Studies in Neotropical Araliaceae. II. Resurrection of the Neotropical Genus Crepinella for a Clade of New World Species Previously Included in Schefflera (Araliaceae)
The pantropical genus Schefflera J. R. Forst. & G. Forst. (Araliaceae) was recently found to be polyphyletic, making it necessary to restrict the generic name to a small clade in the southwest Pacific and to transfer the members of the four remaining clades to other genera. Recent studies of the Neotropical clade have shown that it comprises five morphologically and geographically coherent subclades, each of which is being recognized as a separate genus. In the present synopsis, Crepinella Marchal is resurrected to include the 33 currently recognized species and four infraspecific taxa belonging to one of these subclades, necessitating 36 new combinations (32 species, two subspecies, and two varieties); two names are also lectotypified. Members of Crepinella can be recognized by their leaves with coriaceous leaflets and small stipular ligules, compound
umbellate inflorescences, and 2- to 5-carpellate ovaries, coupled with a distribution that is largely restricted to montane vegetation on the sandstone tepuis of the Guiana Shield, with just three species occurring on sandstone substrates elsewhere in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.