PhytoKeys 26: 71–74, doi: 10.3897/phytokeys.26.4590
A new species of Licania (Chrysobalanaceae) from Cordillera del Cóndor, Ecuador
Ghillean T. Prance 1
1 Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB, UK

Corresponding author: Ghillean T. Prance (

Academic editor: Peter Stevens

received 27 December 2013 | accepted 4 September 2013 | Published 27 September 2013

(C) 2013 Ghillean T. Prance. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 (CC-BY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Citation: Prance GT (2013) A new species of Licania (Chrysobalanaceae) from Cordillera del Cóndor, Ecuador. PhytoKeys 26: 71–74. doi: 10.3897/phytokeys.26.4590


A new mid altitude species of the predominantly lowland genus Licania, Licania condoriensis from Ecuador is described and illustrated.


Chrysobalanaceae, Licania, Cordillera del Cóndor, Ecuador


A worldwide monograph of the Chrysobalanaceae was published in 2003 (Prance and Sothers 2003a, b). Some recent collections from Ecuador made in 2005 are of an undescribed species of Licania. This genus of 218 speciesis predominantly a lowland one and all three collections of this new species, Licania condoriensis, are from an altitude of over 1, 100 m. Table 1 lists 14 montane and submontane species of Licania that occur mainly at altitudes of over one thousand metres.


Ab Licania compacta foliis subcoriaceis, haud nitidibus, haud dense brunneo-tomentosis, staminibus 7-8 differt.


Ecuador. Zamora-Chinchipe, El Pangui, Cordillera del Cóndor, plateau of Contrafuerte, Tres Patines, W of main Cóndor ridge above Jardin Botánico of EcuaCorriente Copper Company, 03°37'48"S, 78°26'50"W, 1685 m. 2 Dec 2005, D. Neill & W. Quizhpe 15076 (holotype K; isotypes, MO, QCNE).

Small tree 3–7 m tall, young branches appressed puberulous, soon glabrous. Leaf lamina broadly ovate, 2.5–6 × 1.5–3.5 cm, subcoriaceous, acute or with short blunt acumen at apex, rounded to subcuneate at base, margins entire, glabrous and dull with densely reticulate prominulous venation above, with well-developed stomatal cavities beneath, the venation flattened around slit-like apertures of cavities, the venation glabrous and the cavities filled by a mass of white, unicellular simple hairs; veins 13–15 pairs, plane above, prominulous beneath; petioles glabrous, 3–10 mm long, rugose, with two sessile glands near apex. Stipules lanceolate, early caducous. Inflorescences short once-branched panicles 3–5 cm long, lateral branches borne at 90 degrees to rachis, the rachis and branches densely yellowish-brown tomentose. Flowers c 2 mm long, sessile or subsessile on primary branches of inflorescence; bracteoles oblong-triangular, acute, 1–1.5 mm long, tomentose on exterior and with ciliate margins. Receptacle campanulate, 1.5 mm long, yellowish-brown tomentose on exterior; calyx-lobes c. 1 mm long, acute, triangular, densely tomentose on exterior, tomentose within; petals absent; stamens 7–8, included, filaments equaling or shorter than the calyx lobes in length, c. 0.8 mm long. Ovary inserted at base of receptacle, unilocular with 2 ovules; style pubescent at base. Young fruit only seen, puberulous, glabrescent, unilocular.

Additional specimens examined.

Ecuador. Morona-Santiago: Limon Indanza, Cordillera del Cóndor, Centro Shuar Yunkumas, Cerro Chuank Naint, 03°03'31"S, 78°14'48"W, 1, 130 m, 19 Dec 2005, A. Wisum & Grupo Shuar de Conservación 326 (K, MO, QCNE); same locality, Asociación Nunkui, 03°3'34"S, 78°14'45"W, 1, 150 m, 19 Dec 2005, C. Morales, A. Wisum & C. Kajekai 1593 (K, MO, QCNE).

This distinct mid-altitude Licania belongs to Section Licania of the genus and is probably most closely related to Licania compacta Fritsch from Roraima in Guyana, but differs from Licania compacta in the much less coriaceous, more acute leaves with a dull rather than shiny upper surface and in lacking the dense pubescence that covers the stomatal cavities of the latter and in the greater number of stamens. The leaves of Licania condoriensis are very similar to those of Licania octandra (Hofmanns. ex Roem & Schultes) Kuntze subsp. octandra, but it differs in the fewer stamens (7-8 vs 9-12) that are included rather than far exserted. All collections of Licania condoriensis are from the Cordillera del Cóndor for which this species is named.

Figure 1.

Licania condoriensis Prance: A habit B leaf undersurface showing reticulation from the deep stomatal cavities C ovary cross section D flower E bracteole F flower section. (Drawn from Neill & Quizhpe 15076 by Flora Bamford).

Table 1.

Species of Licania (Chrysobalanaceae) occurring mainly at above 1000 m.

Species Locality Altitude
Licania subgenus Moquilea section Moquilea
Licania durifolia Cuatr. Colombia, Ecuador, Peru 500–2000 m
Licania cabrerae Prance Colombia: Antioquia 2200–2550 m
Licania montana Prance Venezuela: Lara 1300–1500 m
Licania hedbergii Prance Ecuador: Napo 1600 m
Licania longicuspidata Prance Ecuador: Carchi 650–1800 m
Licania cariae A. Cardozo Venezuela: Aragua 1100–2000 m
Licania chiriquiensis Prance Panama: Chiriqui 1007–1200 m
Licania subgenus Moquilea section Leptobalanus
Licania jefensis Prance Panama: Chiriqui 1007 m
Licania subgenus Licania section Hymenopus
Licania pakaraimensis Prance Venezuela: Bolívar 1400 m
Licania subgenus Licania
Licania subrotundata Maguire Venezuela: Dist. Federal 1200–2000 m
Licania aracaensis Prance Brazil: Amazonas 1000 m
Licania pittieri Prance Venezuela: Aragua 1100–2200 m
Licania tepuiensis Prance Venezuela: Bolívar 1350 m
Licania condoriensis Prance Ecuador: Zamora-Chinchipe 1130–1685 m
Prance GT, Sothers CA (2003a) Chrysobalanaceae 1, Chrysobalanus to Parinari. Species Plantarum: Flora of the World 9: 1–319. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra.
Prance GT, Sothers CA (2003b) Chrysobalanaceae 2, Acioa to Magnistipula. Species Plantarum: Flora of the World 10: 1–268. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra.