Monographs Details: Hillia illustris (Vell.) Schum.
Authority: Maguire, Bassett. 1972. The botany of the Guayana Highland--part IX. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 23: 1-832.
Family:Rubiaceae
Description:Distribution and Ecology - Distribution. Trinidad, Suriname, French Guiana, Venezuela, Amazonian Peru and Colombia, and Brazil (Amapá, Pará, Sao Paulo, and Santa Catarina). TRINIDAD. Taruaria forest, 16 Feb 1915, Broadway 7807 (type of Hillia trinitensis). SURINAME. Wilhelmina Gebergte, 3° 36'-3° 41' N, 56° 30'-56° 34' W, granite cliff and adjacent forest near summit of hill, West Rivier, 4 km S of Juliana Top, alt 700 m, 1 Sep 1963, Irwin, Prance, Soderstrom & Noel Holmgren 55298; Wilhelmina Gebergte, 3° 20' N, 56° 49/ W-3° 10' N, 56° 29' W, 2 km above confluence with Lucie Rivier, alt 220-240 m, 19 Sep 1963, Irwin, Prance, Soderstrom & Holmgren 55870; via secta ab Moengo tapoe ad Grote Zwiebelzwamp, Wane-kreek, 1 Oct 1948, Lanjouw & Lindeman 628; White Rock Rapids, along Saramacca River, between Grasi Falls and Posoegronoe, 28 Jun 1944, Maguire 24009; 13 Jul 1900, Tresling 129; Kabalebo River-Avanaverovalley, 5 Sep 1920, Pulle 434; Coppename River-Kaley-hvalle, 26 Aug 1920, Pulle 340; forest along Sara Creek, 2 km S of Afobaka, District Brokopondo, Feb 1965, Van Donselaar 2109; forest along Suriname River, between villages Afobaka and Kabelstation, District Brokopondo, 6 Apr 1966, Van Donselaar 3265; Coppename River, Camp 8, 11 Aug 1956, Schulz 7724. FRENCH GUIANA. Riviere Mana, Crique Tamanoir, 20 Aug 1962, Halle 622. VENEZUELA. Anzoategui: along Río León, NE of Bergantin, alt 500 m, 8 Mar 1945, Steyermark 61433. Territorio Delta Amacuro: rain forest between La Margarita and Puerto Miranda, Río Acure, alt 80-100 m, 23-24 Nov 1960, Steyermark 87738; east side of Río Cuyubini, Cerro La Paloma, Sierra Imataca, alt 100-200 m, 18 Nov 1960, Steyermark 87666. Bolívar: rocky escarpment N of road, summit of W-facing wooded escarpment, E of Miamo, Hato de Nuria, Altiplanicie de Nuria, alt 400-550 m, 25 Jan 1961, Steyermark 88835; Sierra Imataca, by rapids above Río Reforma, between Río La Reforma and Puerto Rico, N of El Palmar, alt 200-250 m, 14 Dec 1960, Steyermark 88052. BRAZIL. Pará: Peixeboi, Belem-Bragança, 3 Nov 1907, Huber 8836; silva riparia flum. Tajapurú in aestuario Amazonico, 25 Sep 1926, Ducke 22849. Territorio Amapá: Rio Oiapoque, near river margin, between first and second cahoeiras on Rio Iaue, 2° 53' N, 52° 22' W, about 2 km E of confluence with Rio Oiapoque, 27 Aug 1960, Irwin, Pires & Westra 47863. Santa Catarina: San Francisco do Sul, 9 Jan 1951, Reitz 3736; Porto des Canoas, Municipality Sao Francisco do Sul, alt 2 m, 21 Feb 1952, L. B. Smith & Reitz 5707. PERU. Loreto: lower region of Río Masana, along Río Itaya, May 1929, Williams 99. COLOMBIA. Amazonas-Vaupés: Río Apaporis, Soratama, entre el Río Pacoa y el Río Kananarí, alt 250 m, 11 Jul 1951, Schultes & Cabrera 13030.

Discussion:

Saldanha illustris Velloso, Fl. Flum. 3. 1.157. 1825; text, 141. 1825.

Hillia tubiflora (originally spelled tubaeflora) Cham., Linnaea 9: 260. 1834.

Hillia trinitensis Williams & Cheesman, FI. Trinidad & Tobago 2: 7. 1928.

Type. Region of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Vellozo.

This taxon occupies a wide range from the Guianas, northeastern Venezuela, Amazonian Colombia, Peru, and Brazil southeast to the states of Santa Catarina and Sao Paulo. I agree with Schumann’s interpretation of Saldanha illustris Veil, as identical with Hillia tubiflora Cham. Chamisso’s description of H. tubijlora as having linear, acute, elongated calyx segments, an infundibuliform corolla upwardly broadened to open into a wide orifice, broadly ovate, obtuse corolla lobes, and elongated filaments, matches the material cited above from the various portions of the range indicated.

Bremekamp, on the other hand, rejected Schumann’s identification of Saldanha illustris with Hillia tubijlora or with the Suriname plants, and used the name Hillia tubijlora Cham, as the next available name, since Vellozo’s plate of Saldanha illustris (plate 157) in the Flora Fluminensis represented to Bremekamp “an entirely different species” (Rec. Trav. Bot. Neerl. 31: 261. 1934).

Although Vellozo, in his generic description of Saldanha, stated the calyx to be 5-parted with subulate lobes, and the corolla limb as 5-fid, the stamens are stated to have 6 filaments (Fl. Flum. text 141-142. 1825). Subsequently, in his specific descriptions, the corolla of S. illustris is stated to be 5-parted and infundibuliform, but that of S. nobilis, the other species described by him, is described as 6-fid, tubular, and very long with sessile anthers, and a corolla limb 6-fid with subulate lobes. Vellozo’s plate 157 of Saldanha illustris definitely depicts an infundibuliform corolla with only five broad lobes.

While I have seen no specimens of the infundibuliform type of corolla from the region of the type locality near Rio de Janeiro, where Vellozo’s Saldanha illustris presumably was collected, I have examined other material from Sao Francisco do Sul in the state of Santa Catarina by the border of Parana state (not far from the limits of São Paulo state and about 410 miles southwest of Rio de Janeiro) having an infundibuliform corolla, but with 6 instead of 5 corolla lobes. This material from Santa Catarina state likewise has 6 linear-lanceolate and acuminate calyx lobes, rather than 5, as stated by Velloso, although his statement of “coronata 6” following his description of “Per.” might be interpreted to apply to the calyx lobes. However, since all the material I have examined of this infundibuliform type shows a uniformity in possessing 6 corolla lobes and 6 linear-lanceolate or linear, acuminate calyx lobes, it is my opinion that Velloso’s name must be applied to the taxon in question. This taxon possesses also uniformly green or yellowish-green corollas, although Schumann in his description of Hillia illustris states the corolla color as “alba” [Mart. FI. Bras. 6(6): 202. 1889], I do not know the source for Schumann’s reference to this color, and it is doubtful if the corolla of this taxon is not consistently green or yellow-green, as the latter colors are stated on the labels of those collectors recording flower color. The 6 elongated calyx lobes, moreover, are persistent, and are associated with the infundibuliform green corolla with broad and obtuse corolla lobes. It is obvious that Hillia trinitensis Williams & Cheesman is conspecific with the green-flowered plant with 6 linear-lanceolate, acuminate calyx lobes and infundibuliform corolla.

As regards Hillia tubijlora Cham., a photo of the Sello 5988 type specimen from B, shows a corolla 5 cm long (tube 3.6-3.7 cm long, only 3-4 mm broad below and 7-12 mm broad at the orifice) with ovate-oblong, obtuse corolla lobes 15-18 × 5 mm. This may or may not be conspecific with the green-flowered plant having the infundibuliform corolla described above. Schumann expressed his doubt as to whether the Suriname plants were conspecific with those from Brazil, namely, “Exemplar Surinamense non sine dubio ad hanc speciem laudavi, at differentias essentiales non invenire potui,” but placed them together as the same taxon, because he could not separate them at the time. The leaves of H. tubijlora, as shown by the photo of the Sello specimen, are similar to those of H. parasitica, but the main differences are evident as regards the shape and relative length of the corolla lobes. The corolla lobes of H. tubijlora are ovate-oblong and only somewhat longer than broad. This is stated by Chamisso in his original description (Linnaea 9: 260. 1834) of the lobes as “ (semipollicaribus) late ovatis obtusis,” and, as compared with H. brasiliensis Cham. & Schl., described in 1829 (Linnaea 4: 201), with the corolla “dimidio breviori tubaeformi sursum dilatata et ampliata, fauce late patente” and the corolla lobes “parvis vix sesquilongioribus quam latae.” A comparison of the description of H. tubijlora with the photo of the Sellow specimen and extant material from southern Brazil brings out the following points: 1) except for that part of the description of H. tubijlora indicating the calyx lobes as linear, acute, and 10 lines long, it is the same species as H. boliviana Britton from Yungas, Bolivia with corolla lobes ovate and 12 mm long and with a corolla tube 4.5 × 0.4-0.6 cm, 2) some of the specimens from southern Brazil of H. parasitica having smaller corollas than typical West Indian material of H. parasitica approach H. tubijlora in shape and measurements of corolla. For example, among southern Brazilian material we find specimens from São Paulo (Celestino Lemos 28681) with the corolla tube as short as 4.5 cm and lobes only 2 × 0.7 cm, but on the same sheet are to be found other slightly longer corollas. Also, in Dusen 16113 from Parana, Brazil, the corolla lobes of one flower are relatively short, only 2 × 0.7 cm, thus approaching the shape and dimensions shown on the photo of the type of H. tubijlora. These southern Brazilian specimens, passing as H. parasitica, represent a subspecies of H. parasitica, as will be shown in the discussion under H. parasitica.

Distribution:Trinidad and Tobago South America| Suriname South America| French Guiana South America| Venezuela South America| Peru South America| Colombia South America| Brazil South America|