Guatteria darienensis Susana Arias & Maas, 2014

Guerrero, Susana Arias, Sanchez, Dario Sanchez, Maas, Paul J. M. & Erkens, Roy H. J., 2014, Guatteria darienensis (Annonaceae), a new species from Panama and Colombia, Phytotaxa 173 (2), pp. 149-156 : 150-153

publication ID 10.11646/phytotaxa.173.2.5

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Guatteria darienensis Susana Arias & Maas

sp. nov.

Guatteria darienensis Susana Arias & Maas , sp. nov. ( Figs. 1 View FIGURE 1 , 2 View FIGURE 2 )

Guatteria sp. 2 Erkens (2007: 208).

Species most similar to G. dolichopoda Donn.Sm. but with relatively long and slender pedicels, small monocarps with thin wall and long slender stipes.

Type:— COLOMBIA. Antioquia: Turbo, Carretera Tapón del Darién , sector Río León-Lomas Aisladas , km 36, 07°40’N, 76°55’W, 20 m, 27 August 1983, (fl. and fr.), Brand & Ascanio 439 (holotype HUA!, isotype JAUM!, MO!) GoogleMaps .

Tree, rarely a shrub, 3–16 m tall, 4–18 cm in dbh; young twigs rather densely to sparsely covered with appressed hairs, soon glabrous. Leaves with petiole 2–7 mm long, 1–3 mm diam.; lamina narrowly elliptic to narrowly obovate, rarely elliptic, 8.0–21.0 × 2.5–8.0 cm (leaf index 2.5–3.6), chartaceous, not verruculose, dull to shiny, greyish, dark green or brown above, dull, pale brown or brown below, glabrous above, sparsely covered with appressed hairs to almost glabrous below, base acute to attenuate, rarely obtuse, apex acuminate, (acumen 5–15 mm long), primary vein impressed above, secondary veins distinct, 10–14 on either side of primary vein, impressed to slightly raised above, smallest distance between loops and margin 3–5 mm, tertiary veins indistinct or distinct, slightly raised above, reticulate. Flowers in 1–2-flowered inflorescences in axils of leaves; pedicels 30–60 mm long, ca. 1 mm in diam., fruiting pedicels 1.0– 1.5 mm in diam., densely to sparsely covered with appressed hairs and some erect hairs, articulated 0.2–0.3 from the base, bracts 3–7, soon falling, only one uppermost bract seen, elliptic, ca. 7 mm long; flower buds depressed ovoid; sepals basally connate to free, broadly ovate-triangular, 3–7 × 4–6 mm, reflexed, outer side densely covered with appressed hairs; petals green, maturing yellow in vivo, narrowly elliptic, 13–26 × 5–10 mm, outer side densely covered with appressed hairs; stamens 1.5–2 mm long, connective shield papillate. Monocarps 25–50, green or pinkish maturing red to purple in vivo, brown in dried specimens, ellipsoid or obovoid, 7–10 × 4–5 mm, sparsely covered with appressed hairs, apex apiculate (apiculum ca. 0.5 mm long), wall ca. 0.1 mm thick, stipes 7–15(–20) × 0.5–1 mm. Seed ellipsoid, 6–9 × ca. 4 mm, shiny, reddish brown, pitted, raphe not distinct from rest of seed.

Selected specimens examined:— COLOMBIA. Antioquia: 45 km S de Turbo en la via Turbo-Mutatá, Reserva Forestal Tulenapa ( ICA) , 7° 35’ 36”N, 76° 35’W, 20 m, 31 August 1987, Callejas 4848 ( HUA, MO, NY, U) GoogleMaps ; Mutatá, Carretera Mutatá-Pavarandocito , km 2, 7° 19’N, 76° 30’W, 150 m, 4 October 1986, Betancurt, A. et al. 89 ( HUA, U) GoogleMaps . Chocó: Cerca de Acandí , desembocadura del Río Tolo , 8° 29’ 43”N, 77° 15’ 51”W, 29 March 1974, Forero 1039 ( COL, MO) GoogleMaps ; Municipio Río Sucio , Parque Nacional los Katíos , camino de Sautatá a Tilupo , 7° 48’ 43”N, 77° 11’ 28”W, 12 July 1983, Sánchez S. & Hoyos 536 ( CUVC, MEDEL, U) GoogleMaps GoogleMaps . Córdoba: Municipio Tierralta, Rio Sinú , 8° 10’ 24”N, 76° 3’ 33”W, 120–200 m, 26 July 1988, Cuadros 4169 ( MO, U) GoogleMaps . PANAMA. Darién: Parque Nacional del Darién, ridge between N and S branches of Río Pucuro, across river from old Kuna village of Tacarcuna , ca. 18 km E of Pucuro, 8° 3’ 57”N, 77° 15’ 57”W, 600-1000 m, 21 October1987, Hammel et al. 16335 ( MO, U) GoogleMaps . Panamá: Parque Nacional Altos de Campana , Buena Vista, Bejuco , Chame , 8°41’50”N, 79°57’W, 24 February 1999, FLORPAN 3413 ( PMA, U) GoogleMaps . Veraguas: vicinity of Arizona-Tute hill, above Santa Fé and Altos de Piedra , along trail to summit, 8° 30’N, 81° 9’ 59”W, 1000–1200 m, 28 July 1988, McPherson 12812 ( MO, U) GoogleMaps .

Distribution:— Found in the Panamanian provinces of Veraguas, Panamá, and Darién and the Colombian departments of Antioquia, Chocó and Córdoba ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 ).

Habitat & Ecology:— In wet forests, along roads, rivers, creeks and on steep slopes at 20–800(–1200) m. Flowering and fruiting throughout the year.

Vernacular names:— Colombia: guanabanillo (Zuluaga R. 1226), yaya blanca (Sánchez S. & Hoyos 536).

Uses:— In Colombia the wood is used for building houses and the bark for lashing material and head straps (Sánchez S. & Hoyos 536). A decoction of any part of the plant has been used against malaria (Fonnegra et al. 8877).

Etymology:— The specific epithet refers to the Darién Gap (Tapón del Darién), the road-free area between Panama and the Colombian Chocó, where most collections were made.

IUCN Conservation Status:—Near Threatened. Even though the Area of Occupancy (AOO) is less than 500 km 2, Guatteria darienensis is well represented in herbaria. Most specimens seen were collected along the Panama- Colombia border (Darién Gap) in the 1980s and 1990s. This area remains poorly explored and difficult to access, and therefore we expect the value of AOO and the number of localities to increase in the future with additional collections. Furthermore, it was collected in five national parks: Santa Fé, Alto Campana and Darién (the largest protected tropical forest in Central America) in Panama and Los Katíos and Paramillo in Colombia. We thus consider the category ‘Near Threatened’ to be appropriate for now.

Notes:— Guatteria darienensis is easily recognised by an indument composed of appressed hairs on young twigs and lower side of the lamina ( Fig.1B View FIGURE 1 ), long pedicels ( Fig.1C View FIGURE 1 ), and relatively small monocarps with a thin wall (ca. 0.1 mm).

Some Panamanian material collected in Panama Province from Parque Nacional Altos Campana ( Espinosa et al.720, FLORPAN 2962, Galdames et al. 3081, 4136 and van der Werff et al. 6198, 6933) and one collection from the province of Veraguas (McPherson 12812) are aberrant in having relatively smaller, thicker leaves (8.0–12.0 × 2.5–4.5 cm) with an acute to obtuse base. As all flowers, fruit and seed characters fall within the range of variability of G. darienensis , we refrained from giving this material status on its own.

Most material has previously been identified as Guatteria tonduzii , a synonym of Guatteria dolichopoda Donnell Smith (1897: 2) , a common species restricted to Costa Rica and Panama. However, examination of numerous herbarium specimens of G. dolichopoda from Costa Rica and Panama (CR, MO, PMA and U) including the type specimen (Donnell Smith 6429 MO!) shows G. darienensis to be distinct ( Table 1). According to Erkens (2007) G. dolichopoda is one of the Central American Guatteria species complexes because of its highly variable density of indument, leaf shape, and leaf base. However, the complex as a whole can easily be recognized by its young twigs covered with erect hairs ca. 0.5 mm long and the relatively long-pedicellate flowers. In the case of G. darienensis , the indument is invariably composed of appressed hairs on most of its vegetative parts ( Fig. 1B View FIGURE 1 ). Ongoing taxonomic work in the genus has found that the presence of erect vs. appressed hairs is a reliable feature for species recognition in Guatteria (Maas et al. unpubl. data). For instance, the most problematic species complexes of the genus in Central America, Guatteria amplifolia Triana & Planchon (1862: 35) in southeastern Brazil, Guatteria australis Saint-Hilaire (1825: 37) and in Amazonian region Guatteria punctata ( Aublet 1775: 614) Howard (1983: 260) are characterized by an indument composed of appressed hairs on the vegetative parts but are morphologically variable in terms of leaf shape and leaf base, as in the case of G. dolichopoda .

Although G. darienensis shares with G. dolichopoda its long-pedicellate flowers with reflexed sepals ( Fig. 1C View FIGURE 1 ) and relatively small monocarps, its also differs in various respects, e.g. in terms of leaf morphology ( Table 1). Firstly, its leaves are relatively larger and dry greyish or brown instead of narrower and drying greyish black as in G. dolichopoda . Secondly, it has a glabrous primary vein on the upper side instead of one that is covered with erect hairs, and, thirdly, G. darienensis has a larger distance between the secondary vein loops and the leaf margin (3–5 mm vs. 2–3 mm). Moreover, G. darienensis is easily separated from G. dolichopoda by five flower and fruit characteristics. The ovoid flower buds are depressed in G. darienensis and not pointed slightly as in G. dolichopoda . It has broadlyovate triangular sepals and narrowly elliptic petals, whereas those of G. dolichopoda are ovate-triangular and narrow oblong-elliptic to narrowly ovate, respectively. Furthermore, G. darienensis has many fewer monocarps (25–50 vs. 75–100) and, finally, the monocarps of G. darienensis are coloured brown instead of black.


Universidad de Antioquia


Missouri Botanical Garden


Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario, Tibaitatá


William and Lynda Steere Herbarium of the New York Botanical Garden


Universidad Nacional de Colombia


Universidad del Valle


Universidad Nacional de Colombia - Sede de Medellín


Provincial Museum of Alberta