Curarea tomentocarpa (Rusby) R.Ortiz

Ortiz, Rosa del C., 2018, A taxonomic revision of Curarea Barneby & Krukoff (Menispermaceae), PhytoKeys 100, pp. 9-89: 45-50

publication ID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by

PhytoKeys by Pensoft

scientific name

Curarea tomentocarpa (Rusby) R.Ortiz

comb. nov.

8. Curarea tomentocarpa (Rusby) R.Ortiz  LSID  comb. nov. Fig. 24

Cissampelos tomentocarpa  Rusby, Descr. So. Amer. Pl. 17. 1920. Type: Bolivia. San Buena Ventura, 1400 feet, 22 Nov 1901, (imm fr), Williams 616 (lectotype, designated by Dorr 1991, pg. 230: NY! [NY320534]; isolectotype: NY! [NY320535]).

Chondrodendron tomentocarpum  (Rusby) Moldenke in Krukoff & Moldenke, Brittonia 3: 21. 1938. Type: based on Cissampelos tomentocarpa  Rusby

Abuta boliviana  Rusby, Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 7: 241. 1927. Type: Bolivia. Rurrenabaque, [Beni: Gral. Jose Ballivian], 1000 ft, 25 Nov 1921, (♂ fl), White 1812 (holotype: NY! [NY320439]; isotypes: BKL! [2] [image seen], the inflorescence on the left of the BKL00004029 sheet only, leaves do not belong to Menispermaceae  , GH! [GH00038884), K!, MICH! [image seen], US! (US-1232429).


Small to medium-sized understory lianas about (0.5 –)3– 10 tall; older stems more or less terete ca. 0.5-1.5 cm diameter; bark greyish to dark brown, with shallow lengthwise fissures and scarcely tuberculate-lenticellate; branchlets greyish to brownish hispidulous. Leaves: blades 7-22 × 5-14 cm, ovate, narrowly ovate or elliptic; membranous when juvenile, chartaceous when mature or when directly exposed to sunlight; surfaces conspicuously discolorous, lustrous and glabrous adaxially, finely silvery tomentellous abaxially, intermixed with some coarser hairs, concealing the surface at all stages, base truncate, obtuse, rounded or shallowly cordate, apex acute, long-acuminate when juvenile, 3(5) palmati- or plinerved, innermost pair of main veins acrodromous imperfect at all stages, midrib shallowly impressed to flat adaxially, conspicuously raised abaxially, secondary veins 2-4 pairs, arising above the middle of the blade, impressed adaxially, raised abaxially, veinlets slightly prominent adaxially, conspicuously raised abaxially, but then concealed by the indumentum; petioles 3-11 cm long, ridged, rufescent or greyish strigillose to glabrate, distal pulvinus moderately conspicuous, rugulose, sometimes weakly flat adaxially. Staminate inflorescences solitary or fascicled, cauliflorous or axillary, thyrsi, densely brownish rufescent or silvery hispidulous, trichomes moderately long; axes 6 –15(– 25) cm long; primary branches slender, 1.7 –3.7(– 7.5) cm long, with 2 –3(– 5) branching orders laxly arranged; bracts 0.7-1.3 mm long, narrow ovate to ovate, concave, ascending, moderately fleshy, glabrous adaxially, brownish, rufescent or silvery villose abaxially, trichomes moderately spreading. Pistillate inflorescences fascicled, cauliflorous, moderately slender, few-flowered thyrsi, these with the primary branches reduced to single flowers, light brown or rufescent hispidulous; axes 4.2(-8.6) cm long; bracts 0.8(-1.2) mm long, ovate, concave, scarcely fleshy, glabrous adaxially, brown tomentellous abaxially. Staminate flowers, 1.2-2 mm long, brownish, greyish, yellowish or greenish; pedicels 0.8-2.8 mm long, terete, thick, indumentum as on the staminate inflorescence; bracteoles 1-4, 0.2-0.4 × 0.2-0.4 mm, ovate, moderately fleshy, glabrous adaxially, rufescent or light golden villose abaxially, trichomes moderately spreading; sepals 6(9), 2(3)-whorled, glabrous adaxially, abaxially with a rufescent to silvery or greyish indumentum, trichomes moderately spreading; outer sepals 0.5-1.1 × 0.4-0.8 mm, ovate or elliptic, base truncate, apex obtuse; (middle sepals 1.2-1.6 x 0.8-0.9 mm, narrow ovate to ovate, base and apex obtuse, moderately fleshy); inner sepals 1.1-2.2 × 1.1-1.7 mm, ovate or elliptic, base obtuse or cuneate, apex acute or obtuse, tip of inner sepals mostly erect past anthesis; petals 6(9), 0.6-1.3 × 0.4-0.9 mm, the inner one slightly smaller and narrower, obovate-trilobed (spatuliform-trilobed), strongly concave, membranous, glabrous adaxially, glabrous to sparsely silvery tomentellous abaxially, base cuneate or distinctly clawed, lateral margin inflexed, partially clasping the filaments, apex obtuse or truncate; stamens 6, filaments 0.4-0.9 mm long, clavate, rarely weakly terete, free (shortly connate at base), glabrous; anthers 0.2-0.3 mm long, erect, connective frequently thinner apically, thecae splitting into two halves, connective thicker adaxially (protruding as a hump at the base or at the apex of thecae). Pistillate flowers ca. 1.8 mm long, yellowish to brownish; pedicels ca. 6.4 mm long, terete, indumentum as on the pistillate inflorescence; bracteoles 2, ca. 0.4 × 0.3 mm, ovate, weakly concave, fleshy, glabrous adaxially, brownish, silvery or rufescent villous abaxially, trichomes moderately spreading; sepals 6-9, weakly concave and scarcely fleshy, in 2-3 whorls, indumentum as on bracteoles; outer sepals ca. 0.5 × 0.4 mm, ovate, base truncate, apex acute or obtuse; (middle sepals, ca. 0.9 × 0.8 mm, ovate to broadly ovate, base and apex obtuse); inner sepals ca. 1.5 × 1.4 mm, elliptic, apex and base obtuse, tips erect to weakly reflexed past anthesis; petals 3(6), ca. 1.2 × 0.7 mm, spatulate, weakly concave, membranous, glabrous adaxially and abaxially, base cuneate or clawed, apex obtuse, (when six petals, the inner ones usually narrower); carpels 3(4), ca. 0.6 × 0.3 mm, pilose; style ca. 0.6 mm long. Infructescences moderately slender, rufescent, brownish or silvery villous, indumentum spreading; axes 1.7-6 × 0.2-0.5 cm; fruiting pedicels (of mature fruits only) 0.4-1.6 cm long, terete; carpophores 4.1-10.6 mm long, free, clavate or terete, brownish-silvery velutinous. Drupelets 1.3-2.4 × 0.8-1.5 cm, dull orange to yellow when ripe, oblongoid or ellipsoid, eccentrically attached, shortly stipitate, base attenuate or truncate, stylar scar usually conspicuous; exocarp 0.7-1.5 mm thick, surface usually strongly muriculate, brownish to greyish hispidulous; mesocarp mucilaginous; endocarp 1.3-2.5 x 0.7-1.2 cm, papyraceous, surface weakly reticulate by slightly prominent fibers throughout. Seeds with embryo 2.6-4.4 cm long, cotyledons equal.

Distribution and ecology.

The species ranges from eastern Ecuador (Napo Prov.) through central-southern Peru ( Huánuco, Madre de Dios, Puno, San Martín and Ucayali departments), northern Bolivia (Beni, La Paz, and Pando) to western Brazil (Acre and Rondônia) (Fig. 25). It occurs mostly on non-flooded forest, from about 71 m in Acre (Brazil) up to 1550 m elevation in Franz Calabatea (Bolivia).

Common names and uses.

Bolivia: “betchusajaja” (Tacana name), and "huevo de mono" (Spanish name), fruits edible when ripe (DeWalt et al. 865, imm fr); “chocolatillo” (Perry et al. 654, st); “uvilla”, fruit edible, but astringent (Smith et al. 12882, mat fr). Brazil: “cipó cacau" (Portuguese) (Daly et al. 9172, ♂ fl); “cipó cacauí” (Daly et al. 9233, imm fr; 11472, imm fr). Ecuador: “curare” (Palacios et al. 881, ♂ fl); "chichico huasca" (Kichwa), fruits edible (Reyes & Carrillo 827, mat fr; Carrillo & Reyes 695, mat fr). Peru: "ampihuasca amarilla" (Schunke 2981, mat fr); "ampihuasca delgadito" (Schunke 6836, ♂ fl, MO sheet sterile); "ampihuasca negra" (Schunke 7125, ♂ fl).


Possibly in reference of the hispidulous-muriculate surface of the drupelets which is frequently described as warty in herbarium specimens.

Conservation status.

The Extent of Occurrence (EOO), calculated for the 67 collections corresponding to 45 localities of C. tomentocarpa  , is 984,251 km2 and its Area of Occupancy (AOO) is 176 km2. Although the species is not abundant where it occurs and, of the 39 subpopulations, 10 are found within protected areas across its distribution in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. This suggests that its AOO may be larger than the one estimated here; therefore, C. tomentocarpa  is assigned a preliminary category of "Least Concern" (LC).


The species is distinguished by its staminate inflorescence with densely brownish, rufescent or silvery hispidulous, moderately long and spreading indumentum and by the anthers with thin connective that the former frequently split into two halves. The only pistillate inflorescence available in this study has the primary branches reduced to single flowers, thus appearing racemiform. However, fruiting specimens from the same areas, that are similar in other features, appear to be clearly thyrsoid. It is likely that the inflorescence becomes more differentiated during further development, but that has not been confirmed here. The drupelets are always strongly muriculate. However, a single fruiting collection from Huánuco in central Peru (Schunke 2981) has a smooth surface and velutinous indumentum, although no pistillate flowers from the area were available in this study. The quantitative characters evaluated here in a few staminate plants from San Martín (Gentry 25720; Schunke 6836, 7125) and from Ucayali (Schunke 2690) that resemble, in leaf shape and indumentum, the fruiting specimen mentioned above, completely overlap with those of tomentocarpa  (Fig. 11B). Hence, I am unable to match variation in the staminate specimens to that in the fruiting material. Therefore, all of these collections are here provisionally placed under C. tomentocarpa  .

Selected specimens examined.

BOLIVIA. Beni: Vaca Diez, 9.2 km N from the road between Riberalta and Guayaramarín, on the old road to Cachuela Esperanza, primary forest, 11°05'S; 065°50'W, 230 m, 18 Sep 1981, (mat fr), Solomon 6317 (MO!, NY!). La Paz: Franz Tamayo, Parque Nacional Madidi, laguna Chalalan, senda Jaguar, bosque amazonico preandino, 14°25'30S; 067°55'16"W, 300 m, 26 Sep 2006, (mat fr), Araujo-M. et al. 3131 (LPB n.v., MO!, NY n.v.); Abel Iturralde, Comunidad de Buena Vista, parcela permamente de estudio etnobotánico, 3 km al. NE de Buenavista, 14°22'S; 067°33'W, 180 m, 12 Apr 1995, (imm fr), DeWalt et al. 865 (MO!); Parque Nacional y Area de Manejo Integrado Madidi, Laguna Chalalán, entrando 45 min., sobre orilla izquierda de Río Tuichí, vegetación borde de laguna, dominada por Mauritia flexuosa  y helechos arbóreos, 14°26'S; 067°55'W, 450 m, 23 Apr 1997, (mat fr), Paniagua & Beck 1171 (LPB n.v., MO!). Pando: Manuripi, Carretera entre Cobijá y Chicé km al. S del Río Manuripi, 11°55'S; 068°36'W, 200 m, 1 Oct 1991, (mat fr), Perry et al. 413 (LPB n.v., MO!).

BRAZIL. Acre: Mun. Sena Madureira, basin of Rio Purus, Rio Macauã, Colocacãa Apuí, river descending, 3 m below high water mark, terra firme forest on poorly drained soil, undulating terrain dissected by numerous streams, 09°48'S; 069°11'W, 29 Mar 1994, (imm fr), Daly et al. 8073 (MO!, NY! [image seen]); Rio Acre, Anti mary, Jul 1904, (fr), Huber 4286 (B! frag., MG, n.v.); Km 16 from Rio Branco on Rio Branco-Brasiléia road, 20 Oct 1980, (♂ fl), Lowrie et al. 595 (NY!, US [2]!); Estrada Rio Branco-Brasiléia, km 42, mata primaria de terra firme, 10°00'S; 067°50'W, 16 Oct 1980, (mat fr), Nelson 716 (NY!).

ECUADOR. Napo: Tena, Estación Biológica Jatun Sacha, bosque muy húmedo tropical, suelo principalmente compuesto por arcilla roja, 01°04'S; 077°36'W, 450 m, 29 Jun 1996, (imm fr), Ortiz & Vargas 197 (MO!); ibid., 3 Jul 1996, (♂ fl), Ortiz & Vargas 199 (MO!); Río Arajuno, Sola Cocha, bosque muy húmedo tropical, suelo rojo arcilloso (ultisol), colinas pendientes, 01°07'S; 077°36'W, 500 m, 23-27 Oct 1985, (♂ fl), Palacios et al. 881 (AAU n.v., MO-2!, NY!, QCA n.v., QCNE n.v.); Estación Biológica Jatun Sacha, bosque muy húmedo tropical, bosque primario sobre suelos rojos de colinas, 01°04'S; 077°37'W, 450 m, 06-14 Oct 1988, (♂ fl), Palacios 3106 (MO!, NY!).

Orellana: Reserva Florística El Chuncho, 5 Km al. norte de Coca, bosque húmedo tropical, suelos rojos sobre colinas disectadas, parcela permanente, 00°25'S; 077°01'W, 250 m, 23 May 1993, (mat fr), Palacios 10725 (MO!, QCNE n.v.); Aguarico, Parroquia Capitán Agusto Rivadeneira, comunidad Chiro Isla (Kichwa), bosque de matorrales, 00°37'28S; 075°51'31"W, 200 m, 22 Feb 2005, (mat fr), Reyes & Carrillo 827 (MO!, QCNE n.v.).

PERU. Cusco: La Convención, Río Manguriari (Manguyari), Tropical Forests -Alto Urubamba; upstream to Río Manguriari, forest edge, 12°47'S; 072°40'W, 750 m, 2 Feb 1991, (st), Núñez & Ortíz 12765 (MO!). Huánuco: Pachitea, Dtto. Puerto Inca, Bosque Nacional de Iparia, región de bosque seco tropical a lo largo del Río Pachitea, cerca del pueblo de Puerto Inca (unos 85 km en distancia lineal de la confluencia con el Río Ucayali), 12 Jan 1969, (mat fr), Schunke 2981 (F!, G!, NY!, US!). Madre de Dios: Manu. Parque Nacional de Manu, in forest near Cocha Cashu Station, on an old ox-bow lake of the Rio Manu, 11 Aug 1973, (mat fr), Foster 2543 (NY!); Vicinity of Cocha Cashu, 400 m, 4 Aug 1977, (mat fr), Foster & Terborgh 6480 (F!, NY!); Trails 4, 5 and 9, Cashu Cocha Camp, Manu National Park, non-inundated forest on alluvial soil, 380 m, 21 Oct 1979, (♀ fl), Gentry et al. 27080 (F!, MO!, NY!); Tambopata Reserve, Río Tambopata at mouth of Río D’Orbigny, non-transect, [12°50'S; 069°17'W], 200 m, 2 Mar 1981, (imm fr), Gentry & Young 31927 (MO!, USM n.v.); Zona reservada de Tambopata, 12°49'S; 069°18'W, 280 m, 10 Aug 1990, (imm fr), Reynel & Meneses 5025 (MO!); Dist. Puerto Maldonado, Cusco Amazónico, bosque Primario, 250-300 m, 13°08'S; 069°36'W, 22 Nov 2002, (♂ fl), Valenzuela et al. 975 (CUZ, n.v., MO!, USM, n.v.). Puno: Carabaya, Cabeceras del Río Candamo, 550-600 m, 13°15'S; 070°02'W, 24 Oct 1996, (mat fr), Cornejo 2650 (MO!, fruit not seen); Río Candamo, fila at mouth of Río Guacamayo, ridge top forest with cloud forest aspect, 13°30'S; 069°50'W, 800 m, 26 May 1992, (imm fr), Gentry et al. 77256 (MO!). San Martin: Fundo Curareland near Tinanta, 20 km NW of Tocache, at N edge of palm plantation, mature forest and forest edge, on alluvial soil near Rio Huallaga, 08°06'31"S; 076°3314"W, 500 m, 14 Mar 1979, (♂ fl), Gentry et al. 25720 (F!, MO!, NY!, USM!); Mariscal Caceres, Dtto. de Tocache Nuevo, Santa Rosa de Mishollo (margen derecha del Rio Mishollo), 500 m, 15 Aug 1976, (♂ fl), Schunke 6836 (MO!, NY!); Quebrada de Huaquisha (margen derecha del Rio Huallaga), 450 m, 2 Jul 1974, (♂ fl), Schunke 7125 (F!, MO!, USM!). Ucayali: Coronel Portillo, Vicinity of LSU base camp, Quebrada Shesha (tributary of Río Abujao), ca. 65 km NE of Pucallpa, 08°02'S; 073°55'W, 250 m, 25 Jun 1987, (imm fr), Gentry & Díaz 58512 (F!, MO!); [Distrito de] Iparia, a lo largo del Río Ucayali, cerca del pueblo de Iparia (unos 80 km arriba de la confluencia con el Río Pachitea), 300 m, 26 Aug 1968, (♂ fl buds & fl), Schunke 2690 (F!, G, NY!); Dtto. Purús, Rio la Novia, margen derecha del caserio de la comunidad nativa San José, bosque alto, terreno húmedo, 10°12'S; 070°57'W, 180 m, 13 Feb 2002, (mat fr), Schunke & Graham 14779 (MO!).