Monographs Details: Eugenia punicifolia (Kunth) DC.
Authority: Maguire, Bassett. 1969. The botany of the Guayana Highland-part VIII. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 18: 1-290.
Description:Distribution and Ecology - V E N E Z U E L A . Zulia: Mene Grande, 30 Oct 1922 (fl), H. Pittier sn (NY).Sucre: Valley of Cocohar, elev 820 m, 28 Apr 1945 (bud), Steyermark 62356 (F).Amazonas: El Perico, Pto. Ayacucho, elev 120 m, 19 'Slay 1940 (bud), Williams13003 (F); same locahty, 13 Jan 1942 (bud), Williams 13823 (F); Rio Orinoco,mouth of Rio Ventuari, elev 150 m, 22 Feb 1951 (fl). Cowan & Wurdack 32029(MICH); Rio Cataniapo, 24 Mar 1950 (imm fr), H. M . Curran 142 (MICH, N Y ) .Bohvar: Gran Sabana, between Kun and Mt. Roraima, elev 975-1065 m, 24 Sep1944 (sterile), Steyermark 58545 (F), 1 Oct 1944 (fl), Steyermark 59317 (F); GranSabana, Sabanas de Sta. Elena, Feb 1946 (fl), Tamayo 3002 (F, M I C H ) ; GranSabana, between Kun and Uaduara-paru, 1065-1220 m, 1 Oct 1944 (fl), Stevermark59038 (F), between Divina Pastora and Santa Elena, south of Roraima, elev 915-1005 m, 3 Oct 1944 (fr), Steyermark 59315 (F); Ptari-tepui, savanna betweenKavanayen and Karuai river, 1220-1375 m, 27 Nov 1944 (bud), Steyermark 60617(F); Chimanta Massif, Torono-tepui, elev 1700 m, 21 May 1953 (fr), Stevermark75525 (INIICH); Gran Sabana, Ilu-tepui, between Enemasic and San Rafael, elev900 m, 25 Mar 1952 (fl), Maguire 33600 ( M I C H ) ; sabana de Guayapo, Bajo Caura,elev 100 m, 21 Apr 1939 (fl), Williams 11962 (F); Rio Paragua, between La Paraguaand S. Pedro de la Bocas, elev 300-600 m, 5 Aug 1960 (fl), Steyermark 86877(MICH); savanna, near Uriman, elev 300 m, 30 Apr 1953 (fl), Steyermark 75262(MICH); between San Felix and Puerto Ordaz, elev 20 m, 26-27 Jun 1964 (bud),
Myrtus punicaefolia H.B.K., Nov. Gen. & Sp. 6: 149. 1823.
Eugenia subalterna Benth., Jour. Bot. Hook. 2: 320. 1840.
Eugenia benthami Berg, Linnaea 27: 164. 1856.
Eugenia pyrroclada Berg, Linnaea 27: 165. 1856
Eugenia pyrroclada a guianensis Berg, Linnaea 27: 165. 1856.
Eugenia surinamensis Miq. ex Berg, Linnaea 27: 182. 1856.
Eugenia vaga Berg, Linnaea 27: 166. 1856.
Eugenia vaga e rigida Berg, Mart. Fl. Bras. 14(1): 239.
Eugenia vaga ^ pumila Berg, Linnaea 30: 681. 1861.
Eugenia calycolpoides Griseb., Fl. Brit. W . Ind. 238. 1860.
[Also the following species, described by de Candolle in the third volume of the Prodromus
in 1828, apparently all referable to the synonymy of Eugenia punicifolia: E. clinocarpa (p.
267), E. coarensis (p. 267), E. dipoda (p. 268) E. Kunthiana (p. 2654), E sancia (p. 267.]
For description see Field Mus. Publ. Bot. 13(4) [Fl. Peru]: 723. 1958, or Amshoff
(Fl. Suriname 3(2): 137. 1951). This is apparently one of the commonest, and
certainly the most frequently collected, of the myrtaceous plants of eastern South
America, widely distributed in savannas and their borders, and along rivers, mostly
at lower elevations but sometimes as much as 1500-1700 m above sea level, ranging
from eastern Venezuela far south into Brazil, and inland to eastern Peru and Bolivia.
The leaves vary bewilderingly, and a considerable synonymy has resulted from the
practice of describing the different leaf-forms as species. The leaves m a y be narrowly
or broadly elliptic, lanceolate or oblanceolate, ovate or obovate; the tip is often
bluntly acuminate but may be obtuse, broadly rounded or emarginate; the blades vary in size from less than 1 cm long to more than 10 cm long; they are often alternate
or verticillate. In spite of this vegetative variation, the leaves are usually recognizable
by their small size; they are usually 3-6 cm long, glabrous or nearly so, obovate or
oblanceolate and obtuse, with the midvein flat or channeled above; confirmation of
the identity of the species is readily found in the pale reddish hairs of the young herbage,
and in the character (unique as far as I know) of the paired pedicellate flowers,
one from each side of an axillary bud; the fruit is also characteristic, red or yellow,
ellipsoid rather than globose, 1 cm long or a little more.
The type, which I examined at Paris in 1954 and again in 1965, is from near
Cumana in northern Venezuela; it is a good flowering specimen of this species.
Myrtus oleaefolia H.B.K., a Peruvian plant which in the Flora of Peru was placed
in the synonymy of M . punicifolia, proves upon re-examination to represent another
species of Eugenia.
The syntypes of Eugenia pyrroclada a guianensis, which Berg saw "in hb. Berol.,"
and which are assumed to have been destroyed, were both from British Guiana (Rich.
Schomburgk 414, and Rich. Schomburgk 1589, the latter said to have come from the
Corentyne River). A sheet at Kew, no. 414, "ex herb. Berol. 1859," named by Berg
as E. pyrroclada a guianensis, is here designated lectotype of E. pyrroclada a guianensis
and lectotype of the name E. pyrroclada. A second sheet at Kew, numbered
364/414B, is evidently an isotype; for explanation of the numbering system used by
the Schomburgk brothers, see the introduction to this paper. A sheet at W (photographed
as Field Mus. neg. 31610), named by Berg as E. pyrroclada a guianensis, is
numbered 634, presumably in error for 364, and is also assumed to be an isotype. I
should refer all the specimens to E. punicifolia.
Distribution:Venezuela South America