Ocotea comoriensis Kosterm.
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|Ocotea comoriensis Kosterm.|
Notulae systematicae 8: 91 (1939).
TYPUS. — Comores. Anjouan, Humblot 1561 (holo-,
SELECTED SPECIMENS SEEN. — Anjouan, 1 km E of Dindi, Hunter 75 (MO); Grande Comore, Forêt de la Grille,
Brionnaud et al. 6 (MO, P[P00213218, P00213219]);
Mayotte, Grande Terre-Chiconi, Barthelat et al. 1502
(MO, P[P00631158]); Moheli, Forêt deVoundrouvou,
Floret 1234 (MO, P[P00184896]).
DISTRIBUTION. — Known from Anjouan, Grande Co-
more, Mayotte and Moheli, without indication of altitude.
PHENOLOGY. — Flowers: June-July and November-
December; fruits: October, November, February.
VERNACULAR NAMES. — M’Roboué, Mrébé, Mkanouhou, M’Faperou.
Tree, to 25 m tall.Twigs terete or slightly angled, puberulous when young, but soon becoming glabrous; terminal buds rather densely appressed pubescent. Leaves alternate, chartaceous, elliptic to ovate-elliptic, 7-17 × 2.5-5 cm, the base acute or obtuse, tip acute, glabrous above, glabrous or with some appressed hairs near the base and along midrib below; lateral veins 4-7 on each side, the basal lateral veins strongly developed and with conspicuous slit domatia in the axils, sometimes domatia also present in axils of more distal veins; midrib and lateral veins immersed on upper surface, raised on lower surface. Petioles glabrous, canaliculate, 8-13 mm long. Inflorescences axillary, 5-12 cm long, sparsely puberulous, the indument becoming denser towards the flowers. Flowers white.Tepals 6, equal, pubescent or nearly glabrous on both surfaces, c. 2 mm long; stamens 9, all 4-celled, the cells arranged in two rows, inner 3 stamens with two glands near the base; staminodia 3, pubescent, 0.8 mm long, linear; ovary c. 1 mm long, glabrous or sparsely pubescent, style c. 1.5 mm long, glabrous or with a few lines of hairs. Receptacle glabrous inside. Fruits ellipsoid, 2 × 1 cm, cupule deeply cup-shaped, 1 cm high, the pedicel in fruit markedly swollen.
Ocotea comoriensis is the only species of Ocotea known from the Comores. Characteristic is the combination of tripliveined, alternate, rather large leaves and the slit-domatia. It can only be confused with O. humblotii Baill. , but the latter species has pinnately veined, not tripliveined leaves. Ocotea comoriensis is rather variable in leaf dimensions, and degree of pubescence on flowers and pistil, but characters listed above and its distribution make correct identification simple.
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