Monographs Details: Hirtella
Synonyms:Tachibota Aubl., Causea Scop., Cosmibuena, Thelyra Thouars, Brya, Salmasia Schreb., Sphenista Raf., Zamzela Raf., Hirtella americana L.
Description:Description - Trees or shrubs with hermaphrodite flowers 3.0-11.0 mm long. Leaves entire, usually glabrous, or hirsute or with a few appressed hairs beneath, sometimes with two large bulbous myrmecophilous inflations at the junction of the lamina with the petiole. Petioles eglandular. Bracts and bracteoles commonly with few to many stalked or sessile glands, or eglandular, not enclosing the young flowers in small groups. Inflorescences panicles or elongate to fasciculate racemes, if paniculate then frequently racemoid or thyrsoid, when branched the branches often bearing several sterile bracts and terminating with a single flower or a few cymosely arranged flowers. Receptacle usually campanulate, rarely elongate-cylindrical, hollow, usually glabrous inside at the base and with retrorse hairs at the throat, glabrous to tomentose or hispid on exterior, lined by a well-defined disc. Calyx lobes acute to rounded, usually reflexed. Stamens 3-9 (-10), unilateral in most species, in a complete circle in two species, with staminodes present or absent; filaments usually far exceeding calyx lobes, rarely only slightly exceeding calyx lobes. Ovary of one unilocular carpel, inserted laterally at the mouth of the receptacle or less frequently midway up the receptacle; ovules 2. Style filiform, far exserted. Fruit a fleshy drupe, most often ellipsoid; epicarp smooth and glabrous or rarely densely tomentose; endocarp thin, hard, bony, exterior usually smooth to slightly channelled, hirsute within, usually with 4-7 lines of weakness which allow the seedling to escape. Germination hypogeal, the first leaves alternate.
Discussion:Mexico and Central America. West Indies, Colombia, Ecuador, through the Guianas and Amazonia to Bolivia and Southern Brazil; also three species in East Africa and Madagascar.