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This species is accepted, and its native range is Mexico to Tropical America. It is used to treat unspecified medicinal disorders.
Marsdenia aff. macrophylla (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Schult.) E. Fourn.


Espírito Santo, F., Rapini, A., Ribeiro, P.L. et al. (2019). Phylogeny of the tribe Marsdenieae (Apocynaceae), reinstatement of Ruehssia and the taxonomic treatment of the genus in Brazil. Kew Bulletin 74: 30.

Ruehssia macrophylla is broadly distributed and is not under threat, being assessed as Least Concern: LC.
The most widely distributed species of the genus, occurring from Central Mexico to Argentina (Morillo 1978). In Brazil, it is found in the states of Amazônas, Pará and Rondônia (North), Bahia, Ceará and Maranhão (Northeast), Mato Grosso (Centre-West), Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo (Southeast), and Paraná (South).
Amazon and Atlantic rainforests, but also in seasonally dry forests in the Caatinga domain and gallery forests in the Cerrado domain.
Morphology General Habit
Lianas; stems glabrescent, pubescent when young
Morphology Leaves
Leaves with petiole 1.2 – 3.4 cm long, sparsely to densely pubescent; lamina 6.4 – 22 × 5.6 – 18.4 cm, elliptic, base cuneate or slightly cordate, apex cuspidate or rounded, margins revolute, adaxially with 4 – 10 colleters at the base of the main vein, semi-fleshy, adaxial surface glabrous, glabrescent or sparsely puberulent, abaxial surface glabrescent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals 4 – 5.7 × 3.2 – 5.1 mm, broadly obovate to orbicular, apex obtuse to rounded, margins ciliate, abaxially sparsely pubescent or glabrous, adaxially with 5 alternisepalous colleters at the base of calyx
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla campanulate or tubular, abaxially greenish-cream, glabrous, adaxially vinaceous to reddish, 5-barbate on the middle portion of the tube, glabrous along the lobes; tube 4.1 – 5 × 3 – 4.5 mm; lobes 5.1 – 7 × 3.1 – 4 mm, oblong, recurved, apex obtuse to rounded, margins ciliate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corona
Corona lobes 3.1 – 4 × 0.9 – 1.4 mm, narrowly triangular to lanceolate, a lower portion fused to the anther, an upper portion free, not exceeding the apex of the style-head
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynostegium
Gynostegium c. 5.4 mm high, stipitate (stipe c. 1 mm high), slightly exserted from the corolla tube; style-head c. 1.8 × 1 mm, conical; anthers c. 1.12 × 1.14 mm, apical membranous appendix 2.4 – 2.7 × 1.04 – 1.1 mm, oblong-obovate; corpusculum 0.51 – 0.6 × 0.16 – 0.2 mm, oblong-ovate, apex obtuse, straight; caudicles 0.24 – 0.33 mm long; pollinia 1.1 – 1.39 × 0.19 – 0.28 mm, narrowly oblong
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Follicles 12.9 – 21 × 4.1 – 5.5 cm, ellipsoid, glabrous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences umbelliform, 10 – 25 flowers; peduncle 0.6 – 1.5 cm long, puberulent, glabrescent; bracts 0.9 – 3 × 0.7 – 1.9 mm, ovate to triangular, margins ciliate; pedicels 3 – 6 mm long, puberulent
Ruehssia macrophylla is characterised by the large, elliptic leaves, multiflorous, umbelliform inflorescences, widely ovate to orbicular sepals, campanulate corolla, abaxially greenish-cream and adaxially vinaceous to reddish, narrowly triangular to lanceolate corona lobes, pollinaria with large, narrowly oblong pollinia and large, smooth, ellipsoid fruits. By the habit and morphology of leaves and corolla, it is related to R. avacanoeira (see the notes of that species). The synonyms are based on Morillo (1978), who probably combined the diagnoses and species reported from Venezuela and, by exclusion, reached the synonymy of R. macrophylla. Marsdenia maculata was described based on a cultivated plant and the original illustration is selected as the lectotype here. Marsdenia warmingii was possibly described based on two specimens from Lagoa Santa, in the state of Minas Gerais: Warming 1079 and 1082, at herbarium C. We selected Warming 1082 as the lectotype because it was collected with flowers in December, as mentioned by Fournier in the original publication. The other four synonyms were described based on Venezuelan specimens, but the lack of information precluded the selection of lectotypes or neotypes for these names.
Collected with flowers from September to April and with fruits throughout the year.

Bejuco de cáncer


Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá.

Nativa en Colombia; Alt. 15 - 1600 m.; Andes, Islas Caribeñas, Llanura del Caribe, Orinoquia, Valle del Magdalena.
Morphology General Habit
Trepadora, liana
No Evaluada


The Useful Plants of Boyacá project

Morphology General Habit
Creeper or liana.
Native from Colombia.
Alt. 15 - 1600 m.
Not Evaluated.

Use Medicines Unspecified Medicinal Disorders
Medicinal (Instituto Humboldt 2014).

Native to:

Argentina Northeast, Bolivia, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guyana, Leeward Is., Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad-Tobago, Venezuela, Windward Is.

Bejuco de cáncer.

Ruehssia macrophylla (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Schult.) H.Karst. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jan 1, 2008 Zappi, D.C. [1434], Mato Grosso Marsdenia macrophylla K000579371
Nov 1, 2007 Sasaki, D. [1620], Mato Grosso Marsdenia macrophylla K000578437
Jun 1, 2007 Projeto Flora Cristalino [461], Mato Grosso Marsdenia macrophylla K000447760
Jan 1, 1985 Gilbert, M. [s.n.], Paraguay Marsdenia macrophylla K000095815
Sandwith, N.Y. [1816] Marsdenia macrophylla 18767.000
Wood, J.R.I. [11414], Bolivia Marsdenia macrophylla 62429.000
Purdie [s.n.], Colombia Marsdenia macrophylla K000438630 Unknown type material
Trinidad & Tobago Marsdenia macrophylla K000438701
Glaziou, A. [15224], Brazil Marsdenia macrophylla K000095814
Colombia Marsdenia macrophylla K000438631

First published in Verh. Vereins Beförd. Gartenbaues Königl. Preuss. Staaten 19: 305 (1849)

Not accepted by

  • Nelson Sutherland, C.H. (2008). Catálogo de las plantes vasculares de Honduras. Espermatofitas: 1-1576. SERNA/Guaymuras, Tegucigalpa, Honduras. [Cited as Marsdenia macrophylla.]


Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

  • ColPlantA (2021). "ColPlantA. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet;"

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Acevedo-Rodríguez, P. & Strong, M.T. (2012). Catalogue of seed plants of the West Indies Smithsonian Contributions to Botany 98: 1-1192.
  • Boggan, J. Funck, V. & Kelloff, C. (1997). Checklist of the Plants of the Guianas (Guyana, Surinam, Franch Guiana) ed. 2: 1-238. University of Guyana, Georgetown.
  • Davidse, G. & al. (eds.) (2009). Flora Mesoamericana 4(1): 1-855. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D.F.
  • Forzza, R.C. & al. (2012). Lista de Espécies da Flora do Brasil
  • Hammel, B.E., Grayum, M.H., Herrera, C. & Zamora, N. (eds.) (2020). Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica 4(1): 1-904. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.
  • Hokche, O., Berry, P.E. & Huber, O. (eds.) (2008). Nuevo Catálogo de la Flora Vascular de Venezuela: 1-859. Fundación Instituto Botánico de Venezuela.
  • Ibarra-Manríquez, G. & al. (2015). Lianas of Mexico Botanical Sciences 93: 365-417.
  • Paña-Chocarro, M.C., Espada-Mateos, C., Vera, M., Céspedes, G. & Knapp, S. (2010). Updated checklist of vascular plants of the Mbaracayú Forest Nature Reserve (Reserva Natural del Bosque Mbaracayú), Paraguay Phytotaxa 12: 1-224.
  • Zuloaga, F.O., Morrone, O. , Belgrano, M.J., Marticorena, C. & Marchesi, E. (eds.) (2008). Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares del Cono Sur Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 107: 1-3348. Missouri Botanical Garden.

Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

Kew Bulletin
Kew Bulletin

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

Kew Science Photographs
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

Universidad Nacional de Colombia
ColPlantA database

Useful Plants of Boyacá Project
ColPlantA database