Monographs Details: Palicourea grandifolia var. sprucei (Müll.Arg.) Steyerm.
Authority: Maguire, Bassett. 1972. The botany of the Guayana Highland--part IX. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 23: 1-832.
Family:Rubiaceae
Discussion:

Psychotria sprucei M.-Arg., Mart. Fl. Bras. 6(5): 226. pl. 30, fig 1. 1881.

Psychotria latifolia Humb. & Bonpl. ex R. & S., Syst. Veg. 5: 189. 1819.

Nonatelia macrophylla H.B.K., Nov. Gen. & Sp. 3: 423. 1819.

Psychotria macrothyrsa M.-Arg., Mart. Fl. Bras. 6(5): 225. 1881.

Psychotria wallisiana M.-Arg., Mart. Fl. Bras. 6(5): 224. 1881.

Palicourea spruceana K. Schum. in Engl. & Prantl., Nat. Pflanzenf. 4 (abt. 4): 115. 1891 (based on Psychotria sprucei M.-Arg.).

Palicourea ulei K. Schum. & Kr., Engl. Bot. Jahrb. 40: 161. 1907 (name only); Verhandl. Bot. Ver. Brandenb. 50: 111. 1908.

Palicourea macrophylla (H.B.K.) Standl., Field Mus. Publ. Bot. 7: 321. 1931.

Palicourea macrothyrsa (M.-Arg.) Standl., Field Mus. Publ. Bot. 7: 468. 1931.

Nonatelia sprucei (M.-Arg.) O. Kuntze, Rev. Gen. 1: 290. 1891.

Nonatelia wallisiana (M.-Arg.) O. Kuntze, Rev. Gen. 1: 290. 1891.

Nonatelia macrothyrsa (M.-Arg.) O. Kuntze, Rev. Gen. 1: 290. 1891.

The isosyntype (Spruce 2506) of Psychotria sprucei M.-Arg. agrees with the details of the description and plate 30, fig 1, by Müller-Argoviensis in Martius’s Flora Brasiliensis. Of all the taxa combined in the present variety, Psychotria sprucei is the one most certainly identified with the taxon having the lower surface and lower nerves and midrib softly pubescent, a tomentellose hypanthium, and the numerous (18-21) pairs of lateral nerves closely spaced and conspicuously united by the tertiary transverse veins.

I have seen a photo of the type of Psychotria latifolia H. & B. ex R. & S., which shows pubescence on the lower portions of the leaf blade. While Nonatelia macrophylla H.B.K. is doubtless conspecific with Psychotria sprucei, I have not seen the type of this taxon. I have selected Psychotria sprucei as the most readily applicable name, not only because of the accessibility of the type collection and its illustration in the Flora Brasiliensis, but also because of the association of the name with the botanist, who was so greatly responsible for having shed so much of the first light on the flora of the Amazonian region.

The ovary varies from 4-7-celled, in some of the collections from Estado Bolívar, Venezuela (Steyermark 75409, Steyermark & Wurdack 1371, Tamayo 3124, and Cardona 2143) with predominantly 4 cells, whereas in other collections, such as Wurdack & Adderley 42912 from Amazonas, Venezuela, the ovaries vary on the same collection from 5-7 celled. In Bernardi 6593 the ovaries vary from 4-5-celled on the same branch of the inflorescence. Krause describes the ovary of Palicourea ulei as glabrous, but the fragment of the type examined at F shows a minute and rather dense papillate tomentum on all the ovaries. Some specimens, such as Steyermark 75409, are somewhat intermediate, showing a glabrous lower leaf surface, but with hirsute nerves and midrib, and the lower leaf surfaces of Cardona 2143 and Bernardi 1480 and 6593 are likewise nearly or quite glabrous.