Around 145, see text
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.
- Clusia alata
- Clusia arborea
- Clusia carinata
- Clusia clarendonensis
- Clusia clusioides
- Clusia croatii
- Clusia cupulata
- Clusia fluminensis Planch. & Triana
- Clusia guttifera
- clusia grandiflora
- Clusia lanceolata
- Clusia longipetiolata
- Clusia major – Copey, Autograph Tree, Pitch-apple
- Clusia minutiflora
- Clusia osseocarpa
- Clusia palmicida
- Clusia plurivalvis
- Clusia polystigma
- Clusia portlandiana
- Clusia pseudomangle
- Clusia rosea – Scotch attorney, Autograph Tree, Pitch-apple
- Clusia skotaster
- Clusia spiritu-sanctensis
- Clusia tarmensis
- Clusia uvitana
- Clusia valerioi
Autograph tree (C. rosea): leaf with autograph, flower, fresh fruit, and dried fruit.
Clusia lanceolata, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
- 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
Media related to Clusia at Wikimedia Commons
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