Monographs Details: Eugenia feijoi O.Berg
Authority: Maguire, Bassett. 1969. The botany of the Guayana Highland-part VIII. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 18: 1-290.
Family:Myrtaceae
Scientific Name:Eugenia feijoi O.Berg
Discussion:

?Catinga aromatica Aubl, PI. Guiane Fr. 512. pi. 203, figs. 1-2. 1775.

Eugenia fasciculif lor a Berg, Linnaea 27: 233. 1856.

Eugenia leucantheraBerg,'Nlart.'F\. Bras. 14(1): 277. 1857.

Eugenia paraensis Berg, Mart. Fl. Bras. 14(1): 301. 1857

For description and additional synonymy see Field Mus. Publ. Bot. 13(4) [Fl. Peru]: 697, 1958. Both the nomenclature and the taxonomy of this species are in need of further study. A much-collected and apparently wide-ranging species from the Guianas to Para, and throughout much of the Amazon basin, it can be typified with certainty under the name Eugenia feijoi. The type. Spruce 820 ["Eugenia 6"], from Santarem, Para, which I have seen at M , is a flowering specimen. I have compared an isotype at M I C H with the type of E. leucanthera (Para, Sieber, a flowering specimen at B R ) , and in m y judgment they represent the same species. The iy^e of Eugenia paraensis (Para, Sieber, a flowering specimen at B R ) seems also to represent E. feijoi. It is a plant with old and much blackened leaves, from which all the flowers are detached, hence superficially it suggests no relationship with any other species. Berg did not compare it with E. feijoi in the Flora Brasiliensis; indeed the two species were well separated in his sequence. The leaf-texture and the architecture of the lateral veins and the midveins, however, are those of E. feijoi, as are the coarse dibrachiate hairs and the flower-morphology in general. The buds are 5-6 m m long, the calyx-lobes 5-6.5 m m long, quite glabrous within (although Berg described them as "utrinque tomentelhs"), and connate at base in the bud, the anthers 1.1-1.3 m m long. The raceme-axis is 5-7 m m long. The pedicels are 3-6 m m long (rather short for feijoi, in which they are sometimes up to 10 m m long or more at least in fruiting specimens). The outer surfaces of the hypanthium and calyx-lobes are rather densely clothed with closely appressed pale reddish and rather coarse dibrachiate hairs ("ochraceo-tomentella" in Berg's words). Except that the pedicels are somewhat short and the pubescence rather more dense than usual in flowering specimens of E. feijoi, the specimen is not out of place in that species. Flowering specimens of Eugenia feijoi, and those bearing young leafy shoots, are readily recognized by the coarse, longitudinally oriented, appressed spindle-shaped dibrachiate hairs that clothe the branchlets and the outer surface of the hypanthium; the calyx-lobes and the lower leaf-surfaces bear a few similar hairs, which are colorless or yellowish, 0.2-0.5 m m long or even more. Other distinctive features of this plant are the long, hooded calyx-lobes, glabrous within, that in the bud are connate at base for about one-third their length, but become strongly reflexed at anthesis and then separate their whole length, the longitudinal splits in the sinuses extending to the edge of the staminal ring or nearly so. Equally distinctive are the anthers, which unlike those of most Eugenias are linear and 1-1.5 m m long. The dried leaves even when very young are characterized by having the midvein elevated in a narrow median ridge, and the lower 2-4 pairs of lateral veins do not join a recognizable marginal vein, but each diminishes distally and arches over to join the next succeeding one.

Fruiting specimens of Eugenia feijoi are often glabrous, but a few of the coarse dibrachiate hairs sometimes persist on the branchlets and lower leaf-surfaces; the fruit is ellipsoid or fusiform, 3-5.5 cm long, 2-3 cm in diam, usually somewhat rounded at base but pointed at apex, a little drawn out into a short neck beneath the persistent calyx-lobes; according to notes by collectors, the fruit is greenish-white or yellowish, with white or pale pink flesh. The fruit of Catinga aromatica, as described and illustrated by Aublet, much resembles that of E. feijoi, and I have little doubt that the two are synonymous. This is of academic interest only, as long as the plant is referred to Eugenia, because of the existence of the name E aromatica Berg (1856).

The type of Eugenia fasciculiflora Berg {Schomburgk 1584, at Berlin, "ad partem superiorem fluminis Corentyn in Guiana Anglica") has presumably been destroyed. Amshoff cited in the Flora of Suriname what she understood to be a "type-duplicate" at Kew, and on the basis of this identified (albeit doubtfully) E. fasciculiflora with Catinga aromatica. From Berg's description of E. fasciculiflora I suppose it to be a synonym of E. feijoi; if so it is the oldest available name for this particular taxon. Another name that seems to pertain to the same taxon is E. pleurosiphonea Diels, which Amshoff referred to the synonymy of C. aromatica, and I to that of E. feijoi (Field Mus. Publ. Bot. 13(4): 697. 1958).

From Para to the Guianas Eugenia feijoi seems to vary but little; the flowers are moderately pubescent as described above, with buds 6-9 m m long, calyx-lobes 3.5- 5(-9) m m long, the style 10 m m long. Unfortunately most modern collections are in fruit, at which time the calyx-lobes are larger than at anthesis, and the other floral parts, as well as the pubescence, have disappeared. It may be that some individuals are smaller-flowered, and that some have more copious pubescence than others. Another species, E. cuspidifolia D C . (DC. Prodr. 3: 279. 1828), the type of which was collected by Martius on the Rio Negro, seems to differ from E. feijoi chiefly in the smaller flowers and the somewhat more abundant pubescence. In E. cuspidifolia the buds are 4.5-5 m m long, the calyx-lobes 3-3.5 m m long, the style 6-7 m m long. A modern collection from Para (Belem, 23 Jan 1950, in flower, Pires 1483, at M I C H ) is referable to E. cuspidifolia if that is a valid species. On the basis of the few collections now available from the upper Amazon and its tributaries, it seems that Eugenia feijoi exists in those areas in a number of local populations, varying in color and density of pubescence, and in texture and shape of leaves. Collections are known from as far west as eastern Colombia (Villavicencio) and eastern Peru, but I have not seen any from the upper Orinoco. The following are referable to Eugenia feijoi as I understand it (collections from Brazihan Amazonia, except Para, not cited): BRAZIL. Amapa: Rio Araguari, Camp 13, 5 Oct 1961 (fl), Pires et al 51514 ( M I C H ) . Para: Archer 7944; Pires 2656, 2677, 3643, Froes 23860, 31143, 31158 (all MICH)

A species described from the vicinity of Manaus on the upper Amazon, Eugenia diplocampta Diels (Verb. Bot. Ver. Brandenb. 48: 191. 1907) may be merely a form of E. feijoi. As seen in a photograph of an isotype at G (Field Mus. neg. 28349), the leaves are unusually broad for E. feijoi, the veins are conspicuous and the blades are pale beneath, not brown as usual in E. feijoi. A specimen that seems very like E. diplocampta, with hard, lustrous leaves that are pale beneath, and sparingly pubescent flowers, is the following: V E N E Z U E L A . Bolivar: Orinoco River 30 km below La Urbana, elev 80 m, 14-15 Mar 1949 (fl), Maguire & Maguire 29020 (MICH).