Haloragis halconensis

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Haloragis halconensis


Erect, branched or unbranched, perennial half-shrubs or shrubs, with often thick, angular stems, up to 1½ m high. Leaves decussate, or in whorls of 3-4, often crowded, patent, erect or reflexed, ovate to oblong or sublanceolate, on either side with 2-13 teeth, hairy on both sides, hairs of the upper surface bulbous-based, rarely glabrous, chartaceous to coriaceous, those of the main stem(s) ½-3½ by ½-1¼ cm, of the branches 0.2-1.5 by 0.1-lcm; Flowers erect, then nodding, often secund. Sepals triangular-acuminate, ¾-1½ by ½-1 mm, glabrous (or slightly hairy on the median dorsal side, sometimes only in a few occasional flowers). Petals 2-3½ mm long, red, red-brown, or sometimes white or yellow, the midrib dorsally hairy. Stamens 8; Fruit obovoid, globose, more rarely ovoid, 1¼-1¾ by ¾-1 mm, 8-ribbed, from which 4 more distinct, appressed-to patently hairy, at least on the ribs.


Asia-Tropical: New Guinea present; Philippines (Philippines present), Bougainville present, E. Celebes present, G. Lumut present, Guadalcanal present, Kolombangara present, Luzon present, Mindanao present, Mindoro present, Mt Apo present, Mt Canlaon present, Mt Halcon present, Negros present, New Georgia Is present, Solomons present
Malesia: Philippines (Luzon; Mindoro: Mt Halcon; Negros: Mt Canlaon; Mindanao: Mt Apo), E. Celebes (G. Lumut), New Guinea, and Solomons (Bougainville; New Georgia Is.: Kolombangara; Guadalcanal). .


This species reminds in habit of H. erecta (MURR.) SCHINDL. and H. exalata F.v.M. of Australia and New Zealand, both of which have developed styles; the first has, moreover, glabrous and 4-winged nuts.
H. halconensis shows an astonishing variability, reflected in the large number of synonyms cited. These 'species' were originally described from distant places and based on one or a few specimens from one locality or mountain. With the increase of collections it appears that the characters on which they have been based are grading.
The variability is partly due to the very diverse habitats; specimens found in shaded localities have a more rank habit with wider inflorescences, larger leaves and longer internodes than those of exposed habitats. The latter show a condensed habit and are frequently unbranched. Besides, the altitude causes dwarfing of leaves and habit with increasing height.
Apart from this, the variability must be partly ascribed to the fact that in all mountain plants there is a certain trend to local raciation of a widespread population, but on the other hand in several localities (Mt Arfak, Mt Gautier) branched and unbranched specimens occur in one locality in which the unbranched specimens occur in open places, the branched ones in less open habitat, on edges of forests and in the forest.
The variability of the species is vegetative and quantitative (degree of branching, leaf-size, hair-yness, etc.). I cannot find qualitative differences in flowers or fruit.
From the description of H. stokesii F. BROWN, from Rapa I., it would appear that it has sessile stigmas which would point to affinity with H. halconensis, but it is described with only 2 stigmas and 4 stamens.


Merr. 1923 – In: En. Philip.: 221
WENT f. 1924: pp. 108-109. – In: Nova Guinea
MERR. & PERRY 1942 – In: J. Arn. Arb.: 408