Cyrilla racemiflora

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Cyrilla racemiflora


Shrub or small tree, up to 7-15 m tall, sometimes multistemmed, occasionally spreading with vine-like branches, rarely branched at base. Leaf scars prominent. Stipules inconspicuous (caducous) or absent; petiole usually short (nearly subsessile), slightly winged, 0.4-1.3 cm long; blade subcoriaceous to coriaceous, oblanceolate to elliptic, occasionally linear, 2-11(-12) (including petiole) x 0.4-2.5(-3) cm, margin usually slightly reflexed, apex acute to rounded, sometimes emarginated (rarely apiculate), base narrowly cuneate to attenuate; midvein generally depressed above, prominent beneath, densely reticulate, slightly prominent or obscure above, secondary veins straight to slightly arcuate, divergent, irregularly anastomosing. Inflorescence racemose, axillary, usually near end of branches, glabrous; peduncle 0.4-1.7 cm long (before the first bract); rachis up to 14 cm long, usually somewhat ridged; often numerous flowers, erect or pendulous; bract lanceolate-subulate, 0.8-2.4(-3.5) mm long, acuminate to very acute, basally thickened and usually costate, persistent; bracteoles 2, usually above middle of pedicel, alternate or opposite, lanceolate, 1-1.5(-1.6) mm long, persistent; pedicels ascending or slightly patent, alternate or subopposite, 1.1-2 mm long (up to 4 mm when fruiting), usually pink. Flowers actinomorphic; sepals free, or basally connate, 5, pink, coriaceous, usually with basal thickening, lanceolate-ovate to deltoid, 0.6-1.5(-1.6) x up to 0.7(-1) mm, apex acute to acuminate, glabrous, persistent; petals imbricate or slightly contorted, free or shortly fused, 5, white, usually more membranaceous along margin, oblong to oblong-lanceolate or oblong-elliptic, 2(-2.4) x up to 1.1 mm, margins sometimes inrolled (giving the appearance of long acuminate), apex acute, obtuse or rounded, glabrous to rarely glandular on lower inner surface; stamens 5, about 2/3 as long as petals (always shorter), filaments flattened, 1.1-1.4 mm long, anthers terete, linear-subulate, up to 0.4 mm broad, very occasionally with mucronate tip, versatile, dehiscing longitudinally, pink or purple; nectary disc sometimes present; ovary 2-3(rarely-4)-locular, oblong to slightly ovate, wrinkled when dried, glabrous, up to 1.6(-2) mm long, ovules usually 2, pendulous from apex of locule, style 1, short, stout, stigma entire, or 2-3-lobed, corresponding to number of locules. Fruit dry, indehiscent, green immature, red (pink) at maturity, subglobose to globose or conic-ellipsoid, 2.5-(3) x up to (0.9-)2(-3) mm, usually smooth (rarely slightly rugulose), glabrous, stigma usually persistent; seeds 1 per locule, elongate.


C America present, Guianas present present, Northern America, SE U.S.A present, Southern America: Venezuela (Venezuela present)
SE U.S.A., Mexico, C America, West Indies, Venezuela, the Guianas and Brazil; 226 specimens examined of which 97 from the Guianas (GU: 93; SU: 3; FG: 1).

Common Name

English (Guyana): kakiratti, karawasjipio, koewaliroemang, krawasjirang, kwako, warimiri howadanni


Planted as an ornamental in the USA. In the West Indies, the species is esteemed among honey producers due to its nectar-rich flowers, which are present over an extended period of time (Ståhl, 2004).


The examined specimens showed a striking and considerable amount of variation in size and shape and even texture in almost all the features from the leaves, flowers and fruits. It is difficult to assess whether one or more of these characters might characterise distinguishable taxa. Despite Thomas (1960) acknowledges that some characters (e.g. leaves, mucronate stamens, bracts and fruits) exhibit interesting variation patterns, the author concluded that Cyrilla racemiflora is very polymorphic and should be considered as a single species. For the same reason, all these variable phenotypes have been considered part of Cyrilla racemiflora for the region studied.
The collection Im Thurn 334, is mounted on the same sheet with Quelch & McConnell 88 and 318. Im Thurn 334 is chosen as lectotype of Cyrilla brevifolia N.E. Brown, it has branches with flowers and branches with fruits. Moreover, there is a duplicate housed at BM.