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This page is maintained 
by Dr. Lena Struwe 
(e-mail), and hosted by
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updated: 01/19/11 

Celiantha
(Gentianaceae: Helieae: Celiantha)

more images

 
Common name: 

Latin name and synonyms:  Celiantha Maguire, Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 32: 382 (1981)
Type species: Celiantha bella.

Etymology: Celiantha is named after Bassett Maguire's wife Celia.  The ending -antha means flower (anthos in Greek), so the meaning of the name is "Celia's flower".

Species: Three species.

Distribution: All three species of Celiantha are endemics of the tepuis, the table-top mountains of southern Venezuela, Guyana, and northern Brazil

Habitat: Grasslands and open, rocky areas on tepui summits (high-altitude)

Characteristics: Herbs, sometimes slightly woody. Leaves lanceolate to ovate, often leathery. Inflorescences terminal, few- or many-flowered, with dichasial cymes or panicles, with scale-like bracts. Flowers 5-merous (4-merous in C. chimantensis), nodding. Calyx campanulate, thick, persistent in fruit. Corolla narrowly funnel-shaped, thin, purple, magenta, lilac, to pink (yellow in C. chimantensis), with spreading lobes. Corolla aestivation (=lobe arrangement in bud) valvate at base of lobes and contort at apex, a unique state among all gentians. Stamens inserted in the corolla tube; filaments slightly unequal. Anthers linear to oblong, recurved. Pollen released as polyads with exine with small round processes. Stigma bilamellate. Capsules nodding. Seeds many.

Evolution and related plants:  Celiantha belongs to the tribe Helieae, but its precise phylogenetic position is not yet known. The pollen characteristics of Celiantha is very distinctive and different from all other gentians.

Economic uses:  None known.

Notes: 

Accepted species (synonyms in parenthesis) and their distribution:

Celiantha bella Maguire & Steyerm. Brazil, Venezuela (Sierra de la Neblina only)
Celiantha chimantensis (Steyerm. & Maguire) Maguire (Lisianthus chimantensis Steyerm. & Maguire) Venezuela

Celiantha imthurniana (Oliv.) Maguire (Lisianthus imthurnianus Oliv.; Calolisianthus imthurnianus (Oliv.) Gleason)

Brazil, Guyana, Venezuela

 

References and publications

Maguire, B. 1981. Gentianaceae. Pp. 330-388. In: B. Maguire & collaborators, editors. The Botany of the Guayana Highland Part XI. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 32.

Struwe, L., J. W. Kadereit, J. Klackenberg, S. Nilsson, M. Thiv, K. B. von Hagen, & V. A. Albert. 2002. Systematics, character evolution, and biogeography of Gentianaceae, including a new tribal and subtribal classification. Pp. 21-309. In: L. Struwe & V. A. Albert (eds.), Gentianaceae: Systematics and Natural History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Struwe, L., P. J. M. Maas, O. Pihlar, & V. A. Albert. 1999. Gentianaceae. Pp. 474-542. In: P. E. Berry, K. Yatskievych, & B. K. Holst, editors. Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana, vol. 5. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis. (images)

Lena Struwe, 2004

 

Gentian Research Network, 2002-2011.
For corrections and additions, contact Lena Struwe at struwe@aesop.rutgers.edu