name: Macrocarpaea apparata J. R. Grant & Struwe (2003)
(pdf file of
Distribution: Macrocarpaea apparata
only grows in a very small area in southern Ecuador. It occurs in
Parque Nacional Podocarpus, which is one of the hotspots of Macrocarpaea
Wet, montane rainforests, road sides.
small, 4-5 m tall sturdy tree, with short hairs on all plant parts.
Leaves broadly to narrowly ovate to elliptic, 27--60 cm long, with acute
apex, with robust petioles a unique strong open vagination nearly equaling
the length of the petiole, ie. about 60--100 mm long. Inflorescence 23--40
cm long with 14--30 flowers per branch. Flowers pedicellate, erect to
horizontal to oriented in all directions in the inflorescence. Calyx
narrowly campanulate, 7--10 mm long, medium to dark green; calyx lobes
dividing calyx to one third, rounded at apex. Corolla funnel-shaped,
39--53 mm long, whitish-green, rugose to smooth on surface; corolla lobes
ovate, apex rounded. Mature capsules and seeds not seen.
apparata has the largest leaves known to date within the genus Macrocarpaea
(27--60 cm long and 14--31 cm wide). The tobacco-like leaves are broadly
ovate to narrowly ovate to elliptic, and sterile plants typically similar
to the coffee-family (Rubiaceae) or sunflower-family (Asteraceae). Even
when it isn't flowering as sterile it is easy to recognize by its winged,
vaginated petioles, a feature that is rare among gentians, and known only
in species of Anthocleista, Fagraea, and Macrocarpaea.
and related plants: This
species belongs to the Macrocarpaea genus in the plant family Gentianaceae.
It is a gentian that is related to many other tropical gentians in the
tribe (subgroup) Helieae. All plants
in the Helieae occur in tropical America and many are very rare and
uses: No indigenous uses are known for this plant.
species is named after how it was discovered (see
press release). Jason Grant and Lena
Struwe were doing field work in southern Ecuador in 2001 in Parque
Nacional Podocarpus. This is one of the largest National Parks in the
Andes. They were traveling along a road in the rain forest when they
suddenly found a very strange looking plant without flowers. Since
the plant had no flowers or fruits they could not be sure is was a
gentian, and if it was, it was a very unique-looking one. They continued on the road and about the time they were ready to
give up due to rain and impending darkness, a flowering tree of this plant suddenly appeared, or
'apparated'. Apparating is used in the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling
for the sudden appearance and transfer of a person or object from one
place to another. From this event, the species got
the name 'apparata'.
information on more
plant or animal species named after unusual characters and things,