Roupala nitida

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Roupala nitida


Tree or shrub 1.5-13 m tall, sometimes scandent; branch bark sandy-brown superficially, dark brown beneath, glabrous; lenticels numerous, inconspicuous. Leaves simple, thin-coriaceous, drying pale green to green-brown, matt or shiny above, glabrous; petiole not well defined, 1-3(-5) cm long x 1-2.5 mm broad at midlength, terete towards base, grooved towards blade rugose, glabrous, petiole base often with conspicuous scar at limit with branch (not stipular), branch elevated where petiole emerge; blade narrowly oblong or oblong, rarely elliptic, 10-36.5 x 3.5-10 cm(length:breadth 2-4:1), base cuneate or acute-decurrent, usually symmetrical, apex predominantly attenuate, less frequently acute, frequently folded, margin entire, revolute towards base; venation ± conspicuous above, slightly raised, midvein narrowly grooved, conspicuous and prominent beneath, semicraspedodromous (at times appearing eucamptodromous), often forming double marginal vein, midvein reaching apex, secondary veins 5-10 pairs. Inflorescence axillary, unbranched, 3.5-18.5 x 1-1.5 cm, sparsely pilose, ferrugineous; peduncle 0.1-1.3 cm x 0.8-1.8 mm; sterile bracts at base abundant and persistent; common bracts 0.8-1 x 0.5-0.6 mm, glabrous within and without except fimbriate margin of ferrugineous to rufous hairs; flower-pair axis absent; pedicels 1.5-3 x 0.3-0.4 mm, sparsely pilose. Flower buds 0.7-0.8 mm broad at apex, 0.4-0.5 mm broad at midlength, sparsely pilose. Flowers 3.5-5 mm long; filaments 0-0.7 mm long, attached to tepals 2.8-4.5 mm from base, anthers 1-1.8 x 0.2-0.3 mm; hypogynous glands 0.2-0.3 mm long, fleshy, commonly appressed or fused together forming a continuous ring; ovary glabrous or very sparse covered with short, appressed, yellow-brown hairs. Infructescence 4.5-11.5 cm long, glabrous or glabrescent; fruit pedicels 3-5 x 1.2-1.5 mm. Fruit 3-3.7 x 1.8-2.2 cm, hemispherical around uppermost (sutured) edge, slightly rounded on lowermost edge, markedly constricted for 4-7 mm at base, apex constricted for 3-4 mm, persistent base of style forming sharp apex, marginal vein prominent, venation conspicuous on surface, pale brown groove 2 mm wide developing at suture, dark brown or black when immature, becoming paler and opening out completely so the fruit sides are in the same plane when dehisced, remaining attached only for short distance along non-sutured side, glabrous; seeds 2-2.3 x 1.6-1.8 cm, wing somewhat coriaceous.


French Guiana present, Southern America: Brazil North (Pará present); Colombia (Colombia present), along watercourses which drain into the Oyapock and the Amazon rivers present
French Guiana and Brazil (Pará), along watercourses which drain into the Oyapock and the Amazon rivers, and disjunct in Colombia (Antioquia); (FG: 7).

Common Name

English (French Guiana): tatukasi, wayâpi


Flowering from , fruiting from


Most closely related to Roupala suaveolens, R. nitida may be seen as the eastern and western extension to the distribution of that species. However, there are many differences, R. nitida lacks the dense indumentum which covers most of the parts of R. suaveolens, although it may retain sparse, weak hairs on parts of the inflorescence. Roupala nitida frequently has a scar at the base of the petiole which does not occur in R. suaveolens. The leaf blade of R. nitida has a larger length:breadth ratio 2-4:1 vs. 1.1-2.5:1; flowers are considerably smaller in R. nitida (3.5-5 mm long, vs. 7-11 mm long). Despite the smaller flowers, fruits of R. nitida are larger, in particular in breadth (3-3.7 x 1.8-2.2 cm vs. 1.8-3.2 x 0.9-1.5 cm), and the suture has a wide groove which develops prior to dehiscence which is not seen in R. suaveolens.