I give up.

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by Silver surfer, Apr 18, 2022.

  1. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    I think this may be one for Lila.
    Seen 3 years ago in Ecuador.

    I saw this shrub on Isla de la Plata. Ecuador.
    Part of Machalilla National Park.

    A shrub with round ball seed pods and glorious green square stems.
    I have written to 2 botanists who specialise in Ecuador flora, but not received any reply.

    I have worked very hard to try and id this myself. ..but I am not a botanist, just a keen amateur.
    I loved those green square stems so interesting

    To me the globose /spherical heads of flowers on stalks remind me of a 3 shrubs/trees.
    Button bush ..............Cephalanthus...... ..............in Rubiaceae...however leaves always seem to be opposite.
    Paper mulberry.........Broussonetia......................in Moraceae.....leaves are alternate.
    London Plane tree ...Platanus x hispanicain .... in Platanaceae..I discounted these as they are just North hemisphere.
    Broussonetia so far seems to be leading in the right direction.

    In i naturalist I found Broussonetia kazinoki...in Ecuador. But there is very little on www about it.
    Broussonetia kazinoki · iNaturalist Ecuador

    Someone in the world will surely recognise my mystery shrub/tree.

    Any help would be much appreciated.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 18, 2022
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    What about Urticaceae? They occasionally have globose fruits like that, and often have square stems.
     
  3. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    All suggestions accepted.
    I will investigate.
    Thanks Daniel.
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Broussonetia with immature fruit was my first thought; from eastern Asia but widely cultivated and locally naturalised in subtropical regions.
     
  5. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    That was also my first thought.
    But...I cannot find any with square stems.
    Mystery plant seems to have glands on the leaf axils.

    I really want to be sure I label my pics accurately.
     
  6. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Many thanks for looking and for your thoughts.

    Nothing ventured nothing gained.
    I had the cheek to write to Kew a good while ago!
    I have just received a very kind, helpful e mail...
    Hurray...after 3 years I have finely got the answer.
    Now I can see IF it is possible to pin it down further.
    .................................................................................................

    Quote from Kew.
    "Thank you for your email and I apologise for taking so long to get back to you. I haven’t been able to get a definitive answer but one of our scientists has said that she thinks it looks most like a Byttneria species in the Malvaceae family.
    I hope that helps!
    Kind regards
    Toni Risebro

    Science Services Support Officer

    Science Services and Laboratories


    Millennium Seed Bank, Wakehurst

    Ardingly, Haywards Heath, RH17 6TN"
    ..........................................................................................................................
     
  7. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Well, that's exciting. A whole different species and family even than previous guesses. Now only 135 species to check out, of which Wikipedia only has pages for nine, of which none has photos, but of those, seven are found only in Ecuador. Wikipedia doesn't have a page for B. aculeata, which gets the most hits, but doesn't look the same. It would seem that you also need to find the square stems with no prickles, which should rule out a few more that come up on searches.
    I didn't pay attention to which species grow in which habitats in Ecuador, but that might help rule out some.
     
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  8. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Here's the iNaturalist page from a query on Byttneria and Ecuador, well, that was the query, though it seems it really did not filter for Ecuador:
    Observations · iNaturalist
    It has pages of photos submitted for eight species, but a lot of pages that are not named to species. You can rule out some, anyway, based on leaf shape and margins, and presumably armature, though maybe yours had prickles that didn't show up in your photos.
    You can also contribute your photos there, and maybe someone will suggest a species.
     
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  9. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Many thanks.
    I think I will put this on the back burner and wait for long dark cold winter nights.
    THEN it will keep me busy for hours...doing more research on www.
    Isn't the internet amazing.
    Cannot imagine being without it now.
    Learned papers, dry specimens, images, forums, contact info for scientists....etc etc.
    17 years ago, before I had a computer I never thought it could be so incredible.
     
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