Myrtus myricoides H.B.K., Nov. Gen. &Sp. 6: 131 (folio ed. p. 104). pl. 53P. 1823.
Colombian and Venezuelan material is consistent in having relatively large and
narrow leaves acute at both ends, 5-6(-10) m m wide, 10-l5(-25) m m long; the
branchlets and the flowers are persistently pubescent, and the narrow calyx-lobes are
often 1.5 m m wide and 3(-5) m m long.
The type of this species, as noted in the Flora of Peru (cf Field Mus. Publ. Bot.
13(4): 802, 803. 1958) probably came from Colombia rather than from Peru; the
plant collected by Humboldt and Bonpland, which I studied at P in 1965, is very
like other Colombian specimens (e.g., Haught 5727; cf also Field Mus. neg. 36895,
a photograph of the type)
Two collections from Cerro de la Neblina, Rio Yatua, Amazonas, Venezuela, from
the upper Cafion Grande basin at elevations of 1900-2000 m, Maguire et al 42363
(NY) and 42387 ( M I C H ) are like typical U. myricoides except that the flowers are
a little smaller, and one specimen (no. 42387) is nearly glabrous.
Quite unlike any of the foregoing in having nearly linear leaves, glabrous foliage
and branchlets but pubescent peduncles and hypanthia, is the fohowing: Antioquia:
Medelhn, La Sierra, elev 2000 m, 3/8/1931 (fl). Archer 1642 ( N Y ) . This simulates
Ugni myricoides f stenophylla in its very narrow leaves and the general absence of
pubescence, but the large pubescent flowers with narrow calyx-lobes, and the leaflength
(up to 2 cm) suggest that Archer's cohection represents merely an extreme
form developed here independently from the basic Andean population.
A somewhat less extreme form is Myrtus myricoides var turumiquirensis Steyerm.
(Fieldiana Bot. 28: 1022. 1957), from Cerro Turumiquire, State of Sucre, Steyermark
62628 (F), type). This is a plant with lance-elliptic leaves 7-10 m m long, 2.5-
3.5 m m wide. The whole plant is nearly glabrous. The calyx-lobes are mostly 2.5-3 m m
long, i.e., about as long as in M . myricoides var myricoides. Evidently this represents
a local population, perhaps best referred to the inclusive M . myricoides var myricoides.
Ugni angustifolia Burret (Notizbl. Berlin 15: 507. 1941), based on Tate 212 (US),
from an elevation of 3520 m on Cerro de Turumiquire, doubtless represents the same
taxon, although from the description the plant is somewhat more pubescent than
that of Steyermark. Burret described the calyx as 4-merous; in Steyermark's specimen
4-merous and 5-merous calyces occur on the same plant.