Rubiaceae

Guild: pi

Life form: shrub or small tree Max. height: 15 m Max. diameter: data unavailable Leaf: opposite, simple, elliptic to obovate, mesophyll (3-8 x 8-21.5 cm), entire, fairly coriaceous, glabrous; petiole 0.3-1.5 cm long, glabrous; with interpetiolar stipules Inflorescence: terminal, branched (corymbose), inflorescence axes reddish and densely hairy, sessile or shortly pedunculate Flower: medium-sized (corolla tube 2-3 cm long); calyx glabrous, green; corolla white to pink, a long corolla tube with short lobes; very fragrant Fruit: fleshy (drupe), bilobed, subglobose, somewhat transversally flattened (0.6 x 1 cm); reddish when ripe; persistent calyx; 1-2 seeds Seed: medium-sized (0.7 x 0.8 cm), reddish brown Other: I. laxiflora var. laxiflora differs from I. laxiflora var. linderi in its long pedicels.

Distribution

I. laxiflora laxiflora is an Upper Guinea endemic that occurs in Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d'lvoire, and Ghana. It has a continuous distribution, is widespread and is present in 41 30' cells. Its distribution range is 1809 km. It can be found in wet evergreen forest, moist evergreen forest, savanna-woodland, gallery forest, swamp forest, beach forest, coastal savanna, and secondary forest.

I. laxiflora linderi is an Upper Guinea endemic that occurs in Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire. It has a continuous distribution, is widespread and is present in 2 30' cells. Its distribution range is 772 km. The last record of this species was collected in 1962.

Species occurrence increases with rainfall to reach a wide optimum between 2200-3500 mm/yr (logistic regression analysis, Chi2 test). It is mostly found in the lowlands (logistic regression analysis) and occurs frequently near the coast (Chi2 test). It occurs in relatively open places of the forest (e.g. forest roads or edges) or in relatively open plant communities such as coastal savannas or near the beach. Often also close to rivers and swamp edges. Usually on sandy soils, but sometimes also on loamy and lateritic soils (herbarium).

Phenology

Dispersal: by birds and small mammals (De Block 1998)

Timing: flowering period from July to October; fruiting period from November (De Koning 1983)

Data sources

FWTA, De Koning (1983), Hawthorne (1995a), De Block (1998)

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