Papuanthes

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Papuanthes

Description

Aerial stem-parasitic shrubs, robust, with epicortical runners bearing secondary haustoria. Leaves opposite. Inflorescence capitate, consisting of several flowers in two rows at the apex of a common peduncle, enclosed by two foliaceous bracts which are connate at the margins over them during development; flowers each on an articulate pedicel with a small bract at the apex of the distal segment and sometimes also at the apex of the proximal segment. Fruit ovoid.

Distribution

Asia-Tropical:, New Guineaendemic
One species endemic to New Guinea.

Morphology

The normally developed pairs of leaves sometimes alternate with scale leaves at intervening nodes just above the leaf-bearing nodes, so that the leaves may appear superposed (see note under Macrosolen).

The individual flowers, on articulate pedicels, may be homologous with the reduced inflorescences of Sogerianthe (see there). If so, the capitate involucrate conflorescence is a complex secondarily compound structure which probably represents a modified shoot system.

Taxonomy

Like Sogerianthe, Papuanthes has x = 9 and relatively large chromosomes. It is probably a specialized local derivative of the Papuasian stock of which Amyema is the core. The most closely related genus is probably Sogerianthe, with which it shares gamopetalous corollas and articulate pedicels, and from which it differs in its compound capitate inflorescence.