Aspidostemon grayi Van der Werff

Werff, Henk Van Der, 2006, A revision of the Malagasy endemic genus Aspidostemon Rohwer & Richter (Lauraceae), Adansonia (3) 28 (1), pp. 7-44: 24

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Aspidostemon grayi Van der Werff


10. Aspidostemon grayi Van der Werff   , sp. nov. ( Figs 6B View FIG ; 7A View FIG )

Aspidostemoni dolichocarpo simile, sed gemmis terminalibus pubescentibus, foliis tenuioribus reticulatione immersa recedit.

TYPUS. — Madagascar. Toliara, Andohahela, Réserve intégrale 11, 24°45’S, 46°51’E, 250-500 m, 17-20.X.1992, fl., Van der Werff, Malcomber, Gray & Rapanarivo 12747 (holo-, GoogleMaps   MO; iso-, HBG, K, P, QRS, TAN).


Tree, 35 m. Twigs terete, glabrous, lenticellate, very young shoots densely pubescent; terminal buds densely pubescent. Leaves opposite, 9-13 × 2-3 cm, chartaceous to firmly chartaceous, glabrous, narrowly elliptic, the base acute to attenuate, apex acuminate, acumen to 1 cm long, the very tip not fully expanded, margin flat, reticulation immersed on both surfaces, lateral veins faintly visible and not possible to count accurately; petioles 8-12 mm long, flat above. Inflorescences 2-4 cm long, paniculate, densely tomentellous, the surface completely covered by the pubescence; pedicels 1-1.5 mm long, pubescent. Flowers 2 mm in diameter, more or less globose, gradually narrowed into the pedicel, tepals dark yellow tinged with red at the margin, stamens crimson red; tepals pubescent, about as long as wide, 1 mm long, erect; stamens 6, petaloid, the locelli large, introrse, staminodia III columnar, with a flattened apex, glabrous, free, at the base with 2 large glands and some curled hairs, staminodia IV stipitiform, pubescent, shorter than the staminodia III and covered by them, the tip acute; receptacle and pistil glabrous. Fruits unknown.


Aspidostemon grayi   is similar to A. dolichocarpum   and differences between the two species are discussed under the latter. Aspidostemon grayi   is only known from the type collection ( Fig. 8 View FIG ); it is a large tree, 35 m tall and with a dbh of 130 cm. No vernacular name has been recorded.


250-500 m.


Flowers: October.


It is a pleasure to name this species after Bruce Gray, who found the tree and who is uncommonly skilful in spotting Lauraceae   .