Dalechampia is a genus of plant of the family Euphorbiaceae and of the monogeneric subtribe Dalechampiinae. It comprises about 120 species, all found in lowland tropical areas (below 2,000 m ASL) and especially in the Americas. There are ca. 90 species in the Americas and ca. 10 species each, in Africa, Madagascar, and Asia. Additional new species are still being described and several are very rare and at risk of extinction.
Dalechampia has unisexual flowers that are secondarily united into a bisexual blossom (pseudanthium), which acts as the pollination unit. The pollination and floral evolution of this genus has been studied more intensively than perhaps any other member of the euphorb family. In the neotropics (Americas), most species are pollinated by resin-collecting female bees, including euglossine bees and Hypanthidium of the Megachilidae, which use resin in nest construction. About a dozen neotropical species are pollinated by fragrance-collecting male euglossine bees, which use these fragrances to attract females for mating. There are at least three independent pollination shifts from pollination by female resin-collecting bees to pollination by male fragrance-collecting bees. African and Asian species are also pollinated by resin-collecting megachilid bees, but Malagasy species are pollinated by pollen-feeding beetles and pollen-collecting bees.
Two species are of horticultural interest, having particularly showy blossoms with bright pink/purple bracts. One of these, D. aristolochiifolia, from Peru, has become very popular recently, but it is mistakenly advertised and distributed under the name D. dioscoreifolia.
* Dalechampia aristolochiifolia – Costa Rican Butterfly Vine, Purple Wings
Armbruster WS. 1984. The role of resin in angiosperm pollination: ecological and chemical considerations. American Journal of Botany 71: 1149-1160.
Armbruster WS. 1985. Patterns of character divergence and the evolution of reproductive ecotypes of Dalechampia scandens (Euphorbiaceae). Evolution 39: 733-752.
Armbruster WS. 1988. Multilevel comparative analysis of morphology, function, and evolution of Dalechampia blossoms. Ecology 69: 1746-1761.
Armbruster WS. 1990. Estimating and testing the shapes of adaptive surfaces: the morphology and pollination of Dalechampia blossoms. American Naturalist 135: 14-31.
Armbruster WS, Herzig AL, 1984. Partitioning and sharing of pollinators by four sympatric species of Dalechampia (Euphorbiaceae) in Panama. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 71: 1-16.
Webster, G. L. and W. S. Armbruster. 1991. A synopsis of the neotropical species of Dalechampia. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, London 105: 137-177.
Webster, G.L., and B.D. Webster. 1972. Morphology and relationships of Dalechampia scandens (Euphorbiaceae). American Journal of Botany 59: 573-586.
Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License