Blepharocalyx salicifolius (Kunth) O.Berg

  • Authority

    Landrum, Leslie R. 1986. Campomanesia, Pimenta, Blepharocalyx, Legrandia, Acca, Myrrhinium, and Luma (Myrtaceae). Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 45: 1-178. (Published by NYBG Press)

  • Family


  • Scientific Name

    Blepharocalyx salicifolius (Kunth) O.Berg

  • Type

    Type. Ecuador.  Prope Loxam Novo-Granatensium, Humboldt & Bonpland s.n. (holotype, P, n.v.; F neg. 36906 of holotype).

  • Synonyms

    Myrtus salicifolia Kunth, Eugenia salicifolia O.Berg, Eugenia tweediei Hook. & Arn., Eugenia deserti Cambess., Eugenia suaveolens Cambess., Eugenia adamantium Cambess., Eugenia depauperata Cambess., Myrcia mugiensis Cambess., Myrtus umbilicata Cambess., Eugenia acuminatissima Miq., Blepharocalyx tweediei (Hook. & Arn.) O.Berg, Blepharocalyx depauperatus O.Berg, Myrciaria deserti (Cambess.) O.Berg, Blepharocalyx acuminatissimus (Miq.) O.Berg, Blepharocalyx acuminatus O.Berg, Blepharocalyx amarus O.Berg, Blepharocalyx angustifolius O.Berg, Blepharocalyx angustissimus O.Berg, Blepharocalyx apiculatus O.Berg, Blepharocalyx apiculatus var. rubellus O.Berg, Blepharocalyx apiculatus var. strictus O.Berg, Blepharocalyx brunneus O.Berg, Blepharocalyx canescens O.Berg, Blepharocalyx cuspidatus O.Berg, Blepharocalyx lanceolatus var. arborescens O.Berg, Blepharocalyx lanceolatus var. frutescens O.Berg, Blepharocalyx longipes O.Berg, Blepharocalyx picrocarpus O.Berg, Blepharocalyx pilosus O.Berg, Blepharocalyx ramosissimus O.Berg, Blepharocalyx sessilifolius O.Berg, Blepharocalyx sessilifolius var. pluriflorus O.Berg, Blepharocalyx sessilifolius var. pauciflorus O.Berg, Blepharocalyx strictus O.Berg, Blepharocalyx villosus O.Berg, Blepharocalyx villosus var. triflorus O.Berg, Blepharocalyx villosus var. uniflorus O.Berg, Blepharocalyx widgreni O.Berg, Blepharocalyx affinis O.Berg, Blepharocalyx parvifolius O.Berg, Blepharocalyx ramosissimus var. obovatus O.Berg, Blepharocalyx ramosissimus var. nanus O.Berg, Blepharocalyx ramosissimus var. latifolius O.Berg, Blepharocalyx serra O.Berg, Eugenia ipehuensis Barb.Rodr., Blepharocalyx gigantea Lillo, Blepharocalyx gigantea var. montana Lillo, Blepharocalyx deserti (Cambess.) Burret, Blepharocalyx mugiensis (Cambess. ex) Burret, Blepharocalyx suaveolens (Cambess.) Burret, Blepharocalyx umbilicata (Cambess.) Burret, Blepharocalyx suaveolens var. umbilicatus (Cambess.) D.Legrand, Blepharocalyx acuminatus var. adamantium (Cambess.) Mattos, Blepharocalyx minutiflorus Mattos & D.Legrand, Blepharocalyx myrcianthoides Mattos, Blepharocalyx tweediei var. longipes (O.Berg) Mattos, Blepharocalyx tweediei var. setentrionalis Mattos, Blepharocalyx umbilicatus var. mugiensis (Cambess.) Mattos, Blepharocalyx umbilicatus var. paranaensis Mattos, Blepharocalyx salicifolius var. longipes (O.Berg) D.Legrand, Blepharocalyx salicifolius f. catharinae D.Legrand, Blepharocalyx salicifolius var. tweediei (Hook.) D.Legrand, Blepharocalyx suaveolens var. abrupticulmeus D.Legrand, Blepharocalyx suaveolens D.Legrand

  • Description

    Species Description - Shrub or tree up to 30 m high; hairs whitish, yellowish, or light reddish-brown, simple, straight or curved, up to ca. 1 mm long, young twigs dark reddish-brown to light yellowish-brown, glabrous to densely pubescent or villous. Leaves elliptic, lanceolate, linear, ovate, or obovate, 1.5—7 cm long, 0.4-2.5 cm wide, 1.5-7.5 times as long as wide, glabrous to moderately villous; apex acute to acuminate, or less often rounded; base rounded, acute, acuminate or cuneate; petiole slightly channeled or about flat, 1.5-10 mm long, 0.5-1 mm wide, glabrous to densely covered with hairs; midvein about flat or impressed slightly above, prominent below; lateral veins indistinct or up to ca. 20 pairs faintly visible; marginal veins about straight, equalling the laterals in prominence; blades submembranous to subcoriaceous, drying grey-green, yellowish-brown, or reddish-brown, somewhat darker above than below, the upper surface often slightly lustrous. Peduncles 0.5-3.5 cm long, 0.5-1 mm wide, uniflorous or bearing a dichasium of 3 to ca. 15 flowers, glabrous to densely pubescent, the secondary branches of the dichasium up to 1 cm long; bracteoles linear to ovate, ca. 0.5 mm long, usually caducous before anthesis; Calyx-lobes strongly concave, suborbicular, ca. 1.5-2 mm long, glabrous, or glabrous except for a pubescent margin, or sparsely to densely pubescent within, caducous at anthesis; petals suborbicular, ca. 2-3 mm in diam., glabrous except for a ciliate margin, or less often sparsely pubescent; hypanthium obconic, ca. 2 mm long, usually glabrous, less often sparsely pubescent; disk ca. 1.5-2 mm across, glabrous; stamens 80-160, 3-7 mm long; anthers ca. 0.2-0.3 mm long; style 4-6 mm long, usually glabrous, less often sparsely pubescent; ovary normally 2-locular; ovules 4-17 per locule. Fruit globose, ca. 5-6 mm in diam., dark purple; seeds one to ca. 11, reniform, ca. 4-5 mm long, the embryo spiral or nearly straight.

  • Discussion

    Blepharocalyx salicifolius, as recognized here, is a very well marked species, distinguished by: an open calyx; strongly concave Calyx-lobes that fall at anthesis; and simple hairs. In the structure of the inflorescence, flowers, and the fruit, B. salicifolius is quite uniform, but it is extremely variable with respect to the shape of the leaves and the amount of pubescence. This variability has led other botanists, most notably Berg, to describe many species. When relatively few specimens were known, it was logical to think that there were at least a few species in the complex. With the numerous specimens that are now available, the picture is quite different. It is clear that there are no sharp discontinuities in the pattern of variation. Therefore, I have chosen to recognize only one species in a group in which Berg recognized over 20.

    Certain morphological forms are evident in Blepharocalyx salicifolius that correspond fairly well to geography. These will be discussed briefly and some of the specific names applied to them mentioned. The geographical variation in leaf shape has been illustrated in Figure 38.

    The type of Blepharocalyx salicifolius, from Ecuador, has lanceolate leaves, the most common and widespread leaf shape found. The types of Blepharocalyx angustifolius and B. angustissimus, from Uruguay, have very narrow leaves. The type of Blepharocalyx apiculatus has elliptic to obovate leaves with acute apices, a leaf shape found along the coasts of Parana and São Paulo. Elliptic leaves with blunt apices are found in Parana and Minas Gerais. These are either small (e.g., as in the type of Eugenia deserti) or relatively large (e.g., as in the type of Blepharocalyx picrocarpus). A narrow-leaved form with a long flattened petiole is found in Minas Gerais; the type of Eugenia acuminatissima appears to belong to that population.

    From Paraguay to Goias are found plants with leaves broadly lanceolate to ovate and with leaves and twigs that are abundantly pubescent. The type of Eugenia suaveolens belongs to that group.

    In general pubescence is denser on plants from the interior of Brazil, but it is also sometimes dense on plants from the coast of Sao Paulo. The embryo is generally stout and only slightly curved, but usually spiral in western Argentina.

    If only the forms described above existed, with no intermediates, one might recognize a few microspecies or varieties. But about one half the specimens at hand are intermediate between the “typical” forms. An attempt to assign all the specimens of Blepharocalyx salicifolius to even a few varieties would be very difficult.

    The most unfortunate aspect of recognizing Blepharocalyx salicifolius as such an inclusive species is that, occasionally, remarkably different forms live in close proximity to one another. This is especially true in eastern Parana and the Serra do Espinhaço in Minas Gerais. It would be interesting to grow these various forms in a common garden, as Legrand did with Uruguayan Blepharocalyx (Legrand & Klein, 1978). Then one might see how much variation is due to environmental influences and whether the different forms freely hybridize. Legrand found that the Uruguayan forms interbred freely.

    Blepharocalyx salicifolius is an attractive tree that is often cultivated in cities in Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. The flowers are pleasantly aromatic and the leaves are used medicinally in teas (J. Munoz, pers. comm.).

  • Common Names

    Horco molle, multa, cocha molle, ana-cahuita, arrayán, murta, cambui, cambuim, guamirim

  • Distribution

    A shrub or tree, usually of forested habitats in southeastern Brazil from Goias to Rio Grande do Sul, Paraguay, Uruguay, northeastern Argentina from Misiones to Buenos Aires, northwestern Argentina from Catamarca to Jujuy, Bolivia, and Ecuador.

    Ecuador South America| Azuay Ecuador South America| Brazil South America| Distrito Federal Brazil South America| Goiás Brazil South America| Mato Grosso do Sul Brazil South America| Minas Gerais Brazil South America| Paraná Brazil South America| Rio Grande do Sul Brazil South America| Santa Catarina Brazil South America| Rio de Janeiro Brazil South America| São Paulo Brazil South America| Bolivia South America| Cochabamba Bolivia South America| Tarija Bolivia South America| Paraguay South America| Guairá Paraguay South America| Alto Paraná Paraguay South America| Argentina South America| Buenos Aires Argentina South America| Catamarca Argentina South America| Corrientes Argentina South America| Entre Ríos Argentina South America| Jujuy Argentina South America| Misiones Argentina South America| Salta Argentina South America| Tucuman Argentina South America| Uruguay South America|