Rare Plants of American Samoa

Anacolosa insularis Christoph. [ Olacaceae ]

Taxonomy Reports: ITIS | IPNI | IOPI

Samoan Name:
English Name:
Status: Indigenous (endemic)
Habit: Tree

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Endemic to Samoa, where it is uncommon to occasional as an understory species in lowland to montane forest on the three largest islands, reported from near sea level to 450 m elevation. It is known in American Samoa only from Mt. Tau, Tutuila, but is more common in independent Samoa. Smith (1985) maintains the separation by Sleumer (1980) of this and Anacolosa lutea, based on the latter species having shorter pedicels (2–3 vs. 1–1.5 mm at anthesis), longer (1.5–3.2 vs. 1–1.8 cm) and differently shaped fruits (ovoid to obovoid vs. ellipsoid), and a tuberculate rather than smooth endocarp, but the two are virtually indistinguishable and may have to be lumped together under Anacolosa lutea. It is unusual for a lowland tree to have no local names in Samoa, but perhaps it has not been noticed because of its small size and infrequency of occurrence.

Small tree up to 6 m in height, with glabrous, somewhat zigzag stems. Leaves simple, alternate, blade elliptic to lanceolate, 5–14 cm long, acute and shortly decurrent at the base, acute (rarely rounded) to shortly acuminate at the tip; surfaces glabrous; margins entire; petiole 4–10 mm long. Inflorescence a several-flowered axillary fascicle. Calyx rotate, 2–3 mm across, rim shallowly divided into 5 broadly triangular lobes, lepidote on the outside, on a lepidote pedicel 1–2.5 mm long. Corolla of 6 white to yellow, lanceolate petals 3–4 mm long, recurved at anthesis, lepidote on the outside, bearded within, borne on the edge of a cup-shaped disk. Ovary superior, with a short style and inconspicuously lobed stigma. Stamens 6, borne in cavities on the petals. Fruit a yellow to red, ellipsoid drupe 1.6–2 cm long. Flowering can occur anytime during the year, fruiting reported in February and November, but probably also year-round.

Distinguishable by its small tree habit; somewhat zigzag stems; alternate leaves; axillary clusters of tiny white to pale yellow flowers; and yellow to red, ellipsoid drupe.

12. Whistler 3348—Mt. Tau at 250–300 m elevation.
13. Whistler 8948—On ridge north of Mt. Tau at 130 m elevation.
14. Whistler 10518—North slope of Mt. Tau.

Other Samoan Collections: SAVAII: (12). UPOLU: (4).

Other Collections: Search GBIF database Search USDA GRIN Database Search ITIS datbase Search NCBI database Search Species2000 database Search Tropicos Search USDA PLANTS database

Georeference: -14.315569, -170.701986

Supported by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
© 2008. CIEER. Past last updated: April 20, 2008.


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