Vahl, Eclog. Amer. 3:8.1807
Dioecious tree, 3-15 m tall, the trunk to 16 cm dbh; outer barksoft, flaky, easily scraped off; stems roughened with finelenticels; young petioles and leaves ± sericeous, becomingglabrate. Leaves paripinnate, to 54 cm long; petioles flat andmargined above, swollen at base; petiolules 5-10 mm long,swollen; leaflets 6-12, ovate-elliptic to oblong, acuminate anddownturned at apex, acute to obtuse at base, 7-25 cm long, 4-7 cmwide, glabrous above, glabrate below. Inflorescences racemose,axillary or on older leafless branches, to 23 cm long; flowers withsweet aroma, functionally unisexual, well spaced, ca 1 cm long,solitary along rachis or clustered on very short branches; calyxcupular, 2-4 mm long, irregularly lobed, the lobes often fewer thanpetals, puberulent outside; petals white, 4 or 5 (6), to ca 10 mmlong, usually puberulent outside, spreading or recurved nearmiddle at anthesis; staminal tube cylindrical, white, 6-8 mmlong; anthers 8 or 10 (12), borne inside near rim; ovary ±glabrous to sericeous, borne on a gynophore broadened just belowovary; style exserted above staminal tube; stigma capitate.Capsules subglobose to pyriform, to 2.5 cm diam, usually borne on ashort stipe, reddish, variously mottled with lenticels in age,dehiscent by 4 or 5 woody valves; seeds 1 or 2 per carpel, coveredwith a red aril, irregular. Croat 8493, 8814.
Frequent in the forest. Seasonal behavioruncertain. Flowers at least from December to July, especially fromMarch to June. The fruits probably mature mostly from April toSeptember, especially in the rainy season.
A variable species, it has been identified by C.E. Smith under three other names as well, including G. guidonia (L.)Sleumer, G. kunthiana Adr. Juss., and G.tonduzii C. DC. It can be reported with certainty thatG. tonduzii does not occur on BCI and furthermorethat there is but a single species in this complex thus farcollected on the island. The pubescence of the ovary, used indistinguishing G. glabra and G.guidonia, is at best a poor character.
A large caterpillar with stinging hairs has been seen eating theleaves.
Mexico to Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador; West Indies. InPanama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Bocasdel Toro, San Blas, Panama, and Darien and from tropical wet forestin Colón and Chiriqui; probably occurring in most areasof tropical moist and tropical wet forests.