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Mangosteen Family

Clusia flava Jacq., a hemiepiphyte in the Clusiaceae. Note the finely parallel secondary veins and the thickened, almost succulent leaves. Una hemiepífita. Note las venas finas y paralelas, y las hojas gruesas y casi suculentas.

Description: A family of trees, shrubs, and hemiepiphytes with simple, opposite, entire leaves and no stipules. All the species in this region have latex or colored sap; many have yellow or orange latex. The only plants with simple, opposite, leaves and colored latex are found in this family, so the ones that exhibit the full suite of these characters are very easy to identify. For other Clusiaceae, leaf venation and the structure of the young twigs are important distinguishing characters. The leaves are usually slightly succulent, with closely parallel secondary veins. The terminal bud of every branch is usually completely enveloped in the petiole bases of the terminal leaves.

Economic uses: This is not really an economic use, but it bears mentioning: Clusia fruits have a resinous sap that can be used to make distinctive indelible prints on clothing.

Descripción: Una familia de árboles, arbustos, y hemiepífitas, con hojas simples, opuestas, y sin estípulas. Todas las especies de esta zona presentan copiosa savia, frecuentemente amarilla o anaranjada. En esta familia están las únicas plantas con hojas simples y opuestas y savia de colores, así que las Clusiaceas que presentan todas estas características son muy fáciles de identificar. Para las demás, las venas de las hojas y la estructura de las ramitas son importantes. Las hojas usualmente son levemente suculentas, con las venas pequeñas finas y paralelas. La yema terminal de cada ramita está envuelta completamente dentro de las bases de las hojas terminales.

Usos económicos: Aunque no tienen alta importancia económica, los frutos del genero Clusia se pueden usar para hacer diseños estampados en la ropa.

Genera/species at La Selva: 10/26: Epiphytes or hemiepiphytes/ epifitas y hemiepífitas: Clusia (11), Clusiella (1) Free-standing shrubs or trees/ árboles o arbustos: Calophyllum (1), Chrysochlamys (3), Dystovomita (1), Garcinia (2), Marila (2), Symphonia (1), Tovomita (1), Vismia (3).

FIELD MARKS – opposite, simple leaves, secondary veins straight, parallel, and numerous, terminal bud invaginate (often hidden from view by youngest pair of leaves), blades often thick (coriaceous), exudes yellow, orange (Vismia) or creamy latex.

The hemiepiphyte Clusia stenophylla growing at the entrance to the Monteverde Cloud Forest.
Clusia stenophylla with closely parallel secondary veins.
Clusia stenophylla cut stem with yellow exudation.
Clusia stenophylla fruit.
Vismia with lance-shaped developing leaves.
Vismia with lance-shaped developing leaves.
Leaves, flowers, and fruits of Clusia uvitana, a hemiepiphyte capable of switching between CAM and C-3 photosynthetic pathways in response to environmental conditions.
Clusia uvitana in flower.

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