Epiphytic or terrestrial shrub to 4 m tall; mature branches and twigs terete to subterete, usually flattened and bluntly angled, glabrous or densely short-pilose, distally glandular-fimbriate, stramineous, tan, or reddish-brown. Leaves oblong, ovate-oblong, or oblong-elliptic, (7-)13-19.5 x (3-)4.5-9.5 cm, basally rounded, subcordate, subtruncate, or broadly cuneate, apically long- to short-acuminate with acumen to 1.5 cm long, rarely short caudate-acuminate, glabrous, or short-pilose along veins beneath, sometimes slightly scabrous above; 5-7(-9)-plinerved with inner lateral nerves slightly to noticeably arising 1-2.5(-3) cm above the base, midrib raised and thickened through proximal 1-2.5 cm otherwise impressed above and conspicuously raised beneath, lateral nerves impressed above and raised beneath, veinlets slightly raised or impressed on both surfaces, drying the same color as lamina or lighter and then conspicuous; petioles terete, rugose or striate, glabrous or short-pilose, (4-)6-11 mm long and 2-4.5 mm in diam. Inflorescences (6-)8-10(-15)-flowered, circumscribed at base by numerous imbricate, coriaceous, muricate, punctate, bracts which are broadly ovate or elliptic, apically obtuse to rounded, densely short and appressed pilose, to 30 x 17 mm; rachis bluntly angled, striate, glabrous, (6-)16-17 mm long and 4-5 mm in diam., sometimes with scattered, reddish glandular fimbriae near the base; floral bracts chartaceous, glabrous or short-pilose distally, smooth or muricate, ovate or oblong-ovate, apically obtuse to rounded sometimes emarginate, (22-)26-35(-40) x 15-27 mm, sometimes densely fimbriate dorsally; pedicels cylindric, slightly swollen at both ends, striate, glabrous, (2-)6-14 mm long and (0.8-)1-3.5 mm in diam., sometimes with few tiny, fimbriae distally; bracteoles near base, chartaceous, oblong, oblong-lanceolate, or linear, relatively short with regard to pedicel, or overlapping calyx to top of hypanthuium, 1.5-8(-10) x 0.8-2.5 mm, apically acute, marginally densely glandular-fimbriate and sometimes ciliate at distal tip. Flowers: calyx glabrous or short-pilose, 6-10 mm long; hypanthium cylindric or pentagonal and broadly 5-angled, muricate, 3-4(-5) mm long and 5 mm in diam., apophysate by slight extension of base of hypanthium, this shallowly to deeply and coarsely 5(-10)-lobed; limb spreading, coriaceous, 2.5-5.2 mm long; lobes triangular, acute, 1.5-4.2 mm long, + connivent-twisting after anthesis, marginally densely glandular-fimbriate and sometimes tufted ciliate at tips, also short-pilose and sometimes densely fimbriate on lobe surface; sinuses broadly rounded; corolla cylindric to bottle-shaped, narrowed to throat, 16-34 mm long and 5-11 mm in diam., glabrous or short-pilose distally, lobes triangular, ca. 1.5 mm long, erect or widely flaring at anthesis; stamens 14-26 mmm long; filaments glabrous or pilose ventrally in distal half, alternately 2-6 mm and 4-10 mm long; anthers alternately 13-22 mm and 11-18 mm long; thecae 3.5-9 mm long; style thin, 16-32 mm long. Immature berry 8 mm in diam.
S Ecuador south to Puno Dept., Peru at elevations of 825-2500(-3500).
Key to Varieties of Cavendishia nobilis
1. Leaves more than 3 times as long as broad, (5-)7(-9)-plinerved,
pair of lateral nerves arising 1-3 cm above base; pedicels 5-14 mm
long and 0.8-1.5 mm diam.; bracteoles oblong, 1.5-3 mm long, not
touching calyx; inflorescence bracts densely appressed-pilose; Peru
........................................................................ var. nobilis
1. Leaves less than 3 times as long as broad, 5(-7)-plinerved, inner pair
of lateral nerves arising 0.5-1.5 cm above base; pedicels (2-)3.5-8
mm long and 2-3.5 mm diam.; bracteoles linear, (4-)7-8(-10) mm
long, touching base of hypanthium or overlapping it; inflorescence
bracts glabrous; Ecuador .................................................... var. capitata
Cavendishia nobilis Lindley var. nobilis
Chupalon nobile (Lindley) O. Kuntze, Revis. gen. pl. 2: 384. 1891.
Cavendishia urbaniana Hoerold, Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 42: 329. 1909. Type. Peru. Huánuco: Huamalies, S of Monzón, 1600-1900 m, Aug 1903 (fl), Weberbauer 3518 (lectotype: photo of B holotype specimen represented by ACS neg. 18 and F neg. 4680). The holotype was at B and was destroyed.
Leaves (7-)15-19.5 x (3-)4-7 cm, usually greater than 3 times as long as broad; (5-)7(-9)-plinerved with inner pair of lateral nerves arising 1-3 cm above base, veinlets usually drying same color as lamina and therefore relatively inconspicuous. Inflorescence bracts densely short- and appressed pilose over entire surface or pubescence restricteed to distal tips; pedicels 5-14 mm long and 0.8-1.5 mm diam., comparatively long and thin; bracteoles oblong to oblong-lanceolate, 1.5-3 mm long, never long enough to touch calyx. Flowers: calyx 6-7.5 mm long; lobes 1.5-2 mm long; corolla 16-21 mm long, glabrous or short-pilose distally.
Distribution (Map). Endemic to Peru, where it is known only from the Cordillera Oriental of Huánuco, Junín, and Puno Depts. at elevations of 1600-2560 m.
Uses. As a stomach-ache remedy (Puno).
Cavendishia nobilis Lindley var. capitata (Bentham) Luteyn, Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 35: 157. 1983. Thibaudia capitata Bentham, Pl. hartw. 142. 1844. Proclesia capitata (Bentham) Klotzsch, Linnaea 24: 34. 1851. Chupalon capitatum (Bentham) O. Kuntze, Revis. gen. pl. 2: 384. 1891. Cavendishia capitata (Bentham) Hoerold, Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 42: 279. 1909. Type. Ecuador. Loja: Mt. Yangana, Oct 1841 (fl), Hartweg 786* (holotype: K, photo NY neg. 9440; isotypes: BM, CGE--2 sheets, G, K, LD, LE, W, photos ACS neg. 117, F. neg. 28919, NY neg. 9439).
Leaves (9-)11-16(-19) x (3.5-)4-9.5 cm, usually less than 3 times as long as broad; 5(-7)-plinerved with the outer pair of lateral nerves usually very weak, inner pair of lateral nerves arising 0.5-1.5 cm above base, veinlets usually drying a lighter color than lamina and therefore very conspicuous. Inflorescence bracts glabrous; pedicels (2-)3.5-8 mm long and 2-3.5 mm diam., relatively stout; bracteoles usually linear, sometimes oblong, (4-)7-8(-10) mm long, usually touching hypanthium base or overlapping it nearly to the limb junction. Flowers: calyx 7-10 mm long; lobes 2.5-4.5 mm long; corolla (22-)26-34 mmm long, glabrous.
Endemic to S Ecuador, where it is found in cloud forest at the provincial
border of Loja and Zamora-Chinchipe E into Zamora-Chinchipe Prov. at elevations
of 825-3050(-3500) m.