When Cephaelis violacea (Aubl.) Sw. is transferred to Psychotria, it must receive a new name, because of the existing Psychotria violacea Aubl. and P. violacea Willd., which are other taxa not based on Tapogomea violacea Aubl., the basionym of Cephaelis violacea.
Usually four decussate pairs of bracts subtend the heads of flowers. The bracts of the outermost pair split down from above during the maturity development of the flower heads. The several, usually thinner bracts, found within the four pairs of outer bracts, enclose 45 or more flowers, each bract enclosing a unit of two florets, these enveloped by two bracteoles and two or three hyaline outer bracts.
This taxon is closely related to the Central America Psychotria glomerulata (Donnell Smith) Steyermark, comb nov (Cephaelis glomerulata D.Sm., Bot. Gaz. 16: 12, pl. 1. 1891) of Central America (Guatemala to Panama) and adjacent Colombia.
Additional differences are apparent between the two taxa: the heads of P. glomerulata are smaller with fewer of the larger, outer bracts as contrasted with those of P. apoda, and the outermost involucral bracts do not extend as far up the head in P. glomerulata as in P. apoda.