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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Bignoniaceae
Genus: Ekmanianthe
Type species
Ekmanianthe longiflora
( Grisebach) Urban

Ekmanianthe longiflora
Ekmanianthe actinophylla

Ekmanianthe is a genus of flowering plants in the family Bignoniaceae. It is most closely related to Tabebuia and has sometimes been included within it.[1][2] It consists of two species of trees,[3] neither of which is especially common in any part of its range. Ekmanianthe longiflora grows to 18 m (59 ft) in height and is native to Haiti and the rocky uplands of central Cuba. Ekmanianthe actinophylla is a smaller tree, to 10 m (33 ft) in height, and it occurs in western Cuba where it is known as "roble caimán", for the resemblance of its trunk bark to the hide of a caiman.[4] "Roble" is a Spanish name that is also applied to Tabebuia. Neither of the species of Ekmanianthe is known in cultivation. The type species for Ekmanianthe is E. longiflora.[5] The wood of Ekmanianthe has been variously described as "soft"[4] or as "very hard, heavy, and strong".[6] It is probably useful, but the tree is rarely recognized by lumberjacks.


The following description is based on two sources.[4][7]

E. actinophylla is cheiropterophilous (bat-pollinated). E. longiflora has the long, narrow corolla tube that is typical of hawkmoth-pollinated flowers.

The basally curved fruit of Ekmanianthe is a distinguishing feature, clearly separating that genus from Tabebuia. The edge of the corolla is laciniate in a few moth-pollinated and a few bat-pollinated species of Tabebuia, but much less so than in Ekmanianthe. The lenticels of E. longiflora and the costae (ribs) on the fruit of E. actinophylla are more prominent than those of any species of Tabebuia. The corolla tube of E. longiflora is longer than that of any species of Tabebuia. E. actinophylla has 5 fertile stamens, a trait not seen in Tabebuia.


The evolution of Ekmanianthe is in some ways parallel to that of the Asian tribe Oroxyleae.[4] The bat-pollinated Oroxylum has actinomorphic flowers with five fertile stamens. The hawkmoth-pollinated Nyctocalos has elongate flowers and most of the species have only four fertile stamens.


Both species of Ekmanianthe were originally described in 1866 by August Grisebach, who placed them in the genus Tecoma.[8][9] In 1915, Nathaniel Lord Britton placed them in Tabebuia.[2] In 1924, Ignatz Urban, recognizing their distinctiveness, erected the new genus Ekmanianthe in the journal now known as Feddes Repertorium, which was at that time edited by Friedrich Karl Georg Fedde.[10] Ekmanianthe was named for the Swedish botanist Erik Leonard Ekman (1883-1931)."Anthe" is derived from a Greek word for "flower".[11]


  1. ^ Susan O. Grose and Richard G. Olmstead. 2007. "Taxonomic Revisions in the Polyphyletic Genus Tabebuia s.l. (Bignoniaceae)". Systematic Botany 32(3):660-670.
  2. ^ a b Nathaniel Lord Britton. 1915. "Studies of West Indian plants". Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 42(7):372-379.
  3. ^ David J. Mabberley. 2008. Mabberley's Plant-Book third edition (2008). Cambridge University Press: UK. ISBN 978-0-521-82071-4
  4. ^ a b c d Alwyn H. Gentry. 1992. "Bignoniaceae: Part II (Tribe Tecomeae)". Flora Neotropica Monograph 25(part 2):1-373.
  5. ^ Ekmanianthe In: Index Nominum Genericorum. In: Regnum Vegetabile (see External links below).
  6. ^ Samuel J. Record and Robert W. Hess. 1940. "American timbers of the family Bignoniaceae". Tropical Woods 63:9-38.
  7. ^ Eberhard Fischer, Inge Theisen, and Lúcia G. Lohmann. 2004. "Bignoniaceae". pages 9-38. In: Klaus Kubitzki (editor) and Joachim W. Kadereit (volume editor). The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants volume VII. Springer-Verlag: Berlin; Heidelberg, Germany. ISBN 978-3-540-40593-1
  8. ^ Ekmanianthe in International Plant Names Index. (see External links below).
  9. ^ August Grisebach. 1866. Catalogus Plantarum Cubensium, exhibens collectionem Wrightianam aliasque minores ex insula Cuba missas, quas recensuit: 194. Lipsiae. (See External links below).
  10. ^ Ignatz Urban. 1924. Ekmanianthe. pages 308-309. In: "Sertum Antillanum. XX". pages 297-313. In: Friedrich Fedde (editor). Repertorium Specierum Novarum Regni Vegetabilis (current title: Feddes Repertorium) volume 20. doi:10.1002/fedr.19240200615 (See External links below).
  11. ^ Umberto Quattrocchi. 2000. CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names volume II. CRC Press: Boca Raton; New York; Washington,DC;, USA. London, UK. ISBN 978-0-8493-2676-9 (vol. II). (see External links below).

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