Monolena Triana ex Benth. & Hook. f.

Monolena dressleri R. H. Warner
Monolena grandiloba R. H. Warner
Monolena guatemalensis Donn. Sm.
Monolena morleyi R. H. Warner
Monolena multiflora R. H. Warner
Monolena panamensis R. H. Warner
Monolena primuliflora Hook f.
Monolena trichopoda R. H. Warner

General remarks on the genus and an introduction to perhaps the weirdest style in the Melastomataceae

The genus Monolena contains about 15 species distributed from Guatemala to Peru and Acre in Brazil (Warner, 2002; Almeda, 2009). It is most diverse in Colombia and Panama, and in the latter country there are six endemic species (Warner, 2002; Almeda, 2009). It can be recognized by its acaulescent rhizomatous habit, 1-sided scorpioid cyme (or 1-flowered scape), 5-merous flowers, 3-locular ovary, and triquetrous capsule (Warner, 2002; Almeda, 2009). In addition, species in the genus have a very unique style which is very thin right above the ovary but then thickens dramatically. A scanning electron micrograph of the style of Monolena trichopoda as an example is presented below. The stamens are also quite interesting in that they are very unequal in size and shape (heterantherous). The tongue shaped appendage of the large set of stamens is also somewhat unique to the genus. A micrograph of the lateral view of an example of each of the stamens is presented at the end. For more images check out the species pages. At the bottom of this page you will find the pdf of the great revision of Monolena by Warner.

Monolena_trichopoda_style

Monolena_trichopoda_stamens

References

Almeda, F. (2009) Melastomataceae. In: Davidse, G., Sousa-Sánchez, M., Knapp, S. & Chiang, F. (eds.), Flora Mesoamericana 4(1): 164–338.

Warner, R. H. 2002. Systematics of the genus Monolena (Melastomataceae) in Central
America. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 53:95-116. Warner 2005 Systematics of Monolena in Central America Proc CAS 53 95-116

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