long, and much longer appressed hairs.

Intermediates between M . splendens and M . sylvatica may take the leaf-form of one or the other, but in northern South America east of the Andes the leaves are prevailingly narrow and small, simulating those of M . sylvatica. In the following the leaves are relatively broad, as in M . splendens, but only 3-6 cm long.

V E N E Z U E L A . Sucre: Valley of Cocollar, elev 820 m, 28 Apr 1945 (fl), Steyermark 62361 (F; = M . sylvatica exc. Ivs. broad and ± veiny). Amazonas: San Carlos, Rio Negro, elev 100 m, Feb-Mar 1942 (fr), Williams 14537, 14647, 14656, 14696 {¥; Ivs. punctate but veiny; pubescence of M . sylvatica); Rio Guainia, E of Maroa, elev 120-140 m, 25 Nov 1953 (fl), Maguire et al 36414 (MICH; - M . sylvatica exc. Ivs. broad and ± veiny); Rio Orinoco, Rio Cunucunuma, elev 150 m, 6 Nov 1950 (bud), Maguire et al 29457 (MICH; = M . sylvatica exc. Ivs. broad and ± veiny). Bolivar: near INIission Sta. Teresa de Kavanayen, elev 1200-1300 m, 23 Nov 1944 (bud), Steyermark 60457 (F; Ivs. punctate; pubescence of M . splendens); same locality, 23 Dec 1952 (bud), Maguire & Wurdack 34006 (MICH; Ivs. punctate but ± veiny).

The following have essentially the leaf-form and punctate blades of M . sylvatica, but are intermediate in other respects as noted. V E N E Z U E L A . Amazonas: Cerro Paraque, Caiio Negro, elev 1600 m, 8 Jan 1949 (fr), Maguire & Politi 28233 (INIICH; Ivs. ± veiny), same locality and date, Maguire & Politi 28234, 28235 (both MICH, in bud, pubescence ± of M . splendens); Serrania Yutaje, Rio Manipiare, elev 1250- 1400 m, 11-12 Feb 1953 (bud), Maguire 35165, 35193 (both M I C H ; veins and pubescence intermed.). Bolivar: Ilu-tepui, Gran Sabana, elev 1200 m, 27-28 Mar 1952 (fl), Maguire 33649 (MICH; pubescence hirsute); Torono-tepui, above Cafio Mojado, elev 2030-2150 m, 21 Feb 1955 (bud), Steyermark & Wurdack 1032 (MICH; pubescence intermed.); Ptari-tepui, elev 2130 m, 4 Nov 1944 (bud), Steyermark 59857 {¥; pubescence intermed.); Cerro Bolivar, elev 750 m, 2 Dec 1951 (fl), Maguire 32680 (MICH; venation and pubescence intermed.), 25 Feb 1953 (bud), Wurdack 34392 (MICH; pubescence of M . splendens); 2 Mar 1953 (fl), Wurdack 34468 (MICH; pubescence of M . splendens); E of Ciudad Piar, elev 450-650 m, 19-22 Oct 1953 (fl), Maguire et al 35878, 35947 (both M I C H ; Ivs. almost nonpunctate; pubescence of M . splendens); Uarama-tepui, elev 1500 m, 25 Apr 1960 (imm fr), Steyermark & Nilsson 699 (MICH; pubescence of 71/. splendens). BRAZIL. Rio Branco: Serra Tepequem, elev 1000-1200 m, 29 Nov 1954 (bud), Maguire 40075 (MICH; pubescence of 71/. splendens; venation intermed.); 4 Dec 1954 (fl), Maguire 40170 (MICH; pubescence of M . splendens).

According to Stafleu (Taxon 12: 63, 80. 1963), the second volume of Jacquin's Collectanea was published in April, 1789, whereas the Prodromus of Swartz had been published in July, 1788. The name Myrtus splendens Sw. thus seems to have some nine months' priority over Eugenia periplocaefolia (see Field Mus. Publ. Bot. 13(4):659, 1958 for discussion). In another place (Fieldiana Bot. 29: 471. 1963) I have pointed out that Jacquin described E. periplocaefolia as "tota glabra," thus raising the question of its identity with Myrcia (Myrtus) splendens. In 1966 I studied at W a specimen of M . splendens from Jacquin's herbarium, collected by Aquart in Martinica, and identifled as E. periplocaefolia. Jacquin described on the same page two species from Martinique, E. periplocaefolia and E. paniculata. Aquart's name is not mentioned as the collector in either case, but it is well established that his specimen formed the basis for E. paniculata (see discussion under M . citrifolia), and it seems equally likely that his specimen of "Eugenia periplocaefolia" similarly formed the basis for the description of that species by Jacquin. I therefore regard the Aquart specimen at W , which has been identifled by Berg as M . splendens, as the type of E. periplocaefolia Jacq. The identity of the name is conflrmed by an examination of Jacquin's plate 4, which is an elegant representation of M . splendens. I do not understand why Jacquin described the plant as glabrous, when he at the same time described the minute hairs of E. paniculata; presumably it was a lapse similar to the one by which the calyx of E. paniculata is shown as 4-merous. The plant described as Myrcia splendens var chrysocoma McVaugh (Fieldiana Bot. 29: 193. 1956), represents a densely silky-pubescent form that in other respects is indistinguishable from typical splendens. The type was from Amazonian Peru. What appears to be a similarly pubescent form of M . splendens is M . doniana Berg, Mart. Fl. Bras. 14(1): 518. 1858. BRAZIL. Maranhao: Without locahty, G. Don 100 (BR, type of M . doniana).

Distribution:Colombia South America| Venezuela South America|