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Bejaria resinosa

Bejaria resinosa

Thanks once again to Andreas of Bogotá (aka Quimbaya@Flickr) for sharing an image of a wild plant from Colombia (original | BPotD Flickr Group Pool). This is another photograph from the set that Andreas has assembled on Cerro de Usaquén. Much appreciated again!

Most often, this shrub or tree species (from 0.25m to 6m) will be encountered in the scientific literature as Befaria resinosa. The differences in the name of the genus is due to an error on the part of Linnaeus. An explorer named Mutis sent the first specimen of the genus to Linnaeus in 1761 (after encountering it in Colombia), with the name Bejaria in dedication to Bejar, a friend of Mutis. Linnaeus, however, misread the j for an f, and so published it as Befaria. Many publications have since repeated the name Befaria. Recent taxonomic works use Bejaria, however — it seems a proposal to correct the error in 1994 was accepted.

Bejaria resinosa is native to Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru, where it goes by a number of common names depending on the country. More broadly speaking, the genus is commonly referred to as “the rose of the Andes”. As of 1991, the genus consisted of 15 recognized species, though earlier treatments recognized thirty-five species or more — some species are highly variable (including Bejaria resinosa), thus causing the taxonomic confusion.

The New York Botanical Garden has a scientific account of Bejaria resinosa, where it makes special mention of some non-scientific uses, including: “It is used in Colombia (Cundinamarca) for fly paper, hence the names matamosca and pegamosca (fly killer and fly sticker).”. A description of the genus is available, as well: Bejaria.

11 Comments

The Neotropical Ericads are one of my absolute favorite groups of plants. Great work, Andreas!

A similar case is Stuartia, named after John Stuart, mis-spelled "Stewartia" by Linnaeus.

Is it against botanic law to add a teeny tiny parenthetical common name?

It's not against botanic law, but it is against what I like to do. Common names are almost always in the text or the links.

a lovely flower to look at

this early morning

a flower by any other name? daniel

thank you to andreas and daniel

Thanks Daniel,

I'll look more closely for mention of the common name. The main reason for the request: I'm a garden writer and common names help my readers identify a plant. I most always include the botanic/Latin when I write about a particular plant.

TC - common names are really really a bad idea because they vary so much. They can even vary within the same country! There's just no way to be certain you're talking about the same plant when using common names. Sorry for the mini-rant, but I'm on a quest to educate the more casual gardener on using scientific names instead of common ones. I still don't understand why people are intimidated by scientific names. *shrug*

My suspicion is this plant is probably not available in the retail trade. That's probably a good thing as the native habitat is so very different from the climate in North America. Coastal northern California is one of the only places in North America with a similar climate to the Andes. Everywhere else it would need not only a greenhouse, but a greenhouse with an air-conditioner, as these plants are usually intolerant of frost AND hot temps.

I can see from most of the comments are about the naming of the plant. That is of course important to me also. What I want to say is this is wonderful Photograph and the lighting on the flower and the leaves shows what a beautiful plant it is. Thanks for both the beauty and the knowledge.
Thank you,
Margaret-Rae

Everything indicates that this is the same plant that is know as "matamosco" or "pegamosco" in the central Colombia. Matamosco means that mosquitos get stuck on it, most likely because the flower's resine.

Why would this plant need to cover itself with sticky resin? To retain water? to capture nitrates, like pitcher plants? to taste bad? to hoard it's own pollen?

Has anyone tried using this resin for anything? Flavoring, furniture polish, hair conditioner, rat poison, cancer-killer?

It is a beautiful photo, could you please tell me the camera and lens you used, the f stop and distance-to subject, to get such a nice depth of field, the sharpness really enhances the beauty!

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