Virola parkeri D. Santam. & Lagom., 2022

Santamaria-Aguilar, Daniel & Lagomarsino, Laura P., 2022, New Species of Virola (Myristicaceae) from South America, PhytoKeys 197, pp. 81-148 : 81

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Virola parkeri D. Santam. & Lagom.

sp. nov.

8. Virola parkeri D. Santam. & Lagom. sp. nov.


Peru. Pasco: Oxapampa, Dist. Palcazú, Evaluación de los Recursos del Bosque 0.5 ha en la Reserva Comunal Yanesha, Comunidad Nativa Loma Linda-Laguna , Sector Nueva Aldea , 10°23'13"S, 075°05'28"W, 600-620 m, 17 Oct 2005 (fr), A. Monteagudo, A. Peña, R. Francis, L. Quicha, E. Camavilca & W. G. Camaña 10761 (holotype: MO! [accession 6101576, barcode MO-2134612], isotypes: AMAZ [n.v.], HUT [n.v.], MOL [n.v.], USM [n.v.], US [accession 3558469; image!]). Fig. 15 View Figure 15 GoogleMaps


Virola parkeri morphologically differs from all other species by the combinations of the fruit with a conspicuous “wing” along its dehiscence line, the surface is bullate and inconspicuously pubescent, flowers with the column of filaments shorter (0.2-0.4 mm long) than the anthers (0.5-0.7 mm long), leaf blades covered abaxially with inconspicuous, stellate and sessile trichomes and lateral veins that are evenly spaced.

Tree 28-35 m tall, diameter, inner bark not described. Exudate reddish, location of exudate on plant not stated. Twigs 0.2-0.7 cm thick, terete, puberulent to glabrescent, trichomes stellate, sessile, brown-reddish, without lenticels. Leaves young terminal bud ca. 1.1 × 0.2 cm; petiole 1.4-1.7 × 0.16-0.22 cm, slightly canaliculate, puberulent (especially within the channel) to glabrescent, the trichomes stellate, sometimes with hyaline squamiform structures between the trichomes; leaf blades 19.7-24 × 5.2-6.4 cm, oblong; adaxial surface of mature leaves drying brown to grayish, glabrous, the surface smooth, sometimes shiny; abaxial surface drying white-grayish to pale brown, sparsely pubescent, the trichomes stellate, ca. 0.1 mm diameter, sessile, the central part of the trichome usually colorless, but sometimes with the central part reddish, the branches colorless; lateral veins 15-17 per side, 4 veins per 5 cm, spaced 1.5-1.7 (-2) cm, on adaxial side flat, the same color as the adaxial surface or a little darker, on abaxial surface slightly raised, tomentose, arcuate-ascending, slightly anastomosing near the margin and without forming a marked intramarginal vein; tertiary veins very slightly visible on both sides; midvein adaxially slightly elevated, immerse in a small channel, abaxially raised, rounded, puberulent to glabrescent, usually with denser pubescence on the sides; base acute, not revolute, flat; margin flat; apex acute. Staminate inflorescence 5.8-7 cm long, axes flattened, tomentose, with dendritic trichomes, ferruginous; peduncle 1.5-1.8 × 0.18-0.24 cm; main axes with 9-10 ramifications, the first pair opposite, subopposite or alternate, the others alternate; bracts not seen. Staminate flowers (in bud) in dense terminal fascicles of 10-30+ flowers, on a receptacle 1.5-2.5 mm wide; perianth 1.5-1.8 mm long, ovate to lanceolate, creamy yellow when fresh, connate to ca. 1 mm in length, external surface densely pubescent with ferruginous and dendritic trichomes, internal surface moderately pubescent (especially on the lobes); lobes 3, ca. 0.9 × 0.5 mm, ca. 0.2 mm thick, without resinous punctuations when rehydrated; stamens 3, the filament column 0.2-0.4 mm long and ca. 0.2-0.3 mm thick, glabrous, straight, constricted to slightly constricted at the apex; anthers 0.5-0.7 mm long, ca. 0.2 mm wide; apiculus ca. 0.8 mm long, acuminate, connate. Pistillate inflorescences and pistillate flowers not seen. Infructescence ca. 2.5 cm long, with 1-5 fruits, peduncle ca. 1 × 0.6 cm. Fruits 3-3.6 × 2.8-3.1 cm, green when fresh (brown to blackish when dry), oblate, shortly stipitate, very inconspicuously pubescent (not falling like dust), puberulent at the base and sometimes on the carina, the trichomes stellate (sometimes with few dendritic), sessile, ferruginous, the surface bullate, the line of dehiscence winged, the wing ca. 0.4 cm long, the base obtuse, the apex rounded; pericarp ca. 0.3 mm thick (on the thickest side; ca. 0.2 mm thick on the thinnest side); pedicel 0.4-0.6 cm long. Seed ca. 1.9 × 1.6 cm, the testa brown to blackish when dry, smooth; aril color when fresh not described, blackish when dry, the texture dry and thin, laciniate almost to the base, in narrow bands distally.

Distinctive characters.

The most striking character of Virola parkeri is its fruit, which is reminiscent of Saturn’s form: it is oblate with a conspicuous “wing” along its dehiscence line (Fig. 6L View Figure 6 , 15F View Figure 15 ). The fruit is further bullate and inconspicuously pubescent. Other characteristics that distinguish this new species are its leaf blades that are covered abaxially with inconspicuous, usually colorless stellate and sessile trichomes and lateral veins that are evenly spaced; staminate flowers with perianth that is densely pubescent outside and the inner side moderately pubescent, the lobes are relatively thin, the column of filaments are shorter (0.2-0.4 mm long) than the anthers (0.5-0.7 mm long); and the thin, laciniate aril that covers the seed almost to the base.


The specific epithet honors Theodore A. Parker III (1 Apr. 1953-3 Aug. 1993), renowned and talented ornithologist and research associate of the LSU Museum of Natural Science. Parker died in a plane crash on August 3, 1993 while surveying a remote forest in Ecuador, along with three other people: Raul Mortensen (the pilot), Eduardo Aspiazu (ecologist), and Alwyn H. Gentry (botanist). Virola parkeri occurs in Peru, a country where Parker spent much of his life studying birds and protecting natural resources. In this country, Parker together with Scott Robinson, established a Big Day record (331 bird species). He also contributed to a field guide to the birds of Peru, an important resource for birdwatching ecotourism. Finally, Parker was part of the Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) at Conservation International, which involved teams of scientists conducting biological surveys in remote areas of the tropics to determine their level of biodiversity and potential for conservation. Thanks to Parker’s efforts, Bolivia established Madidi National Park, one of the most important centers for biodiversity.


Virola parkeri is known only from Peru (Pasco Department) (Fig. 18C View Figure 18 ). It is found in primary forest between 400 and 620 m in elevation.


Staminate flowers and fruits of Virola parkeri have been recorded in October. Pistillate flowers were not seen in the studied material.

Common name and uses.

Common names include banderín and rrohuatquech (Peru; M. Huamán et al. 334). The wood is used in the manufacture of furniture and boxes, and house building (M. Huamán et al. 334).

Preliminary conservation status.

Virola parkeri is Critically Endangered following IUCN criterion B2a. Justifying this status, it is known from only a single specimen, collected in 2008. The only locality of this species is within the Loma Linda community of the Yanesha indigenous community, and so may benefit from an ongoing compensated community-based forest monitoring program ( Kowler et al. 2020).


Virola parkeri is morphologically similar to V. yasuniana from Ecuador (which is formally described below) in various leaf traits, including overall shape, trichomes on the abaxial surface, lateral vein separation, and color when dry; additionally, both species share staminate perianth that is moderately pubescent internally and fruits with a markedly carinate dehiscence line, appearing like a wing. Differences among the two species are summarized in Table 10 View Table 10 .

Virola parkeri 's fruit with a wing-like carina resembles those of V. peruviana (see Fig. 6K, L View Figure 6 ). However, the new species is distinguished from V. peruviana in its leaves with acute bases (vs. usually cordate), fewer lateral veins (15-17 vs. 17-30 per side) that are usually more separated (1.5-1.7 [-2] vs. 0.6-1.3 [-1.7] cm), staminate inflorescences that are narrower and shorter, staminate flowers with the filament column shorter than anthers (0.5-0.7 mm vs. 1.1-1.6 mm long; from Smith and Wodehouse 1938), and oblate (vs. ellipsoid) fruits with rounded apex (vs. acute or apiculate).


The type specimen of Virola parkeri (A. Monteagudo et al. 10761) was previously identified as Otoba parvifolia (Markgr.) A. H. Gentry. However, while species of Otoba have malpighiaceous trichomes on abaxial leaf surfaces of leaf blades, these trichomes are dendritic or stellate in Virola . The other specimen studied (M. Huamán et al. 334) was identified as V. elongata . Duplicates may have been distributed under these names.

Specimens examined.

Peru. Pasco: Oxapampa, Palcazú, Comunidad Nativa Loma Linda-Laguna , sector Nueva Aldea , Bosque de la Asociacion Forestal Yanesha Concoll-Toron (AFYCT), 10°21'51"S, 075°03'20"W, 400 m, 16 Oct 2008 (♂ fl), M. Huamán et al. 334 (MO!, P [image!]) GoogleMaps .