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Systematic anatomy of Erythroxylum P. Browne: Practical and evolutionary implications for the cultiv

Systematic anatomy of Erythroxylum P. Browne: Practical and evolutionary implications for the cultiv

  1. Bajeda
    Rury, Phillip M. (1981). Systematic anatomy of Erythroxylum P. Browne: Practical and evolutionary implications for the cultivated cocas. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 3(2-3): 229-263.

    Preliminary study of the pantropical Erythroxylaceae indicates that anatomical features can provide valuable insight into the generic, infra-generic and specific affinities of unidentified specimens. Combinations of qualitative and quantitative anatomical data are most reliable when considered in conjunction with relevant ecological and plant morphological data. Extreme caution is advised in such taxonomic applications due to the intergrading patterns of anatomical variation exhibited within the family. Careful consideration must be given to the potential influence on anatomy of factors such as plant age, habit, leaf morphology and environmental conditions.


    Comparative anatomical data support the hypothesis that Bolivian coca (E. coca) represents the most primitive of the cultivated cocas. The Colombian and Trujillo varieties of coca (E. novogranatense) appear to have been derived from a Bolivian-like ancestral coca as a result of long-term cultivation, geographic isolation and human selection for increased flavor, palatability and drought resistance.