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Clusia fluminensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Clusiaceae
Subfamily: Clusioideae
Tribe: Clusieae
Genus: Clusia

Around 145, see text


Arrudea Cambess.
Androstylium Miq.
Cochlanthera Choisy
Decaphalangium Melch.
Havetia Kunth
Havetiopsis Planch. & Triana
Oedematopus Planch. & Triana
Oxystemon Planch. & Triana
Pilosperma Planch. & Triana
Quapoya Aubl.
Renggeria Meisn.
Rengifa Poepp. & Endl.

Clusia grandiflora - MHNT

Clusia is the type genus of the family Clusiaceae. Comprising 300-400 species, it is native to tropical America. The genus Clusia is named in honor of the botanist Carolus Clusius.

The distribution ranges from the Florida keys and S. Mexico to southernmost Brazil, and from near sea level to at least 3500 m altitude in the northern Andes. Many species are found in lowland or montane rainforests, but some are found also in drier habitats such as the restingas of Brazil, caribbean coastal scrub and dry interandean valleys. A number of species are confined to rocky habitats, such as tepuis or granitic inselbergs.


Its species are shrubs, vines and small to medium-size trees up to 20 m tall, with evergreen foliage. Some species start life as epiphytes, then develop long roots that descend to the ground and eventually strangle and kill the host tree in a manner similar to strangler figs.

The leaves are opposite, 5–20 cm long and 2–10 cm broad, with a leathery texture and an entire margin. The flowers are white, cream, yellow, pink, red, blackish or green with 4-9 petals. The fruit is a leathery valvate capsule which splits open to release several red or orange, fleshy-coated seeds.

Pollination involves a range of different animals, and several types of rewards. Floral resin occurs in many, probably most species of Clusia. The resin is produced by the stamens (by sterile stamens, referred to as staminodes, in pistillate flowers) and is collected by bees that use the resin in nest construction. Nectar is taken by moths and other insects, and sometimes by bats or hummingbirds. In flowers lacking nectar or resin, pollination may be carried out by pollen-eating beetles and other insects, which visit also the rewardless pistillate flowers.One species is pollinated by male cockroaches attracted by a pheromone-containing fluid produced by the flowers.

Clusia plants provide excellent nesting sites for some insects. For instance, Clusia grandiflora, a common species in Guianese forests, is an attractive place for Polistes pacificus wasps to build their paper nests because arboreal ants, which often prey on these wasps, do not normally reside in this species of tree.[1]

Selected species[edit]



  1. ^ Corbara, Bruno et al. (2009). "Diversity and nest site selection of social wasps along Guianese forest edges: assessing the influence of arboreal ants". C.r. Biologies 332:470-479. 
Correia MCR, Ormond WT, Pinheiro MCB, Lima HA (1993) Estudos da biologia floral de Clusia criuva Camb. um caso de mimetismo. Bradea 24:209–219

External links[edit]

Media related to Clusia at Wikimedia Commons