Gustavia macarenensis (Pasu) Seeds
Gustavia macarenensis (Pasu) Seeds
Gustavia macarenensis (Pasu) Seeds
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Gustavia macarenensis (Pasu) Seeds

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Gustavia macarenensis (Pasu) is thought to be the tastiest of the Gustavias with an oily pulp.  The seeds are naturally a bit squishy, this is not necessarily a sign they are unviable for this species.  

Description below from:

Author: Scott A. Mori & Xavier Cornejo

Type: Colombia. Meta: Sierra de la Macarena, Central Mountains, N ridge, 29 Dec 1949 (fl), Philipson et al. 1987 (holotype, BM; isotypes, COL, MEDEL, NY, S, US).

Description: Leptocaulous, understory, trees, 5-25 m by up to 25 cm dbh. Trunk cylindric to base. Bark smooth, light brown, the bark of older trees growing in open may become cracked and rough. Stems 4-9 mm diam., the leaves close together and often touching, the new flushes subtended by long, linear cataphylls ca. 150 x 5 mm wide, green with red along margins. Leaves present at flowering; petioles slender, plane adaxially, hemispherical abaxially, 10-25 x 2-3 mm, glabrous, the margins very narrowly winged; blades elliptic to narrowly elliptic, 14-22 x 4.5-9.5 cm, chartaceous, glabrous, without punctations, the base acute to obtuse, the margins entire, the apex acuminate; venation eucamptodromous near base, weakly camptodromous rest of length, the midrib plane adaxially, salient abaxially; the secondary veins in 16-20 pairs, 8-15 mm apart in middle of leaf blade (secondary veins of sprouts may be further apart), plane adaxially, prominent abaxially, the intersecondary veins absent, the teriatry veins percurrent, the higher order venation reticulate. Inflorescences suprafoliar or axillary, solitary or appearing racemose, sometimes protruding on long, naked stalks away from crown, the rachis when present 15-90 mm long (measured from cataphyll scars to end), puberulous; pedicels 25-40 mm long, densely cinereous pubescent, especially in early development, the bract caducous, the bracteoles inserted above middle, near hypanthium under buds, not fused together or touching one another, ovate to widely ovate, carinate, sometimes with awn-like apex, 6-4 mm long, puberulous. Flowers strongly scented, ca. 8-10 cm diam., sweet scented; hypanthium with inconspicuous costae, densely cinereous to ferruginous pubescent; calyx-lobes 4(6), puberulous in bud abaxially, the apices more or less triangular, a calycine rim not or scarcely developed; petals 6, pink abaxially, cream colored adaxially, densely cinereus to ferruginous pubescence in bud abaxially, white tinged with pink at anthesis; staminal tube, thin, to 13 mm tall, white, the outermost filaments 18-20 mm long, white, the anthers ca. 2.5 mm long, yellow. Ovary 6-locular, the summit white pubescent, the style obconical, the stigma with 6 lobes. Fruits globose, somewhat truncate at apex, 6.5-7.5 x 6-8 cm, the pericarp at first smooth, reddish or marroon, at maturity rougher and brown, the pulp yellow at first, yellowish-orange at maturity. Seeds 1-4 per fruit, mature seeds not seen, immature seeds with yellow testa and poorly developed funicle, the aril around funicle forming white ring.

Common names: Ecuador: allan paso (Tirado & Grefa 2056), inaco (Neill & Palacios 9502), inak (Shuar fide Mendoza & Vega 096), passo (Quichua fide Freire & Cerda 127), pasu (Neill 8695, sachu pasu (Hurtado et al., 1268). Peru: chope (Klug 675.

Distribution: This species is found in Amazonian Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

Ecology: Small, understory trees usually found in humid premontane forests and sometimes in forests on limestone outcrops (Clark 6508) from 100 to 1400 meters; but most commonly collected from 500 to 1000 meters. The wide altitudinal range in which this species occurs may be the result of humans cultivating trees for their edible fruits. This species is often collected from cultivated trees but also occurs in primary and disturbed forests.

Phenology: Gustavia macarenensis appears to flower and fruit throughout the year. In has been collected in flower in Colombia in Dec; in Ecuador in Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Sep, Oct, Nov, and Dec; and in Peru in Apr, Jul, Aug, Nov, and Dec. As is the case with most species of Gustavia there is some overlap in flowering and fruiting so that both flowers and fruits can be found on the same tree.

Pollination: No observations recorded but species of Gustavia for which data are known are buzz pollinated by bees (Mori & Kallunki, 1976; Mori & Prance, 1987).

Dispersal: No observations recorded but observations for other species of Gustavia indicate that the seeds are dispersed by animals that are attracted to the fruits to eat the pulp.

Predation: No observatiions recorded.

Field characters: The species is recognized in the field by its small stature; cylindric trunk; slender petioles that are flat adaxially and hemispherical abaxially; medium-sized leaf blades; densely pubescent hypanthium; usually suprafoliar inflorescences that may extend on naked stems far from the crown of the tree; fruits that are at first reddish and then brown at maturity; and seeds embedded in a yellow or yellow-orange pulp. It is a commonly cultivated species in western Amazonian.

Taxonomic notes: Mori in Prance & Mori (1979) recognized subsp. macarenensis and subsp. paucisperma as comprising this species. We now treat these subspecies as separate species (Mori & Cornejo, in preparation). See the treatment of G. paucisperma for a further discussion of our reasons for separating them at the species level. The inflorescences are sometimes solitary in the axils of leaves aggregated at the apices of the stems, other times they appear as racemose inflorescences terminating the stems, and other times they appear as long flagellate racemes. These, we believe, are different stages of development of the inflorescences. The first stage is when a growth flush, subtended by cataphylls, is produced---at that time the flowers appear solitary in the leaf axils. The second stage occurs after the leaves drop from below the firsts flowers and new flowers are subtended by bracts and not leaves, and finally more leaves drop below the inflorescence making them appear as if they are flagellate. We only consider the inflorescence rachis to be the length from the cataphylls to the end of the last flower.

Uses: The fruit pulp is eaten (informant Matilde Shiguango [Ahuano] fide M. Rios 415 and numerous other collectors) and trees are cultivated for this purpose. The fruits are also sold in local markets. The pulp is often eaten with mature, fried platanos (fide Schunke V. 14047). According to Neill et al. 8695 the leaves are boiled and the vapors are inhaled to treat common colds. Tirado & Grefa 2056 report that the fruits are used as a diuretic.

Etymology: The species epithets refers to the Macarena Mts. in Colombia where the type was collected.

Conservation: This species is not listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species version 2011.2. It is widespread and common in western Amazonia. It is also widely cultivated for the edible pulp surrounding the seeds.

Source: Based on Mori in Prance & Mori (1979).