Critical review of the morphology of Phoebe pallescens Mez shows that the species must be placed in Persea Miller subgen. Persea (Lauraceae, Perseeae) because of the pinninerved leaves, absence of domatia, stipitate staminal glands, well-developed staminodia, the pubescent gynoecium, flat hypanthium not developed into a cupule, and perianth lobes entirely deciduous in fruit. The new combination Persea pallescens (Mez) Lorea-Hernández, which is distinguished by its straight, appressed pubescence on leaves, is not a rare, local endemic as previously considered, but occurs along the eastern Sierra Madre in Mexico and in central Guatemala. The name Persea pallescens is lectotypified, and a key to separate the Mesoamerican species of Persea with a pubescent pistil is provided.
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