Monographs Details:

Scientific Name:

Gustavia L.

Pirigara Aubl., Japarandiba Adans., Spallanzania Neck., Perigaria Span.

Description - Trees, small to medium sized, to 30 m tall; growth form either single stemmed or few branched with clusters of large leaves at ends of thickened branches (pachycaul) or with a single dominant trunk and a much branched crown with smaller leaves at ends of slender branches (leptocaul); leaves always more or less congested at ends of branches. Leaves petiolate or sessile, glabrous, infrequently pubescent on abaxial surface, chartaceous to coriaceous, entire to serrate, the blades relatively small to extremely large, the largest leaves occurring in pachycaul species and the smallest ones in leptocaul species. Inflorescences suprafoliar, axillary, or cauline, solitary or racemose, the rachis contracted to very long; pedicels subtended by a single bract and with 2 opposite or subopposite bracteoles variously inserted along the length of the pedicel. Flowers symmetrical, showy, to 20 cm in diameter; calyx entire or 4 or 6 lobed; petals 6 or 8 (12 or 18 in G. romeroi); androecium with 5001210 stamens, all fertile, fused at their bases into a symmetrical ring, this adnate to the bases of the petals and the summit of the ovary, the filaments somewhat dilated and then sharply constricted at the apex, the anthers 2-5 mm, basifixed, dehiscing by 2 apical pores; ovary inferior, with or without costae, 4 or 6(-10)-locular, each locule with 7-93 anatropous ovules; placentation axile, the placenta occupying only the upper one-half of the septum; style less than 5 mm long. Fruits berry-like, sometimes becoming woody, normally releasing the seeds by deliquescence of pericarp, in some species appearing dehiscent because of rotting away of weaker fruit summit, usually globose, sometimes cylindric or obconic, with calyx lobes persistent or absent, with or without costae; mesocarp white, sometimes orange, often becoming mushy at maturity. Seeds of two types, without well developed funicles or with yellow, expanded, contorted funicles. Embryo with large, fleshy, planoconvex cotyledons and minute hypocotyl and plumule. Seedlings with cataphyll. x = 17.


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