Monographs Details: Myrcia sylvatica (G.Mey.) 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 - COLOMBIA. Meta: Sierra de la Macarena, N escarpment, elev 800 m, 30 Jan1950 (bud), W R. Philipson 2289 ( B M ) , summits at 1200 m, 20 Dec 1949 (fl),Philipson & Idrobo 1831 ( B M ) . VENEZUELA. Amazonas: Cerro Paraque, CafioNegro, elev 1400 m, 1 Jan 1949 (bud), Maguire & Politi 28120 (MICH);'CerroYapacana, elev 1200 m, 3 Jan 1951 (bud), Maguire et al 30673 (MICH), elev 1000m, Apr 1931 (fr). Holt & Blake 709 ( N Y ) ; Cerro Duida, 2 Sep 1944 (fr), Stcvermark58276 (F), 28 Apr 1949 (fl), Maguire 29139 (MICH), elev 800 m,'25 Nov1950 (bud), Maguire et al 29730 (NY); Cerro Uahpano, elev 1500-1700 m, Feb1962 (bud), Cardojia 2939 (MICH). Bolivar: Chimanta Massif, Torono-tepui' elev1700 m, 21 M a y 1953 (fr), Steyermark 75535 ( M I C H ) ; Mount Roraima, elev 2040-2255 m, 30 Sep 1944 (sterile), Steyermark 59002 {¥); Alto Rio Cuyuni, Rio Chicanan,Cerro Piton, elev 400 m, 9-11 Sep 1962 (imm fr), Maguire et al 53700 (MICH).BRITISH GUIANA. E of Ituni, 35 miles S of Mackenzie, 17 Jan 1955 (imm fr).Cowan 39235, 39272 (both MICH); Potaro River above Kaieteur Falls, elev 420 m,26 Feb 1962 (bud). Cowan & Soderstrom 1983 (MICH); Upper Mazaruni Riverbasin, Ayanganna Plateau, Haieka Savannah, elev 740 m, 21 Aug 1960 (fl), Tillettet al 45230 (MICH). SURINAME. Hostmann 818, Kappler 1699 (both MICH);Wilhelmina Gebergte, Zuid Rivier, 45 km above confluence with Lucie Rivier, elev270 m, 26 Sep 1963 (bud), Irwin et al 57624 (MICH); Jodensavanne-Mapane creekarea, Suriname River, 15 Oct 1953 (fl), Lindeman 4973 (MICH, U). FRENCHGUIANA. Savana de Malgache near St. Laurent, 19 Dec 1954 (fl, imm fr). Cowan

Discussion:

Myrtus lucida L., Syst. Nat. ed. 10: 1056. 1759, non Myrcia lucida McVaugh, 1969.

Myrtus ["Myrthus"] sylvatica Mey., Prim. Fl. Esseq. 191. 1818.

Myrcia ambigua D C , DC. Prodr. 3: 252. 1828.

Myrcia ambigua /3 pauciflora D C , DC. Prodr. 3: 252. 1828

For description and synonymy see Field Mus. Publ. Bot. 13(4) [Fl. Peru]: 662, 1958, or Fl. Suriname 3(2): 90, 1951. See also the discussion above under Myrcia fallax. For intermediates between M . sylvatica and M . splendens, see the latter. Typical M . sylvatica, the plant with small, opaque, punctate leaves, and the pubescence described above under M . splendens, seems to be of restricted distribution in eastern South America. It is known from the Guianas, from eastern Brazil, and from the Guayana Mountains at elevations of 800 meters and above, but I have seen no specimens from the riverine lowlands of Guayana.

The original material of Myrcia ambigua, which I studied at M in 1966, is a mixture. Two specimens annotated by de Candolle himself I should refer to M. sylvatica. One of these bears the locality "Rio Negro," and the annotation "Myrcia ambigua prod." by de Candolle; this may be appropriately designated lectotype (cf Field Mus. neg. 19757). A second sheet, with the locahty "Prov. Minas, Rio S. Francisco," is marked by de Candolle as M. ambigua "var. f3 prod."; this is evidently the type of M. ambigua ß pauciflora.

Four additional sheets under the name of Myrcia ambigua are as follows: 1) With label by Martius, "108 Tapura. Myrtus anonyma no. 2"; named Myrcia ambigua by Berg; leaves (and twigs ?) oi M. sylvatica. 2) Named M. ambigua by Berg; like 1, above, but with loose fruits of M. grandis. 3) Myrcia grandis only; locality "Rio Negro." 4) Myrcia grandis only; marked "Rio Negro," and (? by Martius) "Myrcia ambigua Dec. ex ipso auctore'' (cf Field Mus. neg. 19754). It is probable that de Candolle's description of Myrcia ambigua was based chiefly or entirely on the specimens of M. sylvatica; he mentions the "fohis superne impressopunctulatis," and he says "fruct. ign.," whereas the specimens of M. grandis in the Martius herbarium are in fruit. He gives the locality as "prov. Minarum," which is acceptable for M. sylvatica but not for M. grandis. Perhaps the locality "Rio Negro" was added to the lectotype after de Candolle saw the specimen; it now seems impossible to tell.

In the interest of stability in nomenclature, I have deliberately proposed the name Myrcia lucida for another species, in preference to taking up the Linnaean name Myrtus lucida. I noted in the Flora of Peru (1958) that the Linnaean type probably represented the species that was later called Myrcia sylvatica. In 1966 I studied this specimen (Herb. Linn. 637-9) again, and I have no doubt that it indeed represents M. sylvatica. According to Linnaeus (Sp. PI. ed. 2. 674. 1762) it was collected in Suriname by Rolander.

The name Myrcia sylvatica has been used by essentially all authors since the time of de Candolle for the same species. Berg relegated it to the synonymy of M. ambigua DC. In spite of what seems to have been general agreement upon the identity of Myrtus sylvatica Mey., neither de Candolle, Berg, nor Amshoff reported seeing the type or other authentic specimens of it. Dr. F.-G. Schroeder, of the University of Gottingen, searched at m y request in 1967, but reported that no specimens dating from the time of Meyer existed in the herbarium at G O E T . Fortunately, the description in the protologue is a good one, almost certainly pertaining to Myrcia sylvatica as that species is currently interpreted. The leaves are described as 1.5-2 inches long, long-acuminate, impressed-punctate above, short-petiolate; the flowers are said to be 5-merous, and the paniculate inflorescence, with flowers in 2's or 3's near the tips, is described at length. The only major discrepancy is that the styles are said to be 3 in number; obviously this does not refer to any myrtaceous plant, but I cannot say what sort of an error is involved. The type-locality of Myrtus sylvatica was given as "in sylvis continentis, inprimis circa rivum Arowabischkreek," that is, in the Guiana lowlands.

Distribution:Colombia South America| Venezuela South America| Guyana South America| Suriname South America|