Interspecific hybridization appears to be rare in the Loranthaceae. Even though the species are often variable, it is usually possible to distinguish sharp boundaries, wlth no intermediate forms. A few putative interspecific hybrids have been recorded in Australian Loranthaceae (Barlow 1963, 1966, 1971a). Among the materials exa-mined in the present study, only three collections seen were regarded as hybrids. All three are intermediates between closely related species of the subalpine communities at elevations approaching or exceeding 3000 in.

1. Amyema dilatipes x A. wichmannii subsp. purum.

The first specimen cited below had opposite leaves, whilst those of the other were ternate. The specimens were otherwise similar, with stem, leaf and inflorescence characters intermediate between those of the above-mentioned species. The two putative parental species are quite distinct morphologically, so that the putative hybrids themselves are quite distinct.
Specimens Examined. EASTERN NEW GUINEA: Mt. Piora, Kainantu, 3150 m alt., Henty and Cariquist NGF 16582, 10.ii.1963 (LAE; L); Mt. Piora, Kainantu, 2850 m alt., Henty and Carlquist NGF 16650 12.ii.1963 (LAE; L).

2. Amyema dilatipes x A. pachypus

In the specimen cited below the leaves are ternate, as in A. dilatipes, and the stems are angular when young. The leaves are small and obtuse. The flowers are in triads, as in A. pachypus, but there are 8-10 rays in the umbel. Protuberances on the bracts are weakly developed.

Specimen Examined. EASTERN NEW GUINEA: Mt. Amungwiwa, 3450 m alt., Womersley NGF 17978, Nov. 1963 (LAE).

Doubtful Species

Amyema curvifolium (Krause) Dans. See p. 574.

Amyema schultzei (Krause) Dans. Bull. Jard. hot. Buitenz. 10: 299 (1929); 11: 344, illus. Fig. 11, a-e (1931); Loranthus schultzei Krause, Bot. Jahrb. 57: 478 (1922). Type. New Guinea, bivouac no. 48, Sepik R., Schultze 305 (B, not seen, probably destroyed).

The only specimen cited by Danser was the type specimen. The description and illustration clearly place the species in the Amyema scandens complex, showing some approach to A. canaliculatum. It is difficult to determine whether the specimen is sufficiently distinct to merit specific status.

Amyema tenuisepalum (Krause) Dans. Bull. Jard. bot. Buitenz. 10: 299 (1929); 11: 349, illus. Fig. 12, p-r (1931); Loranthus tenuisepalus Krause, Bot. Jahrb. 57: 482 (1922). Type-New Guinea, Felsspitze, 1400-1500 m alt., Ledermann 12396 (B, not seen, probably destroyed).

The only specimen cited by Danser was the type specimen. If the description was not based on mixed material, then A. tenuisepalum is probably a distinct species. The vegetative characters are not very distinctive and may be similar to those of Amyema friesianum, but the combination of inflorescence characters is unusual. The nearest approach to the inflorescence described may be found in the species of higher elevations, such as A. clavipes, and in A. strongylophyllum.


updated 6 May, 2002 dln