Monographs Details: Sphinctanthus maculatus Spruce ex K.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. Amazonian Brazil and Peru. BRAZIL. Amazonas: Esperanca (ad ostium fluminis Javary), Igarapé Santo Antonio, 29 Oct 1942, Ducke 1123; inter Barcellos et San Isabel, Spruce 1939. Trail from west bank of Rio Purus, opposite Labrea, basin of Rio Purus, Municipality of Labrea, 30 Oct 1968, Prance, Ramos & Farias 8077. Acre: trail from west bank of Rio Iaco to Rio Purus, 3 km above confluence, Municipality of Sena Madureira, 5 Oct 1968, Prance, Coelho, Ramos & Farias 7888. Peru. Loreto: Gamitanacocha, Río Mazan, alt 100-125 m, 20 Jan 1935, Schunke 90; Balsapuerto (lower Rio Huallago basin), alt 150-350 m, Killip & Smith 28645; mouth of Río Santiago, Tessmann 4229. Junin: Cahuapanas, on Río Pichis, alt 340 m, Killip & Smith 26729.

Discussion:

Sphinctanthus maculatus var macrophylla Schumann, Mart. Fl. Bras. 6(6): 356. 1889.

Type. Inter Barcellos et San Isabel, Amazonas, Brazil, Spruce 1939.

In his treatment of Sphinctanthus, Schumann attempted to separated S. maculatus and S. polycarpus from S. rupestris by presumed differences in the distribution of the calycine glands (“glandulae calycinae tubum pilosum tota superficie vestientes” for S. rupestris as opposed to “glandulae calycinae tubum glabrum sub sinubus vestientes” for S. maculatus and S. polycarpus). An examination of the character of calycine glands discloses that no reliance can be placed on their distribution, as some specimens of S. rupestris, such as Wurdack & Monachino 39771, have the calycine glands located only under the calyx sinuses, whereas other specimens, as Wurdack & Monachino 41257, show the calycine glands distributed all around within the calyx tube. Similarly, as regards his use of the length of the style as equal to or longer than the corolla tube, one finds this a misleading and deceptive character, since it is the actual length of the style, rather than the comparative length, that separates these taxa.

The leaves of S. maculatus are usually larger and more acuminate at the apex than in S. striiflorus, and in the Ducke 1123 specimen measure 15-16 × 4.5-6 cm, but in the Spruce 1939 type collection are shorter [(8-) 10.5-11 × 3-4.5 cm]. An isotype collection of Spruce 1939 at NY shows only solitary flowers, but the photo of the type collection taken from the specimen at B has one branch with two terminal flowers and another branch with only one. The number of flowers terminating a branch varies from one to four or five as in Ducke 1123 and Tessmann 4229 collections.

Schumann observed [Mart. Fl. Bras. 6(6): 356. 1889] that S. maculatus and var macrophylla were very close to the next species, S. polycarpus (Karst.) Hook. f. and that these taxa possibly eventually would have to be united. The main distinction between these two taxa is in the location of the pubescent annulus on the corolla tube, that of S. polycarpus appearing in the basal 1/6 or approximately in the lowest 4-5 mm of the tube, whereas that of S. maculatus is located somewhat higher, in the lower 1/4-3/8 of the tube or usually from 9-12 mm above the base of the tube. However, Tessmann 4229 from Peru has the annulus zone only 5-6 mm above the base of the corolla tube and might better be considered S. polycarpus.

Distribution:Brazil South America| Peru South America|