Paramapania

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Paramapania

Description

Perennial herbs with short, woody, obliquely erect rhizome covered with the fibrous remains of decayed leaf-sheaths. Leaves 3-ranked, equitant, conduplicate at the base, subcoriaceous, either linear, gradually narrowed into a tail-like, aculeate-scabrous acumen, or, more rarely, narrowly oblong, petiolate, abruptly acuminate and caudate; Inflorescence terminal, corymbose, capituliform, or consisting of a single spikelet; Flowers compressed, bisexual; Stamens 2, very rarely 3, in the axils of the lower scales;

Distribution

Asia-Tropical: extending to the western Pacific: present
Small genus (7 spp.), almost entirely confined to Malesia; P. parvibractea extending to the western Pacific.

Notes

The species of Paramapania are mutually closely related, and form a natural group. Nevertheless it is difficult to characterize the genus in a satisfactory way. In structure the flowers are very similar to those of Mapania and Thoracostachyum, but generally more reduced, as the third hypogynous scale is usually lacking and the number of stamens is reduced to 2. When the third scale is present it is smaller than the upper ones, and as a rule empty. Occasionally there may be a stamen in its axil, but if so that stamen is less developed than the other two. The relatively coarse, brown spinules on the keel of the two lowest (lateral) scales are characteristic of Paramapania; the corresponding scales in Mapania and Thoracostachyum are softly ciliate on the back. Paramapania can readily be distinguished from Mapania sect. Cephaloscirpus and Thoracostachyum by the lateral, leafless scapes. It is, however, difficult or practically impossible to distinguish between Paramapania and the scapigerous species of Mapania and Hypolytrum by their habit alone. Especially some African Hypolytrum spp. (e.g. H. nudicaule from Madagascar) bear a close resemblance to P. parvibractea, but in them the number of scales is reduced to 2. As a rule the spikelets and flowers in Mapania are much larger than those in Paramapania, and the fruits drupaceous by the thick, fleshy or spongy exocarp. Corymbose inflorescences are not found in Mapania.
Specific delimitation is difficult as the greater part of the species (P. graeillima, P. flaccida, P. rostrata, P. longirostris, and P. simplex) are only known from a few collections, and the more widely distributed species are highly variable. Several of the characters used by UITTIEN are apparently taxonomically less important than he supposed them to be.

Citation

KERN - in Blumea. 1958: 215
UITTIEN - in Rec. Trav. Bot. Néerl. 1936: 141