J. F. Gmel. in L., Syst. Nat.ed. 13, 2:805.1791
Liana; bark thin and flaking; older stems oftenprominently angulate and winged, the younger stems ±flexuous, usually angulate. Leaves coriaceous; bladeselliptic to oblong-elliptic, abruptly acuminate and oftendownturned at apex, obtuse and decurrent at base ontomarkedly canaliculate petiole, 5-18 cm long, 2-8 cm wide,± glabrous but with the midrib often pubescent,prominently punctate on drying, entire to sparsely serrate,the midrib often arched; juvenile leaves gradually acuminate,prominently serrate, to 32 cm long and 13 cm wide. Flowers 2-3 cmbroad, in axillary glomerules or less frequently in 2-floweredcincinni; pedicels 5-12 mm long (10-20 mm long in fruit); sepals 4or 5, pubescent, to 7 mm long, inconspicuously sericeous inside,persisting in fruit; petals 2 or 3, white or reddish in age, 1-1.5cm long; stamens numerous, exserted; ovary 1, pubescent; style 6-8mm long. Fruits red, subglobose, 10-13 mm diam, densely puberulent,dehiscing regularly along median suture, the style 1, oftensubapical; seeds 2, ca 8 mm long, shiny, black, surrounded exceptat apex by a fleshy, white, sweet aril, the aril very astringentbefore maturity. Croat 6833, 12954.
Common along the shore and high in trees in theforest. Flowering mostly during June and July, rarely as late asSeptember or as early as May. The fruits mature in the rainyseason, mostly from July to November, perhaps chiefly in October,rarely as late as the early dry season. At least some individualsflower twice per season, and they may bear mature fruits when theyflower the second time. Leaves usually fall before floweringoccurs, dropping mostly at one time and growing in againsoon.
This species was mistakenly reported by Standley as D.brevipedicellatus Garcke, a species which occurs in the CanalZone but not on BCI and which is distinguished from D.major by having a glabrous ovary.
Nicaragua to Panama, and in South America from Venezuela to theGuianas, Amazonian Brazil, and Peru.
In Panama, known principally from tropical moistforest in the Canal Zone (both slopes), all along the Atlanticslope, and in Darien; known also from premontane wet forest inColón and Darien.
See Fig. 380.