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Galphimia is sometimes confused with Thryallis, a different genus of Malpighiaceae that occurs in Brazil and adjacent Paraguay and Bolivia. At one time some species now assigned to Galphimia were referred to Thryallis, but the generic name Thryallis is now a conserved name according to the rules of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature . The genus Thryallis is distinctive in the stellate hairs and scales found on the vegetative parts, and in that the limb of the petals is much wider than long, traits not found in Galphimia.
One species of Galphimia native to eastern Mexico, Galphimia gracilis, is widely cultivated in warm regions throughout the world, often under the common names gold shower or shower-of-gold or sometimes thryallis. In horticultural publications, in the nursery trade, and on websites this species is commonly but mistakenly referred to as Galphimia glauca , Galphimia brasiliensis, Thryallis glauca, Thryallis gracilis, or (often in South America) Thryallis brasiliensis .
Galphimia gracilis is easily told apart from the true G. glauca and G. brasiliensis by the flowers. In G. gracilis the petals fall as the fruit matures; in G. glauca the petals are persistent even in fruit. In G. gracilis many flowers of a dense inflorescence are open at one time, and the petals (claw and limb) are 8–14 mm long and 4–8 mm wide; in G. brasiliensis only 2 or 3 small flowers are open at one time on a sparse inflorescence, and the petals are only 4–5 mm long and ca. 3 mm wide.
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