Friday, April 03, 2009

Robinsonella lindeniana

Robinsonella lindeniana | Linden Robinsonella, Chaqueta de Novia, Mano de León, Manzanillo

Robinsonella lindeniana is a small shrub or tree 6 to 9m tall, endemic to parts of Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica. It can be found growing naturally on uncultivated land (in high evergreen forest, oak woodland and secondary deciduous or scrub vegetation) and on charrales —old pasture land in process of forest regeneration. Leaves are deeply to shallowly 3- or 5-lobed, somewhat pubescent on the underside, more sparsely on top. It is characterized by showy white flowers with delicate purple veining. The inflorescence is a large panicle of small flowers up to 1.2cm. with flowering occurring from November to January. This plant is striking while in bloom, but at other times of the year it passes unnoticed. In its native range it has not been used as an ornamental, but could be used as such.

Robinsonella lindeniana ssp. divergens (formerly Robinsonella edentula) differs from the typical variety in being generally treelike and having leaves moderately 3-lobed or unlobed, with inflorescence that are more congested. It occurs in Chiapas, found in evergreen forest and pine-oak-liquidamber forest.

Historical Reference: TWO SPECIES OF ROBINSONELLA. Robinsonella edentula Smith & Rose, Bot. Gaz. 37: 214. 1904. Undoubtedly a shrub or small tree with branches and leaves, pedicels and buds, etc., stellate-pubescent; leaves nearly orbicular in outline, somewhat 3-lobed, the lobes acute, obtuse or even rounded, entire or with faint indications of teeth, slightly pubescent above, softly stellate pubescent beneath, 6 to 10 cm. long, with a deep rather narrow sinus; flowers very abundant in axillary panicles; peduncles slender, pilose as well as stellate, 8 to 16 mm. long, jointed near the apex; corolla violet, 2 cm. broad; staminal tube very abort; carpels 7 mm. long, obtuse with thin reticulated walls. Collected by H. von Turckheim at Coban, Department of Alto Verapaz, Guatemala, altitude 1,300 meters, November, 1902. Nearest R. divergens, but with less densely stellate branches, leaves with entire margins, shorter staminal tube, less densely pubescent ovaries, much smaller carpels, and pilose pedicels.

   Contributions from the United States National Herbarium, Volume 8
   Published by Smithsonian Institution Press, 1905