© Shipunov A.B. Haptanthus story: rediscovery of enigmatic flowering plant from Honduras [Electronic resource]. 2010.
Mode of access: http://herba.msu.ru/shipunov/ang/haptanthus/index.htm
Haptanthus is probably among the most rariest plants in the World. Moreover, it most probably represents the separate family of angiosperms with unclear affinities. Until recently, only two herbarium samples existed. The living plant has not been found for 30 years, despite of five attempts. On April 23th 2010, this plant was found alive.
Small tree (approx. 5 m), with a smooth gray trunk with dark spots (diameter about 5-10 cm), begins to branch at the level of approx. 0.5 m from the ground. Crown irregular, terminal branches are long, covered with leaves to the base; branches irregular, part of the branches have monopodial growth of this year. Old leaves are opposite, shortly petiolate, leaf blades bent down on 45 degrees, slightly curved at the end, turning into a drip (about 1 cm), with 4-7 pairs of looped secondary veins curved on around 5 mm from the edge of the sheet. Older leaves are shiny on top, dark green, with irregular patches of silver (up to 5 mm in diameter). The reverse side is lighter green, with indented central vein and weakly prominent secondary veins; on the upper side of leaf these veins are concave. Leaf edge is wavy, not serrated, and almost entire.
Inflorescences develop in sinuses of old leaves at the terminal of the highest, more illuminated branches. The lower branches (usually in shadow) are without inflorescences. Some of the upper branches, especially the young parts, also lack inflorescences.
On the very steep (50 degrees) SW slope. Apparently one tree, though not far away (5-7 m) similar trunks are seen. In two meters from the edge cutting, this is arranged pasture and plantation. On the edge of cutting growing Calathea crotalifera plants, shrubs of the families Melastomataceae and Euphorbiaceae. Under the canopy of trees of the first and second layers (trees not determined), weaving with vine with simple plate-large (20 cm) oval leaves and red berries. Forest basement covered only with few fallen leaves, soil is dark brown. Under the forest cover it is dark and the (presumably) wet.