Monographs Details: Euterpe roraimae Dammer
Authority: Maguire, Bassett. 1972. The botany of the Guayana Highland--part IX. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 23: 1-832.
Family:Arecaceae
Scientific Name:Euterpe roraimae Dammer
Description:Distribution and Ecology - Distribution. Endemic to the Guayana Highland tepuis; common on forested sandstone slopes normally at elevations above 1500 m. VENEZUELA. Edo Bolivar: Ptari-tepui, alt 1800 m, Steyermark 59867 (F), idem at about 1600 m, Steyermark 60045 (F); Edo Bolivar, Cerro Jaua, cumbre de la porcion Central Occidental de la Meseta, alt 1922-2100 m, Steyermark 98061 (VEN); Edo. Bolivar, Cerro Venamo, cerca de los limites con Guyana, alt 950-1000 m, Steyermark & Dunsterville 92961 (VEN); Terr. Amazonas, Mount Duida, alt 5500-6000 ft, Tate 452 (NY, US).

Discussion:

Type. Ule 8806, Venezuela/Brazil, Roraima, alt 1600-1900 m (nv).

Euterpe roraimae is at once distinguished by the blackish scales on the petiole and abaxial side of the leaf-rachis in combination with a greyish-green sheath and fruits with ruminate albumen. The species strongly resembles E. aurantiaca from the tepuis and E. catinga from the hot lowlands in the Rio Negro area which are different by the orange leaf-sheath and the homogeneous albumen. The Tate specimens, somewhat fragmentary material which was described as a separate species, E. montisduidae Burret, clearly belong here. In the original description Burret did not make a comparison with E. roraimae with which it shares all the diagnostic features. Steyermark thought one of his specimens to represent a new species, E. ptariana Steyermark, because he found it different from E. roraimae in that the scales of the lower surface of E. roraimae are rich brown, whereas those of his specimen are much darker brown. As additional characters he did mention a difference in the number of scales on the lower side of the leaf-rachis, the degree of pubescence on the inflorescence, and the length of the peduncle in comparison with the rachis. In a later note on his species (Fieldiana Bot. 28: 811. 1957) he did not consider the color and prominence of the scales of specific value anymore and emphasized the pubescence of the rachillas. Since Steyermark’s concept of E. roraimae was based on his specimen numbered 59867 and his new species on number 60045, it seems significant that 59867 consists of an immature leaf and an old inflorescence with mature fruit, whereas 60045 consists of an old leaf and an immature inflorescence in bud. The observed differences are, in my opinion, the result of these different stages which cannot be compared very well, rather than of different species.

Distribution:Venezuela South America| Guyana South America|