Common name: None
Latin name and synonyms:
Maguire & Boom, Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 51: 31 (1989).
Etymology: This genus is named after its pollen grains that are fused
four together into a tetrad (Tetra = four, pollinia
=pollen). The species
Tetrapollinia caerulescens is named after its sometimes blue
flowers (caerulescens = darkblue).
Only one species, Tetrapollinia caerulescens.
the Amazon Basin and southwards in South America (Bolivia,
Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela).
Savannas and often wet grasslands
A single-stemmed annual, sometimes very small and inconspicuous. Leaves
are sessile, linear (rarely narrowly ovate), and usually only with midvein.
Inflorescence a terminal cyme with monochasial branches, with 1–20
flowers; bracts scale-like. Flowers 5-merous. Calyx campanulate, with
dorsal keels along lobes, the lobes long and triangular, with acute
apices; corolla funnelshaped, varying from white, blue, pink to purple,
with triangular or ovate lobes with acute apices. Pollen in tetrads, the
exine spinose. Fruit a capsule, opening from apex
and related plants: Tetrapollinia
is placed close to Aripuana, Chelonanthus
uliginosus, and Irlbachia pratensis in evolutionary studies.
However, other species of Chelonanthus
and Irlbachia are not closely related to
uses: None known.
is a rather variable species, ranging from a small 1-inch tall annual to a
foot high. The plant always has slender stems and thin leaves, and
is morphologically most similar to Irlbachia pratensis.
species (synonyms in parenthesis) and their distribution:
Maguire & Boom
Aubl., Irlbachia caerulescens (Aubl.) Griseb., Helia
caerulescens (Aubl.) Kuntze)
Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana,
Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela
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,
© Lena Struwe, 2004