(L.) Tr. & Planch., Ann. Sci. Nat. Bot., sér. 4,18:300. 1862
Achiote tigre, Sangre de perro, Sangrillo,Pinta-mozo
Shrub or small tree, to 5 m tall older stems withreddishbrown flaky bark; younger stems, petioles, lower bladesurfaces, sepals, and axes of inflorescences denselystellate-tomentose with usually brown, sessile trichomes; sapyellow to bright orange, drying red. Petioles 1-2.5 cm long; bladesextremely variable, mostly ovate to elliptic, acute to acuminate,obtuse to rounded or truncate at base, 7-17 cm long, 2.5-10 cmwide, green above, yellowish-brown to dark brown below (dependingon extent of ferruginous pubescence),reddish-pellucid-punctate. Panicles terminal, mostly to 8 cmlong; pedicels ca 5 mm long; flowers bisexual, ca 1 cm long,5-parted, without conspicuous aroma; sepals thick, 7-9 mm long,acute, valvate, closing to protect ovary after flowering, spreadingin fruit, at least some with one or more margins thin and glabrous;petals obovate, round at apex, to ca 1.3 cm long, yellowish totransparent with vertical orange streaks, glabrous outside, denselywoolly inside; staminal columns 5, exceeding styles, less than 7 mmlong, alternating with short woolly staminodia; anthers many,directed outward against woolly inner surface of petals; pistilovoid, becoming 5-lobed, glabrous, sometimes punctate; styles 5,diverging outward between staminal columns, persisting in fruit;stigmas capitate; nectar copious, stored chiefly in the calyx.Berries ovoid, ca 1.5 cm long, firm, green and fleshy at maturity,the styles, calyx, and weathered petals persisting; seeds many,cylindrical, straight or curved, 2-2.7 mm long, in severalvertical stacks, faintly reticulate. Croat 6695.
Abundant in older clearings; common along the edge of the lake.Apparently flowers twice per year. The principal floweringseason is during the early dry season, with the first fruitsmaturing by late April. A second wave of flowering occurs duringthe early rainy season, mostly in July, with scattered floweringlater in the rainy season; the fruits are apparently all maturebefore the end of the rainy season.
The species is quite variable in terms of bothleaf shape and indument. Standley (1933) reported the species underthree names, V. dealbata H.B.K., V.ferruginea H.B.K., and V. guianensis (Aubl.)Pers. V. guianensis does not occur on BCI. The white-and brown-leaved forms were treated by Ewan (1962) in his treatmentof South American Vismia as the subsp. dealbata(H.B.K.) Ewan and subsp. ferruginea (H.B.K.) Ewan,respectively.
Small green halictid bees visit flowers of thisspecies. The bee generally alights atop the corolla, pushes its wayinto the flower between the petals and staminal clusters, andgenerally disappears from sight. Leaving the flower, the bee mayback out or turn around and come out frontwards.
Mexico to Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas, andBrazil. In Panama, ecologically variable; known from tropical moistforest in the Canal Zone, Veraguas, Panama, and Darien, fromtropical dry forest in Coclé, from premontane moist forest inthe Canal Zone and Panama, from premontane wet forest in Panama,from tropical wet forest in Colón and Panama, and frompremontane rain forest in Chiriqui and Panama.
See Fig. 394.