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Madagascar Catalogue | Family List | Caryophyllales | Asteropeiaceae | Genus Page


Asteropeia Thouars
    Hist. Veg. Isles Austral. Afriq. 51-52, pl. 15: (1805).

Asteropeia labatii
Living plant (close-up): Labat et al. 3036

Credit: J.-N. Labat

  • Rhodoclada Baker

    Reference(s): Schatz, G. E., P. P. Lowry, II & A.-E. Wolf (1999)

    Status: this genus has been assessed for the following:

    - Species in Fl. Madag: 5 endemic

    - Accepted published species: 8 endemic

    - Estimated total species: 8 endemic

    - Indigenous species endemism: 100%

    Additional taxonomic work: not currently required

    Species level data entry: complete

    Description: Hermaphrodite shrubs to large trees, the young branches often black or covered with a dense brown-ferruginous indument. Leaves alternate, simple, entire and sometimes undulate, penninerved, although the venation usually rather indistinct, usually somewhat coriaceous, exstipulate. Inflorescences terminal, or less often axillary, more or less branched panicles, the lower bracts foliaceous, the axes sometimes covered with a dense brown-ferruginous pubescence, flowers small to large, regular, 5-merous; sepals 5, free or slightly fused at their base, imbricate, persistent and accrescent-scarious with evident venation in fruit; petals 5, free, valvate, thin, delicate, white, caducous; stamens usually 10, rarely 15, unequal, those opposite the sepals longer, filaments slender, thicker at the base and fused into short cupule-like ring, often persistent in fruit, anthers bilocular, sub-basifixed, extrorse longitudinally dehiscent; ovary superior, 3-locular, the locules often incompletely separated, common style filiform, stigma capitate, 3-lobed, or 3 sessile, short style/stigma branches; ovules 2-4 (-6) per locule. Fruit a small to large, dry, or rarely somewhat fleshy (A. densiflora), irregularly dehiscent, 1-seeded capsule, spherical to ovoid-conical, smooth, often tearing irregularly at the base, subtended by the accrescent, wing-like calyx; seed with scant endosperm.

    Contributed/compiled by: G. E. Schatz

    Updated on: 30 Dec. 2006


    1 Inflorescence axes glabrous   (2)
    + Inflorescence axes and lower surface of young leaves covered with dense, short, rusty brown ferruginous indumentum (older inflorescences occasionally subglabrous)   (7)
           
    2 (1) Flowers and fruits sessile   (3)
    + Flowers and fruits with an evident pedicel at least (2.5-)5 mm long   (5)
           
    3 (2) Leaves narrowly oblanceolate, usually greater than 5 times as long as wide, subsessile; calyx lobes in fruit greater than 5 mm long; Tapia woodland, 800-1,500 m.   Asteropeia labatii
    + Leaves elliptic to obovate, never more than 3 times as long as wide, distinctly petiolate; calyx lobes in fruit less than 5 mm long.   (4)
           
    4 (3) Leaves coriaceous, mostly 2 times as long as wide, 3.5-6.0 cm long, margins strongly revolute, at least some folded under in dried material; calyx lobes spreading to reflexed-convex in fruit; subhumid forest, 800-1100 m   Asteropeia mcphersonii
    + Leaves subcoriaceous, mostly 3 times as long as wide, 7.2-11.3 cm long, margins weakly revolute to flat, rarely folded under in dried material; calyx cupuliform in fruit, the lobes ascending to erect, concave; littoral forest   Asteropeia micraster
           
    5 (2) Ovary and fruit conical-ovoid, with three distinct ridges extending to the acuminate apex, surmounted by three sessile stigmatic branches; littoral forest, and occasionally in humid forest at higher elevation on weathered quartzite sands   Asteropeia multiflora
    + Ovary and fruit depressed ovoid to subglobose, without distinct ridges, the apex rounded to somewhat indented, surmounted by an evident, slender style with a capitate, 3-lobed stigma   (6)
           
    6 (5) Calyx lobes in fruit (9-)11-15 mm long; mature fruit 4-5 mm in diam.; largest leaves 8.5-17.5 cm long; low elevation humid forest on sand and laterite.   Asteropeia matrambody
    + Calyx lobes in fruit 6-9(-10) mm long; mature fruit 2.8-3.5(-4) mm in diam.; largest leaves 6.5-10(-12.5) cm long; subhumid to dry forest, N, NW, Center   Asteropeia amblyocarpa
           
    7 (1) Pedicels with numerous, minute, caducous bracteoles at the base, leaving evident scars; fruit spherical to ellipsoid, broadest at the middle, hard, smooth and shiny-glabrous; usually gnarled shrubs 1.5-2.5m tall, occasionally prostrate or forming small trees to 8 m tall; 1400-1800 m.   Asteropeia densiflora
    + Pedicels without bracteoles at the base; fruit ovoid, broadest below the middle, verrucose and dull, occasionally with persistent indumentum; trees 6-25 m tall, or rarely large shrubs 3-5 m tall; 800-1400 m   Asteropeia rhopaloides

    Lower Taxa:


     

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