Jaltomata auriculata (Miers) Mione

Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and one specimen from Bolivia
revised 12 Oct 2018  
Link to Jaltomata homepage The information on this page may be cited as a communication with professor Thomas Mione, Central Connecticut State University, Biology Department, Copernicus Hall, 1615 Stanley Street, New Britain, Connecticut 06050-4010, United States of America.
Link to Jaltomata of Lima, Peru
Link to the Jaltomata of Ancash, Peru
Figure 1. Two open flowers, anthers dehisced (Plowman & Davis 4449 grown as Mione 450, photo by T. Mione)
Figure 2. Back of flower (Plowman & Davis 4449 grown as Mione 450, photo by T. Mione)
Figure 3. Potted plant of Jaltomata auriculata (Plowman & Davis 4449 grown as Mione 450, photo by T. Mione)
Figure 4. Ripe Fruits of Jaltomata auriculata (Plowman & Davis 4449 grown as Mione 450, photo by T. Mione)

For the living plants shown in photos, seeds were germinated at Central Connecticut State University and plants were grown outdoors in Burlington, CT, during the summer of 2003.

transfer to the genus Jaltomata: Brittonia 51(1) 1999, pages 31-32.
Saracha auriculata Miers, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 2, 3: 448. 1849. Miers, Illustr. S. Amer. Pl. 2: 18, t. 38A. 1857.  
Witheringia auriculata
(Miers) Miers, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 2, 11: 92. 1853.  
TYPE: COLOMBIA. Dept. Tolima, Playas del Combeima, 4 o 19' N, 75 o 09' W, J. Goudot s.n . (HOLOTYPE: K; ISOTYPE: P, photo of P specimen, F neg. 39249).   The taxonomic transfer of this species from Saracha to Jaltomata was proposed by Castillo (unpublished, 1974, page 115).

Habit & Height erect, herb/suffrutescent to 1 m tall.  
Young Branches    
Older Branches Glabrate  
Leaf Size to 20 cm long (including petiole)  
Leaf Shape ovate  
Leaves strongly toothed to sinuate on the same plant, to subentire; terminally acuminate to obtuse  
Flowers Per Inflorescence 4 - 6  
Peduncle to 2.9 cm long; green; glabrous  
Pedicel Pedicel to 2 cm long; green; glabrous; bract to 9 mm long sometimes arising from base  
Calyx at Flowering Flowering calyx 6 - 8 mm in diameter; lobe radius 2.5 - 3 mm; sinus radius 1.5 - 1.6 mm; glabrous.  
Corolla shape and size    
Corolla lobes/lobules Corolla rotate; white to yellowish (always white on plants of Plowman & Davis 4449 I cultivated, shown in these photos); "white with a ring of 10 light green marks at base" (Asplund 19223); 5-lobed or 10-lobed with the lobules inconspicuous; 17 - 19 mm in diameter; lobe radius 7 mm; sinus radius 4.5 mm; closing at night.    
Corolla color and hairs    
Stamen length 3.2 - 3.6 mm  
filaments the slender part pubescent on basal 1/2 - 2/3 of the length with unpigmented finger trichomes to 1 mm long
anther color dull white
anther size undehisced 1.1 - 1.3 mm long by 1.2 - 1.4 mm wide
anther mucronate
anthers of a flower open simultaneously?
pollen quantity 49,687 grains per androecium (n = 1 flower) pollen count by CCSU student Elisabeth dos Santos 2011
pollen grain size 30 - 37.5 µm
Disk around ovary    
Style including length 1.9 - 2.5 mm long including stigma.  
Ovules per ovary 176 - 212  
Herkogamy? No, stigma at same height as dehisced anthers  
Fruit color (at maturity) and size bright red (Figures 4, 6), remaining attached to the parent plant after ripening, suggesting bird dispersal  
Calyx at fruit maturity    
Seeds 1.0 mm long  
Chromosome number    
Growability in Connecticut, USA not difficult  
How long does it take from flower to ripe fruit?    
Self-Compatible? yes Mione 1992 (page 27) and
K. Kostyun (personal communication Jan 2016, Mione 450)
Seed Germination    

stigma overhead dimensions 0.5 - 0.6 mm by 0.6 - 0.8 mm. Description unless otherwise noted based on plants grown from seeds of Plowman & Davis 4449.  

     Diagnostic Features: glabrate, small white flowers, pubescent/villous filaments, bright red fruits.  

    Distribution and Ecology: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and one specimen from Bolivia; usually collected between 1400 m and 2100 m (see elevation column in table below), usually in disturbed habitats including roadsides.   Flowering and fruiting in the months listed below in the table of collections.   Jaltomata auriculata is autogamous and self-compatible; fruits were abundantly self-set in a pollinator-free greenhouse.   Fruits are bright red, 5 - 11 mm across, and remain attached to the parent plant after ripening, suggesting bird dispersal. When ripe fruits are manually removed or fall the calyx and pedicel usually remain attached to plant.  

     Jaltomata auriculata resembles J. nitida (Bitter) Mione. Both possess glabrate leaves, white flowers and orange to red fruits. They are easily distinguished, however, as the filaments of J. auriculata are villous along the lower half, and the calyx diameter (at fruit maturity) is less than 16 mm, whereas J. nitida has glabrous filaments and the calyx diameter (at fruit maturity) is greater than 16 mm.   Jaltomata auriculata is also similar to J. antillana, especially when plants are young, but lacks gland-tipped hairs present on J. antillana.  

     Geographic Distribution: Andean South America, see this table:

Country Primary Political Locality elev-
habitat date collector
data entry
Venezuela Mérida, Dto. Libertador la carretera para Acariqua, entre el caserío San Jacinto y la quebrada abajo de El Plan 1500-2250 orillas de la carretera 27 Dec 1977 Ruiz-Terán 14980 (K MERF)
Jan 2007
Colombia Dept. Tolima TYPE SPECIMEN: Playas del Combeima, 4 19 18" N, 75 08 50" W
no data
no data
no data Goudot s.n. (K)
Jan 2007
Dept. Tolima Prov. Mariquita
no data
no data
1851 - 1857 J. Triana 1866 (G)
Jan 2007
Ecuador Prov. Pichincha Reserva Florística-Ecológica "Río Guajalito" a 3.5 km al NE del km 59.5 carretera antigua Quito-Santo Domingo de los Colorados; 0 13' 53" S, 78 48' 10" W 1800-2200 en bosque nublado de vegetacion primaria y alrededores 20 Jul 1987 V. Zak & J. Jaramillo 2187 (F NY)
Jan 2007
Prov. Pichincha rd. from Aloag to Santo Domingo de los Colorados, km 36 2104 roadside 17 Nov 1974 Plowman & Davis 4449 (GH, K); grown as Mione 450
Jan 2007
Prov. Tungurahua valley of Río Pastaza, between Machai and La Victoria 1400 roadside in forest 24 Aug 1939 Asplund 8500 (NY)
Jan 2007
Prov. Tungurahua Hacienda Machai 1500
no data
4 Feb 1956 Asplund 19223 (B NY)
Jan 2007
Prov. Tungurahua Río verde Grande 1500
no data
30 Mar 1956 Asplund 20074 (B G K NY)
Jan 2007
Peru Dept Cajamarca, prov. San Ignacio San Martín (San Ignacio - El Chaupe) 1590 borde de camino 12 Aug 1996 S. Leiva & N. Sawyer 1850 (HAO)
Jan 2007
Dept Cajamarca, prov. San Ignacio ruta Marisahua-El Chaupe 1860 borde de camino, entre Verbesina 3 Jan 1998 S. Leiva G. et al. 2091 (HAO)
Jan 2007
Dept Cajamarca, prov. Paucartambo Valle de Kosñipata, Rocotal
13 08' 45.5" S, 71 05' 17.4" W
borde de carretera, derrumbe natural, expuesta al sol 25 Oct 2007 M. Cueva & I. Treviño s.n. (HUSA)
Feb 2010
Dept. Cuzco, prov. La Convencion Sahuayaco, Río Chalpimayo above Pacchar
cafetal in shade 25 Jan 1975 Plowman & Davis 4861 (CUZ, GH, K, MO)
Jan 2007
Bolivia Department La Paz, province S. Yungas Basin of Rio Bopi, San Bartolome (near Calisaya) 750 - 900
no data
July 1-22 1939 Krukoff 10381 (F, MO, US)
Jan 2007
Figure 5. Corolla Margin Trichomes
(fresh tissue stained for 5 to 15 min in neutral red, photo by T. Mione)
Figure 6. The ruler (resting on the pot) is one foot long.
Note the ripe fruit (red) towards the base of the plant.