Taxon Details: Couratari scottmorii Prance
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Lecythidaceae (Magnoliophyta)
Scientific Name:

Couratari scottmorii Prance
Primary Citation:

Brittonia 35: 15. 1981
Accepted Name:

This name is currently accepted.
Type Specimens:

Specimen 1: Isotype -- A. Sugden
Common Names:

buriyon, cachimbo hediondo, copo, matasano

Author: Ghillean T. Prance & Scott A. Mori

Type: PANAMA. San Blas: Aila Tiwar, Río Acla, 8°43'N, 77°40'W, 20 Feb 1979 (bud, fl, fr), A. Sugden 472 (holotype, FHO; isotype, NY).

Description: Large trees, 40 m tall, the trunk buttressed for 50-80 cm. Young branches sparsely puberulous, soon becoming glabrous. Stipules lanceolate-linear, only seen on new branch flushes. Leaves: petioles 5-9 mm long, tomentellous, slightly winged, especially when young, canaliculate; blades narrowly elliptic, 8-22 x 3-5 cm, chartaceous, glabrous adaxially, stellate pubescent abaxially, especially near midrib, glabrous toward margins, with faint longitudinally oriented striations running length of blade, the base acute to obtuse, the margins crenulate, the apex acuminate, the acumen 4-7 mm long; midrib prominulous adaxially, prominent abaxially, stellate pubescent abaxially, the secondary veins in 20-26 pairs, prominulous on both surfaces, the tertiary veins reticulate. Inflorescence in terminal or axillary, unbranched racemes, the rachis ferrugineous pubsecent; bracts lanceolate, 15-25 mm long, tomentose in bud, the bracteoles oblong; pedicels ca. 3 mm long, 3-channeled, tomentellous. Flowers when leaves present, ca. 5 cm diam at anthesis; calyx-lobes broadly ovate, 6, 6-8 x 4-6, densely ferrugineous pubescent abaxially, glabrous adaxially, the margins ciliate; petals 6, white: androecium glabrous, the hood yellow, the exterior echinate; stamens ca. 60, in 3-4 rows inserted uniformly around staminal ring; ovary 3-locular, ovules numerous. Fruits campanulate, slightly angled, appearing triangular in cross section, 7-9 x 5-6 cm diam., the lenticels not conspicuous, the pericarp, 3-5 mm thick, woody, the calycine ring inserted 12-16 mm below apex of fruit base, forming a prominent ridge, the supracalycine zone erect, the infracalycine zone tapered at base, the operculum with apex convex. Seeds oblong-lanceolate, 6-6.5 x 2-2 cm, symmetrical; cotyledons leaf-like.

Common names: Costa Rica: cachimbo hediondo, copo, matasano

Distribution: The Osa Peninsula and the lowlands of San José Province in Costa Rica and San Blás and the Darién province of Panama. It ranges from sea level to 350 m alt.

Ecology: Canopy to emergent trees of wet, lowland forests.

Phenology: This species retains it leaves while flowering. Flowers have been observed and or collected in Mar, May, Aug, Sep, and Oct and fruits in May. A study of the phenology of this species on the Osa Peninsula (Lobo et al., 2008) concluded that it blooms in the dry season in Feb and again in the rainy season from Jul to Oct; fruits in the dry season in Dec and March and in the wet season from Oct to Nov; and flushes leaves in the dry season from Dec to Jan. Flowers have been collected in Oct in San Blás, Panama.

Pollination: No observations recorded but bees have been observed visiting the flowers of the closely related Couratari stellata (Mori & Boeke, 1987).

Dispersal: The seeds, surrounded by a circumferential wing, are dispersed by the wind

Predation: No observations recorded.

Field characters: Couratari scottmorii is characterized by its narrowly elliptic, crenulate leaves with longitudinal lines along each side of the midrib; the densely, ferrugineous, stellate pubescence of the hypanthium; the echinate androecial hood externally; and the relatively short, campanulate fruits without conspicuous lenticels. Other species are either glabrous or have simple trichomes intermixed with stellate trichomes.

Taxonomic notes: This species belongs to Couratari sect. Echinata which includes the following species: C. asterophora, C. asterotricha, C. macrosperma, C. pyramidata, C. scottmorii, and C. stellata. This section is characterized by an echinate androecial hood (see images of the androecium on the species pages of C. macrosperma, C. scottmorii, and C. stellata). Prance also notes that the species possess short pedicels and sessile fruits with well developed calyx scars. In addition, the flowers of these species are not produced when the trees are leafless, have white petals, white to yellowish androecial hoods, and the pubescence of the inflorescence rachises and hypanthia are yellowish-brown in color. There is no sign of the pink to purple flower coloration and leaf fall just before flowering found in the other two sections of the genus (sects. Couratari and microcarpa). The pubescence of species of sect. Couratari is purple tinged and the species of sect. microcarpa are glabrous. The species of sect. Echinata form a superspecies (Prance in Mori & Prance, 1990) and are difficult to distinguish from one another. In addition, Several of the species, especially those from eastern Brazil, where four of the six species occur, are known from relatively few collections; thus, it is not yet possible to say if the differences among them provided in their protologues merit recognition at the species level. This is morphologically similar to Couratari stellata of the Amazon and the Guianas.

Conservation: IUCN Red List: Vulnerable B1+2c ver 2.3 (World Conservation Monitoring Centre 1998. Couratari scottmorii. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. Downloaded on 12 March 2014.).

Uses: According to Quesada et al (1997), the wood is used in general construction.

Etymology: This species is named after Scott A. Mori.

Source: This description was originally published in Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 21(11) under the authorship of G. T. Prance (Mori & Prance, 1990) but S. A. Mori has subsequently added to it.

Acknowledgements: We are grateful to R. Aguilar and Y.-Y. Huang for allowing us to use their images to illustrate the characters of this species.

Flora and Monograph Treatment(s):

Couratari scottmorii Prance: [Article] Mori, S. A. & Prance, Ghillean T. 1990. Lecythidaceae - Part II: The zygomorphic-flowered New World genera (Couroupita, Corythophora, Bertholletia, Couratari, Eschweilera, & Lecythis). With a study of secondary xylem of Neotropical Lecythidaceae by Carl de Zeeuw. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 21: 1-376.