Guettarda is a plant genus in the family Rubiaceae. Most of these plants are known by the common name Velvetseed. Estimates of the number of species range from about 50 [1] to 162.[2] Most of the species are neotropical.[3] Twenty are found in New Caledonia and one reaches Australia.[4] A few others are found on islands and in coastal areas of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Guettarda speciosa
Scientific classification

Type species
Guettarda speciosa

~150 species. See text.

Three species (G. odorata, G. scabra, G. speciosa) are known in cultivation.[1] Guettarda argentea provides edible fruit.[3] The type species for the genus is Guettarda speciosa.[5] It is a tree of coastal habitats, up to 18 m (59 ft) in height. It is grown as an ornamental.

Guettarda was named by Linnaeus in 1753 in his book Species Plantarum.[6][7] This generic name is in honour of the 18th century French naturalist Jean-Étienne Guettard.[8]

The genus Guettarda is much in need of revision. Molecular phylogenetic studies have found it to be several times polyphyletic with some of its clades paraphyletic over small genera.[9]


The following species list may be incomplete or contain synonyms.


  1. ^ a b Anthony J. Huxley, Mark Griffiths, and Margot Levy (editors). 1992. The New Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening. The Macmillan Press Limited, London; The Stockton Press, New York. ISBN 978-0-333-47494-5 (set)
  2. ^ Guettarda At: World Checklist of Rubiaceae At: Kew Gardens Website. (see External links below).
  3. ^ a b David J. Mabberley. 2008. Mabberley's Plant-Book third edition (2008). Cambridge University Press: UK. ISBN 978-0-521-82071-4
  4. ^ W. Rodger Elliot; David L. Jones; Trevor L. Blake (1990). Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants Suitable for Cultivation: Vol. 5. Port Melbourne: Lothian Press. p. 162. ISBN 0-85091-285-7.
  5. ^ Guettarda In: Index Nominum Genericorum. In: Regnum Vegetabile (see External links below).
  6. ^ Guettarda in International Plant Names Index. (see External links below).
  7. ^ Carl Linnaeus. 1753. Species Plantarum (Species plantarum : exhibentes plantas rite cognitas ad genera relatas, cum diferentiis specificis, nominibus trivialibus, synonymis selectis, locis natalibus, secundum systema sexuale digestas / Caroli Linnæe.): 2:991. Holmiae: Impensis Laurentii Salvii: Stockholm, Sweden. (see External links below).
  8. ^ Umberto Quattrocchi. 2000. CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names volume II. CRC Press: Boca Raton; New York; Washington,DC;, USA. London, UK. ISBN 978-0-8493-2676-9. (vol. II).
  9. ^ Ulrika Manns and Birgitta Bremer. 2010. "Towards a better understanding of intertribal relationships and stable tribal delimitations within Cinchonoideae s.s. (Rubiaceae)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56(1):21-39. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2010.04.002

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