Lethedon sphaerocarpa (Baill. ex Guillaumin) Kosterm.


Microsemma sphaerocarpa Baill. ex Guillaumin

Statut liste rouge -



Forêts denses humides (F)


Microsemma sphaerocarpa Baill. ex Guillaumin

Notes (from Z.S Rogers) : 

Lethedon sphaerocarpa, based on two fruiting syntypes, is only very tentatively retained as a distinct species. The Le Rat 348 syntype (mature dehiscent fruits) is located ca. 170 air-km to the SE of the Balsansa 2125b syntype (immature undehisced fruits); the two populations are also found on opposing coasts in the southern-half of the island. There is nothing distinctive about the fruit morphology of either syntype despite Guillaumin's name.

Lethedon sphaerocarpa appears to be very closely related, if not conspecific, with the widespread L. salicifolia. The two taxa share chartaceous leaves and occur near the coasts at low elevations. Guillaumin's (1934) diagnostic features and key characters were rubbish! Defining the limits of the morphologically variable L. salicifolia (e.g., leaf shape, leaf size, blade pubescence, pedicel length) is the next logical step to decide about the distinctiveness of the populations currently recognized as L. sphaerocarpa.

MacKee 28519 (MO!, see images on Tropicos), tentatively identified in this checklist as on of ca. 30 collections of L. microphylla, was collected on the opposite site of New Caledonia on the NW coast, but it is an almost perfect match with the two fruiting syntypes of L. sphaerocarpa. L. sphaerocarpa has priority over L. microphylla and the two are only tentatively maintained as distinct from L. salicifolia until final analysis of the species complex is complete

Répartition géographique