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VILLENA VELASQUEZ, Jim J; SEMINARIO CUNYA, Juan F  e  VALDERRAMA CABRERA, Miguel A. Morphological variability of the "tara" Caesalpinia spinosa (Molina.) Kuntze (Fabaceae), in natural populations of Cajamarca: fruit and seed descriptors. Arnaldoa [online]. 2019, vol.26, n.2, pp.555-574. ISSN 1815-8242.

The "tara" or "taya" Caesalpinia spinosa (Molina) Kuntze (Fabaceae) is a South American species of biological, economic and cultural importance. Its fruits and seeds are used in medicine, food and industry, and mainly come from wild populations. Peru is the main exporter of "tara" and the Cajamarca Region is the second largest producer in this country. However, studies on the morphological variability of the species are scarce and confusing, which limits its use, study and conservation. Studies indicate that the discriminating morphological characters are found in the fruit (pod) and the seed. Fifty-six samples of pods from nine provinces of the Cajamarca region were gathered. Through direct observation and specialized literature, eleven basic descriptors of fruit and seed were established to determine the variability of germplasm. The data was entered into a basic data matrix and processed with the NTSYS 2.2 program. Seven morphotypes (clusters) were identified: Giant, distributed in Cajamarca, Contumazá and Chota; White and Red, distributed in the nine provinces; Bearded, exclusive of Celendín; Jancos, distributed in Cajamarca, San Pablo and Santa Cruz; Ista, distributed in Cajamarca and Contumazá; and Globose, distributed in Cajamarca. The first five main components explained 73 % of the total variance and the characters that contributed the most to this variance were yarn location, seed shape, pod length/width ratio, color of the opposite side to the sun, surface appearance of the pod, presence of glandular hairs in the pod, weight of the seed and long/wide relation of the seed.

Palavras-chave : Caesalpinia spinosa; tara; morphological variability; descriptors; morphotypes; natural forest.

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