Print version ISSN 0044-5967On-line version ISSN 1809-4392
Acta Amaz. vol.6 no.1 supl.1 Manaus Mar. 1976
Revisão taxonômica do gênero Peltogyne Vog. (Leguminosae-Caesalpiniodeae), característico da região amozônica, com distribuição geográfica no Continente Americano. Muitas de suas espécies atingem porte elevado e podem ser encontradas em vários tipos de vegetação, produzindo a maioria madeira de valor econômico, conhecida vulgarmente no Brasil pelo nome de "pau-roxo". Uma chave para a determinação das espécies é apresentada e duas novas espécies da região amazônica são descritas. Em decorrência desta revisão, o gênero passa a ter 23 espécies, 3 subespécies e 2 variedades até agora conhecidas. Uma grande coleção de espécimes pertencentes a 20 herbários nacionais e estrangeiros foi examinada. Ilustram o trabalho 11 fotografias, 12 figuras com a distribuição geográfica dos espécies e detalhes da forma das flores e dos frutos, e 3 tabelas com informações sobre as espécies do gênero estudado.
Peltogyne is a genus of the subfamily Caesalpinioideae (Leguminosae) in the tribe Amherstiae. This genus occupies an important place among the other representative trees of the Amazon area because of this frequent occurence and exceptional development in tropical América. Its valuable wood, which is violet or purple in colour, gives the genus its local name "purpleheart" (pau roxo). Some species have studied phytochemichally by other workers, and among important substances, one with antimicrobial properties was found in Peltogyne recifensis. At present the genus has 23 known species that occur from México through Central América, Panamá to the Southeast of South América. The Amazon region is the center of Its distribution. The genera Hymenaea and Cynometra have the same center of distribution, the Central Amazonia. Hymenaea and Peltogyne have great morphological similarity, but are diverse in the geographical limits of their distribution. Hymenaea has a striking disjunction in distribution between the African and South América continents; Peltogyne is distributed continuously from the Caribean region through Central América to the Southeastern region of South American continent. These taxa were relicts of the time when the Amazonian evergreen forest was more extensive than it is today. It is probable that Peltogyne, Hymenaea and Cynometra could have migrated to the North of South América into Central América, too. Phytogeographically, the genus Peltogyne occurs in many kinds of habitats. For example P. catingae subsp. catingae is typical of the "catinga" of the Rio Negro (Amazonas), while P. catingae subsp. glabra is found well developed in the high forest near Manaus. This shows the great adaptability of the specie to different ecological habitats. After the original description of the genus Peltogyne by Vogel (1837), the first study of the genus was Bentham's (1870) and the last was Ducke's (1938) in which only the Amazonian species are treated. Actually we found after consulting a large representative collection of herbarium material (Colombia, Venezuela, Panamá, Suriname, México, Brasil, etc.) that it was not possible to base, some taxonomic decisions on specimens from such a restricted area as Amazonia, but that a much wider geographical view must be taken. The genus Peltogyne previously had a total of 29 recognised species. These are now reduced here to 23 species, including 2 new species, 3 subspecies, and 2 varieties giving a total of 28 taxa.