Monographs Details: Podandrogyne caucana Cochrane
Authority: Cochrane, Theodore S. 2011. New species of (Cleomaceae) I. Two species from western Colombia and eastern Panama. Brittonia. 63 (1): 87-101.
Family:Cleomaceae
Description:Description - Branched subshrubs to treelets 1-3m tall, essentially glabrous or minutely papillate-puberulent to sparsely pilose generally, the hairs rather crispate and whitish - green to ferruginous (depending on length and relative maturity), intermixed with yellowish, minute, sessile or subsessile glandsl; stems, petioles and inflorescence axis glabrous (except in bract and leaf axils) to sparsely pubescent. Leaves almost always 3-foliolate, the lowest one on young shoots sometimes 1- foliolate, those on fast growing sterile shoots sometimes larger and 5- foliolate; petioles 1-15 cm; leaflets elliptic to narrowly oblong- elliptic, the central blade 3-16 x 1-8 cm , acute to short - acuminate, broadly attenuate to cuneate, glabrous or minutely papillate - roughened above, minutely scabrid- papillate or somewhat glandular - puberulent beneath, especially along the veins; main lateral veins 6- 10 per side. Racemes scarcely elongating, 2-10 (-13) cm long, somewhat densely 24-92(-150) - flowered (pedicels plus pedicel scars); peduncle 3-19 mm; rachis to 13 (mostly 3- 8) cm, with 2-22 open flowers (fewer at beginning of pistillate phase) and 0-68 buds present at any one time. Flowers zygomorphic; pedicels short, 3-12(-20) mm, in flower spreading at an angle of 35° (the upper) to 90° (the lower ones) from the axis. Bracts 1-10, 1- foliolate, sometimes the lowest one 2- or 3- foliolate (but the blades no larger), elliptic to narrowly oblong-elliptic, 0.2-9 cm* 0.5- 33 mm, short-acuminate to attenuate, obtuse to cuneate; petioles 0.2-29(^41) mm. Sepals 4, united for ca. 1-3 mm, green, essentially equal in shape and size, the upper (adaxial) some- times 1 mm shorter or the lower (abaxial) sometimes 1 mm longer than the others, oblong or narrowly oblong to oblong-lanceolate, 4-10x1-3 mm, acute, glabrous to sparsely papillate-pilosulous, deciduous. Petals 4, diagonal to each other, ascending, orangish-red (pale pink to pinkish-purple in herbarium material), obovate-spatulate and unguiculate for 1/5—1/2 their length, 7-14x3-5 mm, rounded, attenuate into a broad or ± narrow claw 2-6 mm. Nectary a fleshy, 3-lobed adaxial gland, the central lobe projecting up and out over the androgynophore, the 2 smaller lateral lobes alternating with the adaxial petals, frequently drying to cubical, oblong, or nearly pyramidal in side view when pressed and dried, 1.5-2.5 mm high and wide, 1.0-2.1 mm thick, persisting and somewhat conspicuous in fruit. Staminate flowers: stamens strongly exserted, normally all fertile and equal in length (rarely one markedly smaller or even aborted); filaments coral-color, upcurved, 11-27 mm; anthers 2.4—3.8 mm, the pollen golden-yellow or pinkish-lavender; androgynophore 2-5 (5 collections) or 6-10 (8 collections) mm long, from shorter than to equaling the sepals. Pistillate flowers: ovary narrowly oblong to cylindric, laterally compressed, 7-16x0.5-1 mm, papillate-puberulent; stigma capitellate, inconspicuously bilobed, 0.7-1 mm in diameter, subsessile (style 0.5-1.3 mm); gynophore 5-11 mm; androgynophore 2-7 mm. Capsules 0-9 per raceme, cylindric, 3-15 cm x 3-6 mm thick, attenuate to the tip, cuneate to attenuate at the base, torulose, straight or curved; valves green, glabrous to very sparsely papillate-puberulent; stigma barely differentiated from the style, 0.5-1.2 mm in diameter, the style 04 mm, forming with the seedless apex of the loculus a definite tapering beak 3-11 mm; gynophore 5-15 mm, wiry, continuous and straight with the androgynophore and pedicel, glabrous or scabrid-puberulent; androgynophore 2-8 mm; pedicel 6-18(-23) mm, rather stiffly horizontally divergent to widely down-curved (not reflexed). Seeds black (brown when dried), suborbicular to broadly obovoid in overall shape, ± strongly beveled, bearing flattened spots on various surfaces because of pressure from adjacent seeds, 2.8-4 x 2.1— 3 mm, 1.7-2.1 mm thick, the sides and backs smooth or very faintly undulate.

Discussion:

Distribution and Ecology - Locally common in the Valle-Choco border area of Colombia, where scattered or forming small colonies, often on steep slopes and stream or road banks, in low montane forests and “cloud forests” from Cauca and Quindio to Antioquia and Choc6 Departments at elevations from (1500-)1850-2850 m. Although it, too, occurs in the Cordillera Occidental, die range of Podandrogyne caucana does not overlap that of P. chocoensis except in central Antioquia, where, albeit contiguous, it grows at higher elevations.

Phenology.-Flowering and Suiting throughout the year.

Etymology.-This species is named for the Colombian Department of Cauca, the political division where most of collections have been made.

The rather shortened inflorescence of Podan-drogyne caucana is peculiar but does not really have the form of a corymb (the inflorescence is as long as 13 cm, and the flowers number ca. 90-120 in Arbelaez & Cuatrecasas 6215, an unusually robust plant with inflorescence axis partly missing). It is coupled with short, somewhat separated pedicels, acutely pointed buds, a sometimes slightly enlarged lower (abaxial) sepal, ascending petals, and cylindric torulose fruits with long beaks. Although fruit morphology closely resembles that of P. coccinea, in other characters the new species is different. The pedicels and androgynophores of stami-nate flowers, and androgynophores and gyno-phores of pistillate flowers are all shorter than those of P. coccinea; however, the filaments and anthers are exactly the same length in the two species. The differences are not striking, but the geography of/? caucana is sufficiently different to reinforce its treatment as an allopatric species, P coccinea being known only from the Cordillera Oriental (cf. map given by Cochrane, 1977, p. 35).

The color of the corollas may change more with drying in Podandrogyne caucana than P. coccinea. Once dried, they become whitish, pink, as in the type collection, or flesh-color, as in the majority of collections. Only Toro 967 retains orange corollas. Meanwhile, most collections of P coccinea remain a strong orange color despite being many years old. The distinctly clawed petals of Podandrogyne caucana are more like those of P. decipiens than P. coccinea. Apart from its longer, less densely flowered rachises, shorter pedicels, and more strongly zygomorphic flowers, the former may be distinguished from P decipiens by its barely united sepals, longer filaments, and longer androgynophores and gynophores of the pistillate flowers. Podandrogyne caucana differs from P. chocoensis by its cup-shaped calyx of more nearly equal sepals, the direction of growth of the petals, and the less strongly declined androgynophore (Fig. 5A, B). The abaxial petals are spreading-ascending, directed forward at about the same angle as the lateral sepals, and the upper (adaxial) pair is ascending and aligned with the sinuses between the lateral and upper sepals. Thus, the floral symmetry is different, being less strongly zygomorphic. The flowers are smaller in the dimensions of all their parts, but the ranges overlap, because the largest sepals and petals, longest filaments, etc., of P caucana overlap the smallest examples of their counterparts in the more variable P chocoensis. Geographically, the two taxa are contiguous or possibly sympatric along the Cordillera Occidental in Antioquia (Fig. 1), but so far as known, P. caucana occurs at higher elevations. The discovery of co-occurring populations in the area where overlap might be expected would help settle the question of just how different these two species are from each other.

Of interest is the report that Podandrogyne caucana is visited by many butterflies (Luteyn et al. 10216), because judging by the classical pollination syndrome and collectors’ observations, Podandrogyne (e.g., P formosa Cochrane, Mori & Bolten 7420; P. gracilis, Stein 3671) is predominantly omithophilous. Flowers of P. chiriquensis s.l. (as Gynandropsis pulcherrima Standi.; Young, 1972) from Costa Rica and P. brevipedunculata from Ecuador (litis & litis E-48) are also visited and presumably pollinated by Pieridae butterflies (Leptophobia caesia Lucas tenuicomis Butler & Druce and L. caesia caesia, respectively).