Alloplectus cristatus

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Alloplectus cristatus


Epiphytic subshrub, woody climber or liana, to 3 m. Stem woody at base, scandent, glabrescent below, hirsutulous at apex. Leaves equal or subequal in a pair; petiole 0.3-3.5 cm long, densely strigose to subtomentose, densely pilosulous; blade papyraceous when dry, oblong-elliptic to oblong-ovate, 3-10 x 1.5-4.5 cm, margin crenate-serrulate, apex acute to acuminate, base somewhat rounded, above strigose or substrigose, below strigillose, hirsutulous on midvein and veins. Flowers solitary in reduced cymes; pedicel red, 2.5-8 cm long, hirsutulousCalyx angulate, pale pink to dark red, lobes connate at base, tube ca. 0.3 cm long, free portion of lobes erect, 4 subequal and dorsal lobe smaller and narrower, broadly ovate, 1.2-2 x 2 cm, margin sharply dentate-serrate, apex acute to acuminate, on both sides strigillose; corolla oblique in calyx, yellow, 2.5-3.5 cm long, tube cylindric, 2-3 cm long, base gibbous posteriorly, 0.3-0.5 cm wide, middle subventricose, throat slightly constricted, 0.5-0.8 cm wide, outside densely pilose, pilosulous, inside glabrous, limb 0.9-1.4 cm wide, lobes subequal, spreading, rounded, 0.2-0.4 x 0.25-0.4 cm wide, margin minutely dentate; stamens adnate ca. 0.4 cm to base of corolla tube; ovary ovoid, 0.4-0.5 x 0.3 cm, strigillose, style ca. 2.5 cm long, glabrous, stigma stomatomorphic. Mature capsule white, globose, ca. 1 x 1 cm.


In the Guianas only: Alloplectus cristatus L. var. epirotes Leeuwenb. The species has 2 varieties, only one of which occurs in the Guianas. The typical variety of Alloplectus cristatus is known from the Lesser Antilles. A Leblond collection (at P-LA) of A. cristatus var. cristatus is labeled as coming from French Guiana. However, Leeuwenberg (1958: 363) considered this locality doubtful as the typical variety is known otherwise only from Martinique and St. Lucia. It differs from var. epirotes in having laciniate and serrate calyx lobes.
Leeuwenberg (1958: 363, 368) also noted that the specimen that Aublet () identified as Besleria cristata is B. flavovirens Nees & Mart.
Morley (1974: 419) included var. epirotes in Alloplectus cristatus (L.) Mart. var. brevicalyx C.V. Morton.
Clark (2005) revived Crantzia, including among others C. cristata, with var. epirotes raised to specific rank as C. epirotes (Leeuwenb.) J.L. Clark.