BLEPHARANDRA Griseb., Linnaea 22: 7. 1849.—Type: B. hypoleuca (Benth.) Griseb.

Callyntranthele Nied., Ind. Lect. Lyc. Reg. Hos. Brunsberg. p. aest. 1897: 4. 1897. Byrsonima ser. Callyntranthele (Nied.) Nied., Arbeiten Bot. Inst. Königl. Lyceums Hosianum Braunsberg 5: 57. 1914. Blepharandra sect. Callyntranthele (Nied.) W. R. Anderson, Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 32: 55. 1981.—Type: C. angustifolia (H. B. K.) Nied. in Engl. & Prantl [Blepharandra angustifolia (H. B. K.) W. R. Anderson].

Trees or shrubs; vegetative hairs often basifixed or sub-basifixed; stipules intra- and epipetiolar, the members of a pair distinct, in some species basally connate with opposite stipules to form an interpetiolar sheath, persistent or deciduous; leaves eglandular. Inflorescence terminal, unbranched or basally ternate, each branch a pseudoraceme composed of 1–several-flowered cincinni, the cincinni non-decussate or proximally decussate and distally non-decussate; floriferous bracts and bracteoles mostly caducous, long-persistent in one species, eglandular or bearing only marginal stipitate glands; floriferous peduncle mostly developed. Sepals leaving outermost petal exposed in enlarging bud, all biglandular, the glands borne mostly below free part of sepals; corolla bilaterally symmetrical, the posterior petal erect and often a different color from the spreading to reflexed lateral 4 petals; petals white, pink, or red, the posterior petal pale yellow in two species, glabrous or bearing a few hairs on adaxial base of claw, the outermost petals shallowly concave; lateral petals entire, erose, or denticulate; androecium radially or bilaterally symmetrical; stamens 10, all fertile; filaments distinct, alike or longer opposite lateral petals, hirsute with straight basifixed hairs; anthers alike, bearing at least apical tufts of basifixed hairs and often hirsute on sides as well, the connective slightly to prominently exceeding locules at apex; pollen radially symmetrical, 3-colporate; receptacle bearing straight basifixed hairs between androecium and gynoecium and sometimes outside androecium as well; gynoecium at least apparently radially symmetrical; ovary with the 3 carpels completely connate, 1 anterior and 2 posterior, 3-locular, all locules fertile or the anterior empty; styles 3, slender and subulate with minute apical stigmas. Fruit dry, indehiscent, a tiny (2–3.5 mm in diameter), spheroidal or ovoid, 3-angled, nutlike capsule, with a bony and often rugose endocarp, 3-locular, containing 2 or 3 seeds. Chromosome number: n = 12 (W. R. Anderson, 1993a).

Six species of Guyana, southern Venezuela, and Amazonian Brazil, in sandy savannas and scrub forests. [map]

This is a byrsonimoid genus (trees or shrubs, intrapetiolar stipules, slender subulate styles, tricolporate pollen), placed by its eglandular leaves and indehiscent fruit in a clade with Byrsonima and Diacidia; the latter genus is its close sister. In both genera the fruit is a tiny dry "nut," which is unique in the family. It resembles the stone of a small-fruited species of Byrsonima, without the flesh, suggesting that Byrsonima evolved from an ancestor like Blepharandra with the addition of flesh to the fruit. In Diacidia each anther locule bears one or two large awnlike bristles at its apex, while in Blepharandra there is an apical tuft of basifixed hairs in the same position. The condition in Blepharandra was probably ancestral to that in Diacidia. Diacidia also differs in having all its petals yellow, most species have the androecium more or less reduced, the ovary is consistently 2-locular, and the sepals in most species are accrescent to form membranous wings in fruit.

References: W. R. Anderson, 1981b (pp. 48–60, revision [Blepharandra only: pdf; entire paper 20 MB: pdf) and 2001a, pp. 97–100 (partial revision).

Etymology: The name Blepharandra comes from the Greek words for eyelash (blepharis) and man (andros), referring to the basifixed forward-pointing hairs borne at the apex of the anthers.

Uses: None known.

Photos: B. angustifolia, B. cachimbensis, B. fimbriata, B. hypoleuca

Drawings: view all; B. angustifolia, B. cachimbensis, B. fimbriata, B. heteropetala,
B. hypoleuca, B. intermedia

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