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.
Syngonium meridense is endemic to Venezuela and is
known only from the state of Merida.
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).
specimen with an immature inflorescence was collected in mid-December
and a presumably full-sized fruit was collected in early April.
MERIDA: El Vigia/San Cristobal del Tachira, Bunting 2404B (MY, VEN);
Cafio Zancudo-La Azulita, Bunting 2800, 4381 (MY, VEN).