Alzatea verticillata

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Alzatea verticillata
Eurosiden II
Order : Myrtle-like (Myrtales)
Family : Alzateaceae
Genre : Alzatea
Type : Alzatea verticillata
Scientific name of the  family
Scientific name of the  genus
Ruiz & Pav.
Scientific name of the  species
Alzatea verticillata
Ruiz & Pav.

Alzatea verticillata is the only species of the only genus Alzatea of the plant family of Alzateaceae within the order of the myrtle-like (Myrtales). The distribution is neotropical .


Appearance and leaves

Alzatea verticillata grows as an evergreen shrub or small tree that can reach heights of up to 20 meters. Sometimes they thrive on trees other than hemi epiphytes and can be formed like strangler figs with multiple trunks. Young twigs are often angular and have purple-red bark before peeling. Older branches have a round cross-section with red-brown bark.

Which, as with most other Myrtenartigen against constantly or whorled arranged at the ends of branches leaves can shortstalked to be seated (distinguishing the two subspecies). The simple leaf blades are more or less leathery, oblong-obovate, elliptical or oblong-egg-shaped, glabrous with a glossy top and pinnate veins. There are two or more intrapetiolare Stipules present at the base of the leaves.

Inflorescences and flowers

Many (10 to 30) flowers stand together in axillary at the ends of the branches, zymose or spike-like inflorescences . There are no bracts . The relatively small, hermaphrodite flowers are radial symmetry and five-fold. A short hypanthium is formed. The five yellowish-green sepals are first fleshy, later leathery and bell-shaped partially fused. Petals are missing. There is only one circle (the outer one) with five free, fertile stamens . The green stamens are compressed and short, about the same length as the anthers. The fleshy, heart-shaped anthers are pink in color with white edges. The nectar disc is lobed. The two carpels are a half under continuous, two-chambered ovary grown. On the slightly flattened ovary is a short stylus with a cephalic scar .

Fruits and seeds

The loculicidal capsule fruits are relatively small, round, fleshy and dry. They turn reddish in color and open when ripe. The horizontally flattened capsule fruits are surrounded by the durable yellow calyx and contain many (40 to 60) seeds. The flattened elongated, delicate seeds are surrounded by a small, membranous wing.

Systematics and distribution



















Template: Klade / Maintenance / Style
Cladogram of the families of the order of the myrtle-like (Myrtales)

The Alzateaceae family is most closely related to two other small families of the order Myrtales related: penaeaceae from southern Africa and crypteroniaceae with paläotropischer distribution. It is believed that their common ancestor lived in western Gondwana during the Cretaceous Period .

The Alzateaceae family has a purely Neotropical distribution. The area of Alzatea verticillata is located in the moist mountain forests of Costa Rica and Panama in Central America and south of it in Peru and Bolivia in tropical South America.

The Alzateaceae family consists of only one genus Alzatea Ruiz & Pav. It contains only one species:

  • Alzatea verticillata Ruiz & Pav. (Syn .: Alzatea mexicana F.Dietr. ): There are two closely related subspecies:
    • Alzatea verticillata subsp. amplifolia S.A. Graham : It has larger and more oval, more or less sedentary leaves and occurs all over Costa Rica and Panama.
    • Alzatea verticillata Ruiz & Pav. Subsp. verticillata . It has smaller stalked leaves and is widespread in the eastern strata of the Andes in South America.


Individual evidence

  1. The family of Alzateaceae in APWebsite .

Web links

  • Alzateaceae in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), USDA , ARS , National Genetic Resources Program. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.