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Syngonium wendlandii Schott, Oesterr.
Bot. Z. 8:178. 1858. TYPE: Costa Rica, San Jose, Santa Ana (ca. 10
km W of San Jose), Wendland s.n. (B, now destroyed; Schott drawing
Juvenile plants with stems not glaucous; internodes at first short,
2-4 cm long, becoming longer, to 10 cm long; petioles sheathed 1/3-3/4
their length (usually less than 1/2); blades cordate, to 10 cm long,
the anterior lobe ovate, acuminate, the posterior lobes semiorbicular;
intermediate blades sagittate to hastate, the posterior lobes triangular,
the upper surface velvety green, the major veins streaked with silver
gray. Adult plants with stems green, not glaucous; internodes 1-5
cm long, 0.5-2.5 cm diam.; petioles 10-32 cm long, sheathed 1/2-4/5,
their length, the free portion above the sheath acutely angled medially,
the lateral margins acute; blades trisect, dark velvety green, sometimes
with a streak of silver gray, the epidermis of conspicuous papillate
cells; median leaflet 8-20 cm long, 2-8 cm wide, elliptic to oblong-elliptic,
acuminate at the apex, acute to cuneate at the base; primary lateral
veins 6-10 pairs; lateral leaflets 7-15 cm long, 3-6 cm wide, oblong-elliptic
to narrowly ovate, acute to acuminate at the apex, inequilateral,
the inner margin acute, the outer margin rounded to auriculate, the
auricles sometimes pinched off, oblong-elliptic, to 3 cm long.
Inflorescences 1-3 per axil; peduncles 8-10 cm long,
obtusely triangular; spathe tube 5-6 cm long, 2-2.5 cm diam., narrowly
ovoid, pale green outside, red inside; spathe blade elliptic, 8-10.5
cm long, acuminate at the apex, pale yellowish green outside, white
inside; spadix weakly sigmoid, curved outward in the pistillate and
lower part of the sterile staminate portions, then turned inward again
in the upper part of the sterile staminate section; pistillate portion
of the spadix 1.5-2 cm long, to 1 cm diam., the flowers irregularly
6-sided, the stigma orbicular or 2-lobed; staminate portion of the
spadix white, 5.5-8.5 cm long, more or less cylindroid and markedly
tapered onto the sterile staminate part of the spadix; the staminate
flowers 2-4-androus (usually 4), the synandrium crenate near the apex,
the area effusion of the stamens somewhat visible; the sterile staminate
flowers irregular, larger than the fertile flowers and well-spaced
for the genus.
Infructescences pendent, oblong; syncarp oblong, 2.6-5.8
cm long, 1.4-2.4 cm wide, white to brown (fide Birdsey, 1955); seeds
not seen. Figs. 76-78.
DISTRIBUTION: The species is endemic to Costa Rica, occurring at about
1000 m elevation in premontane moist forest in the Meseta Central,
west of the city of San Jose.
It can be recognized by its trisect leaves with a densely papillate
upper epidermis and by its inflorescence with a frequently sigmoid
spadix and widely spaced sterile staminate flowers.
The species is most easily confused with S.
hoffmannii, a species with similar leaves that occurs at higher
elevations (1500-1800 m) on the slopes surrounding the Meseta Central.
The latter species is distinguished by the lack of conspicuous papillate
leaf epidermis and by having a stouter spadix that is scarcely constricted
at the base with the sterile staminate flowers closely compacted.
Under magnification, the papillae on the upper surface of the leaf
blades of S. wendlandii appear as minute reddish-brown glands
(on dried specimens).
Birdsey (1955) is of the opinion that the leaves of the type specimens
that have been photographed in Berlin were switched, with each species
having its proper inflorescence but the leaves of the opposite species.
(See photo FM 12299 for S. wendlandii and FM 12294 for S. hoffmannii.)
The actual specimens of both species are no longer extant having been
destroyed both at Berlin and Vienna;
nor is the type of S. wendlandii among the specimens of the
Wendland collection now housed at Gottingen.
I am not necessarily in agreement with Birdsey that the Berlin type
photos are mixed. While the leaves of S. wendlandii are easily distinguishable
by the conspicuous papillae on the upper leaf surface, these cannot
be distinguished from the photos. The two species have leaves that
are otherwise rather similar. In my opinion the leaf on the Berlin
photo (FM 12294) of S. hoffmannii matches
closely the original Schott drawing (Schott Aroideae 3212) prepared
at Vienna under the direction of Schott from the original (probably
living) material collected by Wendland. It is possible, on the other
hand, that the Berlin type photo of S. wendlandii (FM 12299)
represents a mixed collection with perhaps a leaf of S. hoffmannii
since this leaf does not so closely match the original Schott painting
in Vienna (Schott Aroideae 3243).
COSTA RICA: ALAJUELA: Vicinity ofCapulin, Standley 40120 (US). SAN
JOSE: Rio Maria Aguillar, Standley 38990 (US); Wendland Photo #12299