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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Ordo: Ericales

Familia: Marcgraviaceae
Subfamilia: Noranteoideae
Genus: Schwartzia

Schwartzia Vell., Fl. Flumin.: 221. 1825 [1829].

Type species: Schwartzia glabra Vell., Fl. Flumin.: 221. 1825 [1829].

Overview of species
Accepted species

S. adamantium – S. andina – S. antioquensis – S. brasiliensis – S. brenesii – S. chocoensis – S. costaricensis – S. geniculatiflora – S. jimenezii – S. jucuensis – S. lozaniana – S. magnifica – S. parrae – S. petersonii – S. pterosara – S. renvoizei – S. spiciflora – S. tarrazuensis – S. weddelliana
Source(s) of checklist:
Names in synonymy

S. colombiana – S. diaz-piedrahitae – S. foreroi – S. glabra – S. micradenia – S. sclerophylla – S. venusta
Native distribution areas:
Native distribution

Southern America
Central America
Costa Rica, Panama.
Leeward Is., Trinidad-Tobago, Windward Is.
Northern South America
Western South America
Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru.
Brazil West-Central, Brazil Northeast, Brazil Southeast, Brazil North, Brazil South.

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Vellozo, J.M.C. (†). 1829 ["1825"]. Florae Fluminensis, seu descriptionum plantarum praefectura fluminensi sponte nascentium liber primus ad systema sexuale concinnatus ... 352 pp. Flumine Januario [Rio de Janeiro]. BHL. Reference page.

Additional references

Giraldo-Cañas, D. 2003. Revisión de las especies colombianas del género Schwartzia (Marcgraviaceae). Caldasia 25: 1–21. Online Reference page.
Giraldo-Cañas, D. 2004. Las especies del género Schwartzia (complejo Norantea, Marcgraviaceae) en Brasil. Darwiniana 42: 169–175. Online Reference page.
Giraldo-Cañas, D. & Fiaschi, P. 2005. Las Marcgraviaceae (Ericales) de Brasil: Las especies del complejo Norantea. Caldasia 27: 173–194. Online Reference page.
Giraldo-Cañas, D. 2006. Lectotipificación para Schwartzia magnifica (complejo Norantea, Marcgraviaceae) y revisión del género para Bolivia y Perú. Caldasia 28: 275–283. Online JSTOR Reference page.
Giraldo-Cañas, D. 2008. Las especies mesoamericanas y caribeñas del género Schwartzia (complejo Norantea, Marcgraviaceae). Revista Institucional Universidad Tecnológica del Chocó 27: 4–18. PDF Reference page.
Giraldo-Cañas, D. 2009. Revisión de las especies sudamericanas del género Schwartzia (Marcgraviaceae: complejo Norantea). Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 3: 691–725. BHL JSTOR Reference page.
Giraldo-Cañas, D. 2011. Estudios morfológicos y taxonómicos en el complejo Norantea (Marcgraviaceae): Revisión de Norantea, Pseudosarcopera y Schwartzia. Biblioteca José Jerónimo Triana 22: 1–175. PDF Reference page.
Giraldo-Cañas, D. 2011. Las Marcgraviaceae de Colombia: Inventario, diversidad, endemismo y distribución. Bioetnia 8: 28–39. PDF Reference page.
Hammel, B.E. 2007. Marcgraviaceae. Pp. 374–391 in Hammel, B.E., Grayum, M.H., Herrera, C. & Zamora, N. (eds.), Manual de plantas de Costa Rica, Vol. VI, Dicotiledóneas (Haloragaceae–Phytolaccaceae). Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis. ISBN 978-1-930723-60-3. Reference page.


International Plant Names Index. 2016. Schwartzia. Published online. Accessed: 14 January 2016.
Farr, E.R. & Zijlstra, G. (eds.) 1996 onwards. Schwartzia in Index Nominum Genericorum (Plantarum). Accessed: 2016 January 14.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Schwartzia in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 2016-01-14.
Tropicos.org 2016. Schwartzia (Marcgraviaceae). Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 14 January 2016.
Tropicos.org: Flora Mesoamericana: Schwartzia. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 14 January 2016.
Tropicos.org: Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of the Department of Antioquia (Colombia): Schwartzia. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 14 January 2016.
Tropicos.org: Peru Checklist: Schwartzia. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 14 January 2016.
Tropicos.org: Bolivia Catalogue: Schwartzia. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 14 January 2016.
Schwartzia in Flora do Brasil 2020 em construção. Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro. Accessed: 24 February 2016.

Schwartzia is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the family Marcgraviaceae.[1] It is found in tropical parts of South America, mainly within the rainforest. It has greenish, white, reddish or red coloured flowers.


They are sprawling shrubs, lianas, and sometimes small trees.[2][3] The leaves are spirally arranged,[3] sessile (without a stalk) or petiolate (having a leaf stalk).[2] They are coriaceous (leathery or stiff and tough),[3] It has inflorescences which are short racemes with between 8-60 flowers,[3] (though Schwartzia brasiliensis has long racemes of betweeen 60-300 flowers).[2] They have straight, rarely geniculate (bent at a sharp angle), slender or stout,[3] and elongated pedicels (flower stalks), which are between 1.4–9 cm (1–4 in), depending on the species.[2] The nectaries are adnate (grown from or closely fused to an organ) to the lower third of the pedicel, mostly stipitate (stalked or borne on a stipe), cup-like, sac-like or boat shaped.[2] The flowers have 5 sepals and 5 petals,[2][3] which are connate (or fused to another organ) and greenish, white, reddish or red in colour shades.[2] The 5 imbricated (or tiled, overlapping) sepals are generally circular in shape. They form a quincunx and are coriaceous (leathery, stiff and tough). The 5 petals are free to variously connate, imbricate in bud and strongly reflexed (bent) at anthesis (after flowering).[3] It has 12 - 85 stamens,[3] with the filaments (stamen stalks) mostly free or the outer whorl basally adnate (fused together) to the corolla, linear, flattened or somewhat triangular.[2][3] The anthers are approximately sagittate (arrowhead-shaped),[3] or heart-shaped.[2] The thecae are elongated.[3] The ovary has 3 or 5 fused carpels,[2] or seed chambers and few to numerous ovules per locule or chamber. The stigma is smooth or slightly capitate (like the head of a pin) or radiate.[3]

After flowering it produces a leathery looking,[3] fruit or seed caspule, which is almost globose (spherical) or berry-like (when immature). When ripe, they are often red or orange in color or just suffused with red. The fruits are sometimes also referred to as 'berries'.[4] Inside the capule, the seeds are reniform (kidney-shaped) to hemispheric. The testa (seed coat) is reticulate (net-like) and red-black or glossy, shiny black.[3][4]

The flowers of the various Schwartzia species are visited by bees, wasps, ants and also, butterflies. However, the construction of the inflorescences with the large distances between the flowers and the nectaries excludes pollination by insects, since even the largest insects do not touch the flower organs when harvesting the nectaries. Therefore, only birds, bats and other small mammals can be considered effective pollinators.[5] Among birds, only perched birds such as the sugarbird (Promerops) are considered more suitable for pollination rather than hummingbirds. From Brazil, however, pollination of Schwartzia adamantium by the swallow-tailed hummingbird (Eupetomena macroura) is documented.[6]


The genus name of Schwartzia is in honour of Olof Swartz (1760–1818), a Swedish botanist and taxonomist. He is best known for his taxonomic work and studies into pteridophytes.[7] It was first described and published in Fl. Flumin. Vol.5 on page 221 in 1829.[1]

Schwartzia glabra Vell. was the only species discussed there and thus became the type species. However, the same species was validly described as early as 1824 under the name Norantea brasiliensis by the Swiss botanist Jacques Denys Choisy and is therefore now called Schwartzia brasiliensis.

Schwartzia was treated as part of a broad genus of Norantea until the mid-1990s. The species of today's genera Marcgraviastrum, Pseudosarcopera and Sarcopera were also counted within Norantea. Beginning with the unpublished dissertation by the American botanist Hollis G. Bedell from 1985,[8] in which a division of the genus Norantea was proposed, a classification concept with several smaller genera has now prevailed. Schwartzia includes the former subgenus of Cochliophyllum and partially the subgenus Byrsophyllum of the genus Norantea.[5] In contrast to Norantea, Schwartzia has relatively short-stalked or sessile nectaries on the lower to middle part of the relatively long flower stalks.

A phylogenetic study in 2002, was based on three regions of the plastid genome, has now confirmed that Norantea is not monophyletic in the old, broad sense. In this work, Schwartzia costaricensis, the only examined representative of Schwartzia, was the 'sister' taxon to Ruyschia phylladenia, the only examined representative of Ruyschia, with good statistical certainty.[9]
Known species

According to Kew and Plants of the World Online:[1]

Schwartzia adamantium (Cambess.) Bedell ex Gir.-Cañas
Schwartzia andina Gir.-Cañas
Schwartzia antioquensis Gir.-Cañas
Schwartzia brasiliensis (Choisy) Bedell ex Gir.-Cañas
Schwartzia brenesii (Standl.) Bedell
Schwartzia chocoensis Gir.-Cañas
Schwartzia costaricensis (Gilg) Bedell
Schwartzia diaz-piedrahitae Gir.-Cañas
Schwartzia geniculatiflora Gir.-Cañas & Fiaschi
Schwartzia jimenezii (Standl.) Bedell
Schwartzia jucuensis Gir.-Cañas
Schwartzia lozaniana Gir.-Cañas
Schwartzia magnifica (Gilg) Bedell
Schwartzia parrae Gir.-Cañas
Schwartzia petersonii Gir.-Cañas
Schwartzia pterosara de Roon & Bedell ex Gir.-Cañas
Schwartzia renvoizei Gir.-Cañas
Schwartzia spiciflora (Juss.) Bedell
Schwartzia tarrazuensis Hammel
Schwartzia weddelliana (Baill.) Bedell

Schwartzia diazpiedrahitae Gir.-Cañas from western Colombia and Ecuador, which was only described in 2001, was then transferred to the genus Pseudosarcopera as Pseudosarcopera diaz-piedrahitae,[10] but when that genus was declared a synonym of Sarcopera it was transferred back to Schwartzia diazpiedrahitae Gir.-Cañas.[11]


Its native range is in Tropical America. It is found within Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Leeward Islands, Panamá, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela and the Windward Islands.[1]


The majority of Schwartzia species grow in montane rainforests and cloud forests. Schwartzia costaricensis and Schwartzia andina reach altitudes of up to around 2,400 metres (7,900 ft), while the Peruvian-based, Schwartzia magnifica reaches up to 2,500 metres (8,200 ft). Only a few species, in particular the Colombian Schwartzia chocoensis, also occur in lowland rainforests. Several species also inhabit secondary forests and forest edges. Schwartzia chocoensis is also found in mangroves and on the banks of large rivers.

The Brazilian species show clearly different habitat requirements. Only the very rare Schwartzia geniculatiflora is tied to the Atlantic rainforest. The other species, on the other hand, occur in different types of savannas and scrub forests as well as on rocky sites. Schwartzia adamantium inhabits the Campos cerrados in particular and reaches an altitude of 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) above sea level, depending on its distribution inland. Schwartzia brasiliensis, instead, occurs along the coast up to about 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) above sea level and inhabits scrub forests and savannahs on rocky sites. But in coastal landscape, where it grows in scrub forests on sandy soil and along its margins. The species also occurs in mangrove forests. Schwartzia jucuensisis is known only from the rocky banks of the Jucu River in the state of Espírito Santo.[3]

"Schwartzia Vell. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science". Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
Klaus Kubitzk The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants: Flowering Plants. Dicotyledons: Celastrales, Oxalidales, Rosales, Cornales, Ericales. (2004), p. 263, at Google Books
Dressler, S. (2020). "Marcgraviaceae in Flora do Brasil 2020". Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
Hammel, B.E.; Grayum, M.H.; Herrera, C.; Zamora, N. (2007). Manual de plantas de Costa Rica. Vol. VI: Dicotiledóneas (Haloragaceae–Phytolaccaceae). Missouri Botanical Garden Press. p. 374. ISBN 978-1-930723-60-3.
Giraldo-Cañas, D. (2009). "Revisión de las especies sudamericanas del género Schwartzia (Marcgraviaceae: complejo Norantea)". Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 3: 693–695.
Arruda, R.; Cabrelli Salles, J.; de Oliveira, P.E. (2007). "Hummingbird pollination in Schwartzia adamantium (Marcgraviaceae) in an area of Brazilian savanna". Revista Brasileira de Zoociências. 9 (2): 193–198.
Burkhardt, Lotte (2018). Verzeichnis eponymischer Pflanzennamen – Erweiterte Edition [Index of Eponymic Plant Names – Extended Edition] (pdf) (in German). Berlin: Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum, Freie Universität Berlin. doi:10.3372/epolist2018. ISBN 978-3-946292-26-5. S2CID 187926901. Retrieved 1 January 2021.
HG Bedell: A generic revision of Marcgraviaceae I. The Norantea complex. PhD dissertation. University of Maryland, College Park 1985.
Ward, N.M.; Price, R.A. (2002). "Phylogenetic relationships of Marcgraviaceae: insights from three chloroplast genes". Systematic Botany. 27: 149–160.
Giraldo-Cañas, D. (2007). "Un nuevo género de la familia neotropical Marcgraviaceae (Ericales) y circunscripción del complejo Norantea". Caldasia. 29: 203–217.

Bernal, R., G. Galeano, A. Rodríguez, H. Sarmiento y M. Gutiérrez. 2017. Nombres Comunes de las Plantas de Colombia. http://www.biovirtual.unal.edu.co/nombrescomunes

Other sources

D. Giraldo-Cañas: Revisión de las especies colombianas del genero Schwartzia (Marcgraviaceae). Caldasia. 25, 2003, pp. 1–21. (PDF)
D. Giraldo-Cañas: Validation of a new species of Schwartzia (Marcgraviaceae) and synopsis of the genus for Ecuador. Novon. 15, 2005, pp. 123–127. (on-line)
D. Giraldo-Cañas: Lectotipificación para Schwartzia magnifica (complejo Norantea, Marcgraviaceae) and revisión del genero para Bolivia y Perú. Caldasia. 28, 2006, pp. 275–283. (on-line)
D. Giraldo-Cañas: Las especies mesoamericanas y caribeñas del generos Schwartzia (complejo Norantea, Marcgraviaceae). Revista Institucional Universidad Tecnológica del Chocó. 27, 2008, pp. 4–18. (on-line)
D. Giraldo-Cañas, P. Fiaschi: Las Marcgraviaceae (Ericales) de Brasil: Las esspecies del complejo Norantea. Caldasia. 27, 2005, pp. 173–194.
Souza, V.C. 2015. Marcgraviaceae in Lista de Espécies da Flora do Brasil. Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro.

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