Why are there differences between different locations on same species? Or is the ID wrong?

Hello. I’d like to bring the following observations to your attention:

As you many have noticed, all of these represent sightings of Rauvolfia tetraphylla, also known as “chilillo” or “sanango”. However, the first, compared to the other three, has some notable differences:

  1. The leaves are wider and less lanceolate.
  2. The leaves are more bluish-green than yellowish.
  3. The newly-formed leaves are bright bluish-green; in the others are more brownish and round (not narrow).

As location matters here they are:

  • The first observation was made on disturbed evergreen forest.
  • The second was made on disturbed dry forest (near a house)
  • The other two were made on disturbed roadsides along a riverside.

So… are these different plants? Or are these recognized varieties of Rauvolfia tetraphylla?

These are probably different species. You used the Computer Vision, which isn’t perfect, so there will be mistakes sometimes. I’m not sure why you’re saying that they represent sighting of the species, when the identification hasn’t been confirmed, but either way it’s likely separate species.

There are similar RG observations such as these:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/7067667 for my first sighting.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43466119 for the rest.

Those all look the same to me, but I don’t know what to look for. I’d recommend messaging pioleon, the top IDer for this species.

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Many plants will show variations caused by immediate environmental factors. I’ve seen it in palms quite a bit, particularly full sun vs under a canopy… A specialist in the plant concerned would be best to ask…


As @zdanko mentioned, would it be prudent to tag @pioleon onto this thread? I mean these are the only Peruvian observations for the species, and I’m pretty sure they also represent new taxa for the region as a whole (the last three I mean)
Also, the environment is really important here. All but the second were found near to inmediate sources of flowing water (more notably on the third one) and all but the second had some kind of shadow, so that may be it.
What I don’t understand is the strange forms of the new leaves, which I think should remain pretty consistent with the species as a whole, as R. tetraphylla isn’t heterophyllous… or is it?

tag that person on the observation comments (the one showing the unusual variation), rather than here in the forum. There is no guarantee that they read the forums :)

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thanks! will do that now :)

Just as an hypothesis and take it with due caution: if the identification is corrent in each observation, I feel that there ar two different species. I mean this one is different:

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