Septotheca Notes

Septotheca tessmannii Ulbr.

Malvaceae Info (Home)

Septotheca is a monotypic genus. The sole species, Septotheca tessmannii, is found in riverine (varzea) forests in Brazil, Peru and Columbia.

Septotheca is traditionally placed in Bombacaceae. Current opinion is that it belongs the the Malvatheca clade (comprising Malvoideae and Bombacoideae, and roughly corresponding to the traditional Malvaceae and Bombacaceae), but that its relationships to other elements of that clade are unclear.

Septotheca tessmannii is a tall tree, with a buttressed base, and a lepidote indumentum. The leaves are alternate, simple, and elliptic, with cordate bases, entire margins, and a fine stellate-lepidote indumentum on the lower surface. They are pinnately nerved, with the secondary veins sub-opposite. The inflorescences are axillary, long-pedunculate and subumbellate. The flowers are involucellate; the epicalyx is fused in bud, and caducous. The calyx is tubular, with two lips, one simple, the other 3-lobed. Its exterior is densely lepidote. The petals number 5. They are spatulate in shape. The staminal tube is apically 5-lobed, bearing several obliquely septate, sessile, bithecate, anthers. The ovary is 5-locular, each locule bearing numerous ascending ovules in a single row; placentation is axile. The style branches are slender and spreading, with decurrent stigmas. The fruit is a woody capsule. The seeds are winged.

A photograph of a herbarium specimen of Septotheca tessmannii is available at NYBG.


  1. Kubitzki & Bayer, in Kubitzki & Bayer, The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants, Vol. 5 (2003)
  2. Hutchinson, The Genera of Flowering Plants (1967)


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© 2005 Stewart Robert Hinsley