Monographs Details: Psychotria macrophylla Ruiz & Pav. subsp. macrophylla
Authority: Maguire, Bassett. 1972. The botany of the Guayana Highland--part IX. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 23: 1-832.
Family:Rubiaceae
Discussion:

Psychotria macrophylla R. & P., Fl. Peruv. 2: 56. pl. 202, f. a. 1799.

The Nicaraguan collection comes within the limits of typical P. macrophylla subsp macrophylla, having leaves 26-30 × 8-11 cm with 15-18 lateral nerves on each side, the inflorescence with a peduncle 4.5 cm long, a broadly pyramidal inflorescence 5.5 cm long by 5 cm broad with the lowest axes disposed in two tiers as in material from Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. The leaves are too broad and with too many nerves to be placed with subsp anomothyrsa (P. macrophylla var angustissima Standi.), and the branched lower axes together with the broad inflorescence is like that of typical subsp macrophylla. The Panamian collection is atypical in having only 11-12 lateral nerves on each side of the leaf blade.

Most of the collections from Ecuador and Colombia have pentamerous flowers, but in Steyermark 52498 from Ecuador and Killip 7751 from El Cauca, Colombia, the flowers are tetramerous. The photo of the type of Psychotria vtacrophylla from Peru shows clearly two leaves with their lower sides with the delicate tertiary venation manifest as fine transverse lines, and the leaf blades are broadest at the middle. Such leaves can be matched by various specimens from Peru and Ecuador, such as Killip & Smith 23727, 27637, 28589, 28578, and 26025 from Peru, Asplund 8884, Cazalet & Pennington 7668, and Steyermark 52498 from Ecuador. Although both red- and white-fruited specimens are represented among the above-cited specimens (white in Killip & Smith 23727 and 26025), red or orange appears to be the predominant color recorded. In their original description Ruiz & Pavon state the color of the fruit as “obscure violacea.” Perhaps this color note was taken from a dried specimen, which often does assume a purplish- or bluish-black or black color. The Killip & Smith 26025 and 23727 collections from the Dept. Junin, taken at elevations of 700-1100 m, have white fruits and are close matches to the type collected in the Peruvian Andes near Pillao, just to the north, at about 1500 m elevation. The photo of the Ruiz & Pavon type, together with the aforementioned Killip & Smith collections, show relatively short peduncles with a branched inflorescence having 7-8 axes arranged in three tiers, bearing the flowers in 2’s or 3’s scattered along the axes of the inflorescence and in only small groups of less than six flowers at the end of the axils. The 15-22 lateral nerves of the leaf blades are spaced 10-20 mm apart, and the tertiary venation is manifest and elevated on the lower side into large areoles or irregular, transverse or oblique areas.