Eugenia rondonensis Steyerm., Fieldiana Bot. 28: 1013. 1957.
For description see Steyermark, or Fieldiana Bot. 29: 495. 1963. The type, from
Mt. Roraima at an elevation of 2000 m or more, Steyermark 58956, is an immature
specimen with young buds but no flowers, resembling Myrcianthes fragrans (a primarily
West Indian species known also in Venezuela) except that it is almost wholly
glabrous; and resembling a similarly glabrous species of northern South America,
M . dugandii, except that the peduncles are 3-flowered instead of 7-15-flowered.
Most of the leaves in the type of Eugenia rondonensis, moreover, are borne on new
and still tender shoots that have elongated rapidly, and it is probable that the larger
leaves on this specimen are atypical of ordinary flowering twigs; some of these measure
up to 6.5 cm long and 4 cm wide, whereas what I take to be average leaves produced
a little later are 4-5.5 cm long and 2.5-3.5 cm wide. The generic position of this
type-specimen cannot be determined with absolute certainty from immature buds
alone, and as the specimens discussed below suggest another possibility, I prefer not
to make any formal nomenclatural transfer based on E. rondonensis until the collection
of additional specimens makes it possible to place the plant more precisely.
T w o specimens collected by Steyermark and Nilsson in the vicinity of Cerro
Venamo, Bolivar, m a y well represent the same species as the type of Eugenia rondonensis,
but as indicated by the structure of the embryo their affinities are with the
Pimentinae, not the Eugeniinae. The specimens are not referable to any genus known
to me; they bear slightly immature "globose, greenish-yellow to reddish" fruits in
3-flowered dichasia; the calyx-lobes have fallen from all the fruits, but they appear
to have been 5 in number; the seeds are 1 or 2 in each fruit, 5 m m long, reniform,
with membranous testa and elongate C-shaped embryo. The ovary is bilocular (a
feature that is unusual in the Pimentinae), with 5-6 ovules in each locule. The plants
are essentially glabrous (like E. rondonensis), with coriaceous leaves 3-5 cm long,
1.5-2.5 c m wide; the peduncles are 2-3 cm long (as against 3-5.5 cm in the type of
E. rondonensis). Were it not for the pimentoid embryo, I should refer these collections
without much hesitation to E. rondonensis. As the situation now stands, however,
I cannot be sure of the generic position of any of the collections, nor that the
collection from Roraima is conspecific with those from C. Venamo which are cited
The collection cited below may also represent the same taxon as the type of
Eugenia rondonensis, but as it bears one broken flower only, I cannot be certain.
The 3-flowered dichasium is that of Myrcianthes, and the foliage suggests that of
Al. fragrans (leaves obovate, up to 6 c m long, 4 c m wide), but the entire plant is
nearly glabrous, and the hypanthium quite glabrous.
V E N E Z U E L A . Bolivar: Chimanta IVIassif, Agparaman-tepui, forested slopes below
escarpment, elev 1880-1955 m, 26 Feb 1955 (fl), Steyermark & Wurdack 1152
The following specimen I cannot distinguish from Myrcianthes fragrans (Sw.)
McVaugh (Fieldiana Bot. 2 9 : 485. 1963; Myrtus fragrans Sw. Prodr. 79. 1788).
Future exploration in northern and northeastern Venezuela m a y show that this species
is more abundant in continental South America than is n o w supposed.
V E N E Z U E L A . Bolivar: Forest S of El Dorado, elev ca 200 m, 23 Jul 1960
(imm fr), Steyermark 86622 ( M I C H ).