This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Don Jose de Viera y Clavijo, of Madrid). Syn., Horta. Myrsinaceae; by Mez separated in the family Theophrastaceae. Thirty and more tropical American evergreen unbranched trees or shrubs, a few of which are sometimes grown in the warmhouse. The stems are simple, often spiny, bearing at the top a cluster of large rigid, simple, entire or spiny-toothed leaves: flowers polygamous-dioecious in axillary racemes; calyx 4-5-parted, the segments round; corolla white, yellow or orange, the tube short and fleshy, the limb mostly spreading and 4-5-lobed; stamens 4 or 5, the filaments often united in the sterile flowers; staminodia 4 or 5, being scales in the throat; ovary fusiform, narrowed into a short style, the stigma obtuse or capitate: fruit several-seeded, berry-like. The clavijas thrive in a peaty potting soil, and prop, by cuttings of half-ripened growths. They are odd plants. The features are here given as apparently understood by horticulturists.
a. Leaves entire, or only repand.
nobilis, Mez, (C. clavata, Decne). Plant 4-5 ft.: leaves long-petioled thick, 1 1/2 ft. or less, elliptic or oblong or oblanceolate, entire, acute or semi-acute: flowers yellow, with a very large disk, 3/4in. long, the corolla fleshy, in drooping racemes 2-4 in. long. Venezuela. B.M. 6928 (as C. Ernstii, Hook., f.).
Mart. (Theophrdsta integrifolia, Pohl). Allied to C. longifolia, differing chiefly in the less rigid, broader and entire leaves, longer petioles and larger flowers Leaves distinctly petioled (petioles 1/2-1 in. long), obovate-oblong to lanceolate-oblong, acute and mucro-nate, cuneate at the base, quite entire or slightly undulate, 8-18 in.long: racemes erect, 5-7 in. long; flowers larger than in C. ornata, on slenderer pedicels, 5-merous; appendages of the corolla rounded, short. Brazil.
Decne. (Theophrasta macro-phylla, Lind., not Link. T. grandis, O. Kuntze). Leaves large (to 3 ft.), long-oblong, narrowly pale-margined, entire or sinuate-repand; petiole thick and dark violet, the secondary nerves slender and simple or forked: flowers orange-yellow, in short and erect racemes; calyx-lobes orbicular and nearly glabrous, the corona 5-lobed. Colombia.
aa. Leaves serrate, often spiny-toothed.
Mez. (C. ornata, Don, Theophrasta longifolia, Jacq.). Plant 10-20 ft.: leaves many, in a crowded head or tuft at the top of the stem oblong-spatulate to lanceolate, leathery, narrowed at base and stalked, acute, spiny-toothed, 1 1/2 ft. or less long: flowers orange- or saffron-colored, fragrant, in drooping racemes 4-10 in. long. Venezuela, Colombia. B.M. 4922. B.R. 1764. Blooms in June and July.
Mez (C. Riedeliana, Regel). Plant 5-6 ft., glabrous, stout and erect: leaves obovate-lanceolate, sessile, 20 in. or less long,spinose-serrate:flowers orange-yellow, in slender racemes 5-8 in. long. Brazil.
Hook. f. Plant 3 ft. or more, very stout: leaves spatulate-obcuneate, narrow, remotely toothed near the apex, narrowed into a very short petiole, very coriaceous, 1 ft. or so long: flowers deep red, with yellow disk, handsome, in erect racemes 4 or 5 in. long. S. Amer. B.M. 5626.
C. latifolia, Radlk. (Theophrastus latifolia, Willd.). Leaves gracefully elliptic, petioled, narrowed at both ends, mucronate-serrate: racemes erect. Colombia. L H B