Overview

Seeds of Amazonian Plants is the first field guide to treat the extraordinary diversity of seeds and diaspores of plants commonly encountered in the Amazon and other lowland moist forests of the American tropics. This stunningly illustrated guide features an easy-to-use whole-plant approach to seed identification that provides detailed descriptions not only of the seeds but also of the habit, trunk, bark, leaves, infructescence, and fruit of Amazonian plants, as well as information about the known uses and ...

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Seeds of Amazonian Plants

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Overview

Seeds of Amazonian Plants is the first field guide to treat the extraordinary diversity of seeds and diaspores of plants commonly encountered in the Amazon and other lowland moist forests of the American tropics. This stunningly illustrated guide features an easy-to-use whole-plant approach to seed identification that provides detailed descriptions not only of the seeds but also of the habit, trunk, bark, leaves, infructescence, and fruit of Amazonian plants, as well as information about the known uses and distribution of each genus. Presenting these descriptions together with 750 full-color photos and a unique identification key, this premier field guide enables users to identify seeds of 544 genera and 131 families of plants.

  • The most comprehensive field guide to Amazonian seeds
  • Features 750 full-color photos that make identification easy
  • Covers 544 genera and 131 families of Amazonian plants
  • Describes seeds, habit, trunk, bark, leaves, infructescence, and fruit
  • Includes unique seed identification key
  • Compact, portable, and beautifully illustrated--the ideal field guide
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Editorial Reviews

Birdbooker Report
This stunningly illustrated guide features an easy-to-use whole-plant approach to seed identification that provides detailed descriptions not only of the seeds but also of the habit, trunk, bark, leaves, infructescence, and fruit of Amazonian plants. . . . The most comprehensive field guide to Amazonian seeds.
— Ian Paulsen
Scientific American
Some look like brains, some like arrowheads, others like beads, propellers or puffs of cotton. Seeds have evolved many of these striking features to help them propagate in the wild. . . . [Seeds of Amazonian Plants] will help scientists understand how forests regenerate, how plants disperse, and how the varied species of this tropical region evolve together as a single ecosystem.
— Anna Kuchment
Choice
Cornejo and Janovec devoted more than 20 years conducting research in the Peruvian Amazon to produce this book, an excellent guide to the seeds of some 544 genera representing 131 families. . . . The comprehensiveness of this guide will provide tropical biologists and informed laypersons a valuable field reference for Amazonian seeds, as well as a way to easily identify them to genus level.
Neotropical Primates
'Wonderful' and 'most helpful' are the two terms with which I can describe this book in the shortest possible ways. . . . [H]ighly recommend this book to Neotropical primatologists. Seeds of Amazonian Plants will make ecological field work on New World monkeys a bit easier.
— Eckhard W. Heymann
Primate Eye
[A] remarkable effort—with 750 photos of 544 genera and 131 families, it is going to save an awful lot of zoologists (including primatologists) an awful lot of plant-related heartache and uncertainly. Botanists too will almost certainly breathe a sigh of relief that their animal-oriented colleagues might now leave them alone a bit more and stop asking for help with identifications.
— Adrian Barnett
Annals of Botany
The field guide Seeds of Amazonian Plants is a breakthrough for anybody who needs to identify to genus level the seeds of hundreds of common plants in the Amazon region. It will be of enormous use for many people working on conservation, natural regeneration, seed dispersal or propagation of native species, such as botanists, ecologists, zoologists and foresters. There is no other book available with this purpose, and the stunning full-colour photographs will be appreciated by any nature enthusiast.
— Isolde D. K. Ferraz
Ecotropica
Cornejo and Janovec present with their field guide, Seeds of Amazonian Plants, a unique, easy to use, and exceptionally well-illustrated key for the identification of Amazonian seeds to genus level. Even if it can only present a fraction of Amazonian plant diversity, this book greatly enhances the efficacy and efficiency of research on seed dispersal in the Amazon Basin, helps to improve our understanding of this highly complex ecosystem, and may hopefully lead to implications for its conservation.
— Simon P. Ripperger
Scientific American - Anna Kuchment
Some look like brains, some like arrowheads, others like beads, propellers or puffs of cotton. Seeds have evolved many of these striking features to help them propagate in the wild. . . . [Seeds of Amazonian Plants] will help scientists understand how forests regenerate, how plants disperse, and how the varied species of this tropical region evolve together as a single ecosystem.
Birdbooker Report - Ian Paulsen
This stunningly illustrated guide features an easy-to-use whole-plant approach to seed identification that provides detailed descriptions not only of the seeds but also of the habit, trunk, bark, leaves, infructescence, and fruit of Amazonian plants. . . . The most comprehensive field guide to Amazonian seeds.
Neotropical Primates - Eckhard W. Heymann
'Wonderful' and 'most helpful' are the two terms with which I can describe this book in the shortest possible ways. . . . [H]ighly recommend this book to Neotropical primatologists. Seeds of Amazonian Plants will make ecological field work on New World monkeys a bit easier.
Annals of Botany - Isolde D.K. Ferraz
The field guide Seeds of Amazonian Plants is a breakthrough for anybody who needs to identify to genus level the seeds of hundreds of common plants in the Amazon region. It will be of enormous use for many people working on conservation, natural regeneration, seed dispersal or propagation of native species, such as botanists, ecologists, zoologists and foresters. There is no other book available with this purpose, and the stunning full-colour photographs will be appreciated by any nature enthusiast.
Primate Eye - Adrian Barnett
[A] remarkable effort—with 750 photos of 544 genera and 131 families, it is going to save an awful lot of zoologists (including primatologists) an awful lot of plant-related heartache and uncertainly. Botanists too will almost certainly breathe a sigh of relief that their animal-oriented colleagues might now leave them alone a bit more and stop asking for help with identifications.
Ecotropica - Simon P. Ripperger
Cornejo and Janovec present with their field guide, Seeds of Amazonian Plants, a unique, easy to use, and exceptionally well-illustrated key for the identification of Amazonian seeds to genus level. Even if it can only present a fraction of Amazonian plant diversity, this book greatly enhances the efficacy and efficiency of research on seed dispersal in the Amazon Basin, helps to improve our understanding of this highly complex ecosystem, and may hopefully lead to implications for its conservation.
Annals of Botany - Isolde D. K. Ferraz
The field guide Seeds of Amazonian Plants is a breakthrough for anybody who needs to identify to genus level the seeds of hundreds of common plants in the Amazon region. It will be of enormous use for many people working on conservation, natural regeneration, seed dispersal or propagation of native species, such as botanists, ecologists, zoologists and foresters. There is no other book available with this purpose, and the stunning full-colour photographs will be appreciated by any nature enthusiast.
From the Publisher

"Some look like brains, some like arrowheads, others like beads, propellers or puffs of cotton. Seeds have evolved many of these striking features to help them propagate in the wild. . . . [Seeds of Amazonian Plants] will help scientists understand how forests regenerate, how plants disperse, and how the varied species of this tropical region evolve together as a single ecosystem."--Anna Kuchment, Scientific American

"This stunningly illustrated guide features an easy-to-use whole-plant approach to seed identification that provides detailed descriptions not only of the seeds but also of the habit, trunk, bark, leaves, infructescence, and fruit of Amazonian plants. . . . The most comprehensive field guide to Amazonian seeds."--Ian Paulsen, Birdbooker Report

"Cornejo and Janovec devoted more than 20 years conducting research in the Peruvian Amazon to produce this book, an excellent guide to the seeds of some 544 genera representing 131 families. . . . The comprehensiveness of this guide will provide tropical biologists and informed laypersons a valuable field reference for Amazonian seeds, as well as a way to easily identify them to genus level."--Choice

"'Wonderful' and 'most helpful' are the two terms with which I can describe this book in the shortest possible ways. . . . [H]ighly recommend this book to Neotropical primatologists. Seeds of Amazonian Plants will make ecological field work on New World monkeys a bit easier."--Eckhard W. Heymann, Neotropical Primates

"The field guide Seeds of Amazonian Plants is a breakthrough for anybody who needs to identify to genus level the seeds of hundreds of common plants in the Amazon region. It will be of enormous use for many people working on conservation, natural regeneration, seed dispersal or propagation of native species, such as botanists, ecologists, zoologists and foresters. There is no other book available with this purpose, and the stunning full-colour photographs will be appreciated by any nature enthusiast."--Isolde D. K. Ferraz, Annals of Botany

"[A] remarkable effort--with 750 photos of 544 genera and 131 families, it is going to save an awful lot of zoologists (including primatologists) an awful lot of plant-related heartache and uncertainly. Botanists too will almost certainly breathe a sigh of relief that their animal-oriented colleagues might now leave them alone a bit more and stop asking for help with identifications."--Adrian Barnett, Primate Eye

"Cornejo and Janovec present with their field guide, Seeds of Amazonian Plants, a unique, easy to use, and exceptionally well-illustrated key for the identification of Amazonian seeds to genus level. Even if it can only present a fraction of Amazonian plant diversity, this book greatly enhances the efficacy and efficiency of research on seed dispersal in the Amazon Basin, helps to improve our understanding of this highly complex ecosystem, and may hopefully lead to implications for its conservation."--Simon P. Ripperger, Ecotropica

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400834488
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/6/2010
  • Series: Princeton Field Guides
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Course Book
  • Pages: 192
  • File size: 30 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Fernando Cornejo is research associate and field research botanist at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. John Janovec is research botanist and founding director of the Andes to Amazon Biodiversity Program at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.
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Read an Excerpt

Seeds of Amazonian Plants


By FERNANDO CORNEJO JOHN JANOVEC

Princeton University Press

Copyright © 2010 Princeton University Press
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-691-11929-8


Chapter One

Family and Genus Descriptions

ACANTHACEAE

Herbs, shrubs, and lianas, rarely small trees. Stems often with swollen nodes, most conspicuous when dry. Leaves simple, mostly opposite, rarely alternate. Stems and leaves often with tiny cystoliths ("stone cells") appearing conspicuously as white punctations. Fruit a bivalved capsule with longitudinal or loculicidal dehiscence, or a drupe. Some genera recognizable by showy inflorescences with large bracts or bracteoles of different colors.

Mendoncia Vell. ex Vand. Vines and lianas. Leaves simple, opposite, entire. Cystoliths not apparent. Infructescences axillary. Fruit a drupe to 2.5 cm long, black when mature, surrounded by glabrous or pubescent calyx lobes; the mesocarp fleshy, dark purple to blackish when mature. Seeds one per fruit. Some authors separate this genus into the family Mendonciaceae. Distribution: Central America to Bolivia and in the Old World tropics.

Ruellia L. Herbs to 2 m tall. Leaves simple, opposite, entire. Stems and leaves with cystoliths. Infructescence axillary. Fruit a bivalved capsule, to 2 cm long, brown at maturity. Seeds numerous per fruit, remaining attached to the funiculus. Distribution: Central America to Paraguay and Argentina.

Stenostephanus Nees. Shrubs to 3 m tall. Leaves simple, opposite, entire; petioles short; laminas large. Infructescence terminal. Fruit a bivalved capsule, to 2 cm long, brown when mature. Seeds numerous per fruit, remaining attached to the funiculus. Distribution: Peru.

ALISMATACEAE

Aquatic or subaquatic herbs. Latex present in some species. Leaves alternate, linear, floating or submerged in some species; venation parallel. Infructescence axillary or terminal. Fruit an achene.

Sagittaria L. Aquatic herbs. Leaves basal, linear, submerged in some species; venation parallel. Infructescence terminal. Fruit a dry capsule, brown when mature. Seeds tiny, numerous per fruit. Roots consumed as a starch product in some regions of the Americas. Distribution: Worldwide, typically growing in wetland habitats.

AMARANTHACEAE

Primarily lianas and prostrate herbs, some subshrubs. Leaves simple, mostly opposite, entire; only two genera in our region with alternate leaves. Infructescence with numerous tiny bracts. Fruit an utricle.

Chamissoa Kunth. Lianas. Leaves alternate, entire. Infructescence terminal and axillary. Fruit an utricle to 0.5 cm diameter, red when mature, the valves falling when mature. Seeds one per fruit, surrounded by a white aril. Distribution: Central Mexico to northern Argentina.

Pfaffia Mart. Lianas. Leaves opposite, entire. Infructescence terminal and axillary. Fruit an utricle to 0.8 cm diameter, golden when mature, the valves falling when mature covering of the seed. Seeds one per fruit, surrounded by white woolly pubescence. Similar to the genus Iresine, differing technically only by the stamens. Distribution: Mexico to Peru.

AMARYLLIDACEAE

Herbs, mostly terrestrial, sometimes aquatic. Stems absent. Leaves emerging from a subterranean bulb. Leaves simple, succulent, sheathing the stem; venation parallel. Fruit a loculicidal capsule. Many species are cultivated as ornamental plants for their showy flowers.

Eucharis Planch. & Linden. Herbs to 0.8 m tall. Leaves linear, very thin, nearly transparent when dry; venation parallel, conspicuous. Infructescence emerging from a subterranean bulb, developing on a long peduncle. Fruit a trivalved capsule, to 1.5 cm diameter, orange at maturity. Seeds 1-5 per fruit, the endosperm metallic black and fragile. Distribution: Brazil and Peru.

ANACARDIACEAE

Shrubs and trees. Resin aromatic and conspicuous, especially from trunk and fruit. Leaves imparipinnately compound, rarely simple in a few genera, always alternate. Infructescence paniculate, axillary, or terminal. Fruit typically a drupe. Vegetatively easy to confuse with other families that have compound leaves, especially Meliaceae and Burseraceae. Many genera with edible fruits.

Anacardium L. Shrubs and trees to 30 m tall. Leaves simple. Infructescence terminal. Fruit a drupe, kidney-shaped, to 3.5 cm long, brown when mature, exposed at the end of the peduncle; the peduncle large, swollen, carnose, and aromatic, yellow or red when mature. Seeds one per fruit. One species (A. occidentale) is cultivated in many regions of the world as the commercial source of the cashew nut. The swollen peduncle, also referred to as a hypocarp, is edible and used to make cashew wine in some countries. Distribution: Native to the American tropics.

Antrocaryon Pierre. Trees to 35 m tall. Leaves compound, the leaflets thick, fragile when dry. Fruit a fleshy drupe to 2 cm diameter, yellow when mature, edible with rich flavor. Seeds one per fruit. A little known genus related to Spondias, with similar trunk and fruit. Distribution: Brazil, Colombia, and Peru.

Astronium Jacq. Trees to 30 m tall. Leaves compound, the leaflets opposite with asymmetric bases. Infructescence terminal. Fruit, distinct in the family, a pseudodrupe surrounded by five wings, to 4 cm in length, brown when mature, typically present when the tree is defoliated. Distribution: Southern Mexico to Bolivia.

Spondias L. Trees to 30 m tall, with very cylindrical trunks lacking buttress roots. Leaves compound, the leaflets opposite or subopposite, veins translucent, the base weakly asymmetrical. Infructescence terminal. Fruit a fleshy drupe to 5 cm long, yellow or red when mature, with rich flavor. Seeds fibrous, corky, one per fruit. Many species with edible fruits. Cultivated in tropical Africa. Distribution: Tropical America and the Old World.

Tapirira Aubl. Shrubs and trees to 30 m tall, typically with characteristic buttress roots at base of cylindrical trunk. Leaves compound, the leaflets opposite with asymmetric bases. Infructescence axillary. Fruit a drupe to 1.5 cm long, black when mature. Seeds one per fruit. Distribution: Tropical America.

ANNONACEAE

Trees and shrubs, rarely woody lianas. Trunk rarely with aerial roots or resin, the inner bark aromatic with net-like venation pattern. Leaves simple, alternate, entire, pinnately veined, typically arranged distichously along the branch, aromatic. Infructescence terminal or axillary, sometimes borne from the trunk. Fruit syncarpous or apocarpous, the monocarps dehiscent or indehiscent. Seeds with ruminate endosperm. Often confused with the Lauraceae when sterile. However, the Annonaceae can be differentiated by strong bark that peels in long strips with the removal of a leaf or stem, and a monopodial branching pattern. The wood of many genera is used in rural construction and the strong bark is often used to tie and carry cargo. Many species produce edible fruit.

Anaxagorea A. St.-Hil. Shrubs and trees to 12 m tall. Leaves with characteristic tomentose pubescence, the hairs simple to stellate, and anastomosing venation most conspicuous on the abaxial laminar surface. Such characteristics can vary between individuals of the same species. Infructescence axillary or borne from the stems. Fruit apocarpous, with up to 30 monocarps that are elongated, weakly curved, to 3 cm long, shortly stipitate and dehiscent, yellow-reddish when mature. Seeds 1-2 per monocarp, very distinct in color, brilliance, texture, and form. Distribution: Costa Rica to Peru, also in the Old World tropics.

Annona L. Primarily trees to 30 m tall, some species shrubs or lianas. Leaves with simple hairs, sometimes stellate. Infructescence axillary or terminal. Fruit syncarpous, to 25 cm diameter, generally yellow when mature, formed by numerous weakly or completely fused carpels, sometimes with small spine-like projections. Seeds one per carpel, surrounded by a fleshy, white, edible pulp. Similar to the genus Rollinia. Many species cultivated for their edible fruits. Distribution: Tropical America and the Old World, with many species introduced to Asia, Africa, and subtropical regions.

Cremastosperma R. E. Fries. Trees to 8 m tall. Leaves with simple hairs. Infructescence axillary or borne from the stems. Fruit apocarpous with up to 16 stipitate monocarps, to 1 cm long, black when mature. Seeds one per monocarp, with ruminate endosperm. Closely related to the genus Guatteria. Distribution: Peru.

Cymbopetalum Benth. Shrubs to 4 m tall. Leaves and stems with simple hairs. Fruit apocarpous, with up to 10 weakly curved monocarps, to 5 cm long, yellow-reddish and dehiscent along one side when mature. The seeds various per monocarp, covered by an aril, with ruminate endosperm. Distribution: Northern Mexico to Bolivia and southeastern Brazil, usually in moist forest below 1000 m elevation.

Diclinanona Diels. Trees to 20 m tall. Leaves usually large and coriaceous. Fruit apocarpous, the few monocarps larger than any other in the family, to 7 cm long, reddish to black when mature, the exocarp subwoody. Seeds usually one per monocarp. Distribution: Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, and northeastern Peru.

Duguetia A. St.-Hil. Trees to 8 m tall or shrubs. Leaves with stellate hairs or conspicuous scales. Infructescence usually borne from the stems, sometimes from the trunks. Some species produce sprawling inflorescences extending to a meter or more from the base of the trunk, with flowers and fruits that develop under the leaf litter of the forest floor. Fruit pseudosyncarpous, with numerous apiculate monocarps held closely together but not fused, to 14 cm diameter, brown and loosely separated when mature. Seeds one per monocarp, the endosperm weakly ruminate. Distribution: Brazil, Peru, and Suriname.

Fusaea (Baill.) Saff. Typically shrubs, but sometimes becoming trees to 20 m tall. Leaves with simple hairs and conspicuously anastomosing venation. Infructescence terminal. Fruit syncarpous, to 9 cm diameter, the carpels completely fused, green or brown when mature. Seeds numerous per fruit, the endosperm ruminate. Similar to Annona but differentiated by the presence of a ring at the base of the fruit formed from part of the receptacle. Distribution: Widespread in tropical America.

Guatteria R. & P. Trees to 30 m tall. Leaves with pubescence formed from simple hairs. Infructescence axillary or borne from the stems. Fruit apocarpous with up to 40 stipitate monocarps, to 1.5 cm long, black when mature, the stipes remaining red or cherry red. Seeds one per monocarp with ruminate endosperm. Distribution: Mexico to Bolivia.

Klarobelia Chatrou. Shrubs or trees to 10 m tall. Infructescence terminal. Fruit apocarpous with up to 40 long-stipitate monocarps, to 1.5 cm long, yellow, red, or later black when mature. Seeds one per monocarp, ruminate, the surface lightly striate. Related to Malmea. Distribution: Lowland Amazon.

Malmea R. E. Fries. Trees to 25 m tall. Infructescence axillary or borne from the stems. Fruit apocarpous with up to 60 stipitate monocarps to 2 cm long, red when mature; the stipes much longer than in other genera, red when mature. Seeds one per monocarp, the endosperm ruminate. Related to Klarobelia. Distribution: Lowland Amazon and southern Central America.

Onychopetalum R.E. Fries. Trees to 28 m tall. Distinct from other genera on the basis of much thicker leaves with weaker venation. Some species exude red resin from the trunk. Fruit with one monocarp, to 6 cm long, deeply red or approaching black when mature, the mesocarp yellow, very aromatic. Seeds 1-4 per monocarp, the endosperm ruminate. Distribution: Northern Brazil to Peru.

Oxandra A. Rich. Trees to 28 m tall. Leaves of some species pubescent with simple hairs or with inconspicuous venation. Infructescence axillary and borne from the stems. Fruit apocarpous, with 1-6 stipitate monocarps, to 1.5 cm long, typically black when mature. Seeds one per monocarp, the endosperm ruminate. Distribution: Brazil and Peru.

Porcelia R. & P. Trees to 30 m tall. Leaves coriaceous with curved midvein. Fruit apocarpous, with 1-5 sessile monocarps, to 8 cm long, green when mature, the exocarp to 1 cm thick. Seeds flat, several per monocarp. Distribution: Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru.

Pseudoxandra R. E. Fries. Trees to 7 m tall. Leaves with very fine anastomosing venation and pubescence of simple hairs. Infructescence axillary and borne from the stems. Fruit apocarpous, with up to 10 stipitate monocarps, to 1 cm long, black when mature. Seeds one per monocarp, the endosperm ruminate; the monocarps and seeds similar to Guatteria and Oxandra. Distribution: Venezuela and Guianas to Peru and southern Brazil.

Rollinia A. St.-Hil. Trees to 35 m tall or shrubs. Leaves and apex of stem with dense pubescence of simple, short hairs. Fruit syncarpous, the carpels fused, sometimes apiculate, to 7 cm diameter, yellow when mature. Seeds numerous per fruit, embedded in a fleshy, edible, sometimes aromatic mesocarp. Cultivated for edible fruits. Distribution: Mexico to Bolivia.

Ruizodendron R. E. Fries. Trees to 30 m tall. Leaves glaucous abaxially. Fruit apocarpous, with up to 13 stipitate, asymmetric monocarps, to 2 cm long, green to black when mature. Seeds one per monocarp, transversely positioned, the endosperm ruminate. Monospecific genus common in flooded forests. Distribution: Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru.

Trigynaea Slechtend. Trees to 10 m tall. Fruit apocarpous with two short stipitate monocarps, to 3 cm long, brown and opening irregularly to expose the white, mealy mesocarp when mature, arising from somewhat woody exocarps. Seeds various per monocarp. Distribution: Venezuela and Guianas to Bolivia and Peru.

Unonopsis R. E. Fries. Trees to 30 m tall, sometimes shrubs. Leaves with simple pubescence. Infructescence borne from the stems. Fruit apocarpous, rarely with more than 20 round, stipitate monocarps, to 2 cm long, orange to black when mature. Seeds 1-4 per monocarp, the endosperm ruminate; the size and form of the seed depends on their quantity and the size of individual monocarp. Distribution: Costa Rica to Bolivia.

Xylopia L. Trees to 25 m tall, some species with aerial roots. Leaves usually narrow with inconspicuous venation and pubescence of simple hairs. Infructescence axillary, borne from the stems, or sometimes the trunk. Fruit apocarpous with up to 25 dehiscent, elongated monocarps to 7 cm long, red externally when mature, internally pink, weakly contracted around each seed. Seeds various per monocarp and surrounded by a thin aril. Distribution: Guatemala to Bolivia, also in the Old World tropics.

APIACEAE

Aquatic or terrestrial herbs, rarely shrubs. Plants often aromatic. Leaves simple or compound, alternate or opposite, rather variable, and often deeply lobed or dissected. Infructescence axillary or terminal. Fruit a schizocarp.

Eryngium L. Terrestrial herbs to 40 cm tall. Leaves mostly basal in the form of a rosette, the base sheathing the stem, the margin serrate to spinose. Infructescence terminal, spinose. Fruit to 0.5 cm long, brown when mature. Seeds many per fruit. Plant very aromatic. Sometimes cultivated, the leaves used as a spice like cilantro to flavor food. Distribution: Widely distributed in the tropics and southern temperate zones.

APOCYNACEAE

Trees, shrubs, and lianas. Leaves simple, entire, generally opposite, alternate, or sometimes verticillate. Some genera with foliar glands. Plants usually with white latex, sometimes transparent. Fruit a follicle, usually in pairs, with winged or arillate seeds, a few genera with berries or capsules. Many of the lianas are easily confused with the Asclepiadaceae and some authors combine the two families.

Aspidosperma Mart. et Zucc. Trees to 40 m tall. Trunks fenestrate in some species. Leaves alternate, glabrous, or pubescent. Latex absent from trunk, transparent or yellow from stems, reddish in a few species. Infructescence terminal. Fruit a follicle, solitary or in pairs, woody, smooth or rugose, glabrous, or pubescent, to 15 cm long, brown or black when mature. Seeds numerous per fruit, completely surrounded by a membranous, papyraceous wing; funicle persistent. Many species used for construction, posts, and carpentry. Bark medicinal. Distribution: Mexico, Guianas, Venezuela to Bolivia.

Forsteronia G.F.W. Mey. Lianas. Leaves opposite; some species with foliar glands. Latex white. Infructescence axillary or terminal. Fruit a pair of elongate, linear, cylindrical follicles to 20 cm long, brown when mature. Seeds numerous per fruit, plumose, the hairs golden-yellow. Distribution: Guianas, Brazil, Bolivia to Peru.

Geissospermum F. Allen. Trees to 25 m tall, with fenestrate trunk. Leaves alternate. Infructescence terminal or axillary and seeming to be borne from the stems. Fruit a berry to 3.5 cm long, yellow when mature. Seeds 6-10 per fruit, surrounded by a milky, fleshy mesocarp. Distribution: Guianas, Brazil, Bolivia to Peru.

Himatanthus Willd. Trees to 20 m tall, often growing in disturbed areas. Leaves alternate, spiral, clustered at branch apex. Latex white, abundant. Fruit a follicle, in pairs, to 35 cm long, dark brown when mature. Seeds numerous per fruit, completely surrounded by a wing of the same color. Wood is harvested for lumber. Latex, roots and fruit reported to have medicinal properties. Distribution: Guianas, Brazil, Bolivia to Peru.

Lacmellea Karst. Shrubs and trees to 15 m tall. Leaves opposite. Latex white, abundant. Infructescence axillary or terminal. Calyx persistent. Fruit a round berry, to 2 cm diameter, yellow when mature. Seeds one or rarely up to three per fruit surrounded by a papryceous covering that is very fragile when dry. Distribution: Guianas, Brazil to Peru.

Macoubea Aubl. Trees to 30 m tall. Leaves opposite. Latex white, abundant. Infructescence terminal. Fruit a dry globose berry, to 12 cm diameter, brown when mature, the exocarp woody, mesocarp yellow with white latex. Seeds 35-45 per fruit, loose in the locule at full maturity. Distribution: Guianas to Brazil and Peru.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Seeds of Amazonian Plants by FERNANDO CORNEJO JOHN JANOVEC Copyright © 2010 by Princeton University Press . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Foreword ix
Preface xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction xv
Collecting and Identifying Seeds xvii
How to Use This Book xix
Aid to Identification of Amazonian Seeds xxi
Family and Genus Descriptions 1
Glossary and Illustrations of Botanical Terminology 149
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