Dactyliophora Tiegh

3 species of Papuasia, N. Queensland, Australia

3 species recorded from New Guinea.

  1. D. novae-guineae (F. M. Bail.) Dans. Vogelkop and eastern Papua.
  2. D. salomonia Dans. Solomon Islands, recorded from Guadalcanal and San Cristoval
  3. D. verticillata (Scheff.) Tiegh. New Guinea, from the Vogelkop to eastern Papua, New Britain and Bougainville. Also Queensland.

Description (Barlow 1974)

Dactyliophora Tiegh. Bull. Soc. bot. Fr. 41: 549, 550 (1894); Dans. Bull. Jard. bot. Buitenz. 10: 307 (1929); 11: 355 (1931); 14: 86 (1936); Loranthus subgen. Euloranthus sect. Dactyliophora Engl. Pfl. Fam. Nachtr. 127 (1897); Engl. & Krause, Pfl. Fam. ed. 2 16b: 149 (1935); Loranthus subgen. Euloranthus sect. Amyema subsect. Squamitepalum Krause, Bot. Jahrb. 57: 478 (1922). Type Species.-D. verticillata (Scheff.) Tiegh.

Aerial stem-parasitic shrubs with runners and opposite (rarely ternate) penninerved leaves. Inflorescence consisting of 1-4 whorls of dichasia (triads), the whorls arranged in racemose order on a short common axis; triads with the central flower sessile and lateral flowers pedicellate; bracts single under each flower. Corolla mostly 6-merous; petals in the open flower free to the base and each petal usually with a deflexed spur inside just above the base. Anthers linear, basifixed, immobile, 4-locular. Style articulate at the base. Basic Chromosome Number.- x = 9.

A genus of three species, confined to the New Guinean mainland, New Britain and the Solomon Islands, except for a single record from Cape York Peninsula, Queensland. The genus is very closely allied to Amyema, and may represent the ancestral stock from which Amyema has been derived. In two of the species the inflorescence axis is frequently reduced to a single internode, so that the inflorescence is essentially an umbel of triads. Individuals showing this reduction have all the diagnostic characters of Amyema. The basic inflorescence of Amyema, viz, a multi-radiate umbel of triads, is therefore probably derived by reduction from the larger inflorescence of Dactyliophora. Even though the classification of some individuals is difficult, the genus can be maintained by reason of the striking characters of the inflorescence in its normal condition.

On the basis of the presently available data, three species have been recognized. They are all rather polymorphic, however, and are distinguished by relatively minor leaf characters and by the length and slenderness of the inflorescence parts. Since the entities are more or less allopatric, further studies may indicate that subspecific rank is more appropriate.

Key to the Species of Dactyliophora (from Barlow 1974)

1a. Leaves mostly more than 12 cm long, acuminate and acute at the apex. First internode of the inflorescence less than 1 cm long 3. D. verticillata

1b. Leaves mostly less than 12 cm long, rounded or acute and more or less attenuate at the apex but not acuminate. First internode of the inflorescence more than 1 cm long 2

2a. Leaves opposite or ternate, rounded at the apex. Axis of the inflorescence robust (2-3 mm thick). Peduncles of the triads 5-8 mm long. Triads at the second node 8-10 1. D. novae-guineae

2b. Leaves opposite, attenuate and acute or shortly rounded at the apex. Axis of the inflorescence slender (c. 1 mm thick). Peduncles of the tiiads 8-10 mm long. Triads at the second node (where present) c. 4 2. D. salomonia

Dactyliophora Genus Page

Updated 28 June 2003