11. Syngonium meridense Bunting, Acta Bot. Venez. 10:324. 1975. TYPE: Venezuela, Merida, Cano Blanco (Puente Hierro), carretera Cano Zancudo-La Azulita, Bunting 4381 (MY-002512, holotype; VEN, isotype).

Epiphytic or hemiepiphytic vine, usually to 2-3 m long. Juvenile plants with stems less than 1 cm diam., not glaucous; petioles 10-15 cm long, subterete above the sheath; blades oblong-elliptic, usually broadest in the middle, somewhat inequilateral, subacute to acuminate and apiculate at the apex, narrowed to a weakly lobed base; primary lateral veins 4-5 pairs, sharply ascending to the apex, each forming a distinct collective vein; posterior lobes 10-17 cm long, narrowly rounded to acutely angular. Adult plants with stems green in the apical portion, usually to 2.5 cm diam.; internodes 3-4 cm long; petioles usually 36-47 cm long, sheathed ca. 2/3 their length, the sheath open, 26-32 cm long, persistent; blades held in same plane as the petiole, thinly coriaceous, drying chartaceous, simple, suboblong-ovate to triangular-ovate, abruptly acuminate at the apex (the acumen bluntly rounded at the tip with a short apiculum), obliquely cordate at the base, 25-32 cm long, 15-21 cm wide, dark green, matte above, light green, matte below, the posterior lobes broadly rounded or rarely obtusely angular, 6-9 cm long (from the tip to the apex of the sinus), the sinus arcuate with a decurrent petiole; primary lateral veins 5-9 pairs, ascending at 40-45' angle, each forming a distinct collective vein; tertiary veins very distinct on the lower surface, almost obscure on the upper surface; basal veins 5-6 pairs, free or nearly so to the base.
Inflorescences 2 or 3 per axil; peduncles 9-12 cm long, compressed; spathe (juvenile) 12 cm long; spathe tube fusiform, 2.5 cm long, 1.3 cm diam., dark green on the outside, pale green within; spadix (juvenile) 5 cm shorter than the spathe, subsessile; pistillate portion of the spadix 1.8 cm long, 9 mm diam. at the base, 8 mm diam. at the apex; staminate portion of the spadix somewhat clavate, 5.7 cm long, 9 mm diam., narrowed above the sterile staminate flowers (ca. 1 cm above) to 6.5 mm diam., the remainder ca. 8.5 mm diam., obtuse at the apex.
Infructescences (immature) 8 cm long, 2.6 cm diam., dark green on the outside, pale green within. Figs. 12, 17 18.

DISTRIBUTION: Syngonium meridense is endemic to Venezuela and is known only from the state of Merida.

Syngonium meridense is recognized by its simple leaf blades with short, rounded posterior lobes and basal veins free or nearly free to the base. It is most closely related to S. chocoanum from northern Colombia and western Panama. It differs from that species by its broader sinus and in having the tertiary veins distinct and wavy and in lacking any major branches from the primary lateral veins. Syngonium chocoanum has blades noticeably narrowed toward the base with a relatively narrow sinus. The latter species also has many conspicuous branches from the primary lateral veins (at least in the lower 1/3 of the blade), which form an acute angle with the primary lateral veins. The tertiary veins are obscure, close and markedly parallel, not distinct, remote and wavy as in S. meridense. It can also be confused in South America with S. crassifolium which differs in having larger leaves with longer, more angular lobes and basal veins which are united into a distinct rib (posterior rib).

A specimen with an immature inflorescence was collected in mid-December and a presumably full-sized fruit was collected in early April.

VENEZUELA: MERIDA: El Vigia/San Cristobal del Tachira, Bunting 2404B (MY, VEN); Cafio Zancudo-La Azulita, Bunting 2800, 4381 (MY, VEN).