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Olyra latifoliaL.
Common Name:Barba de indio, Carricillo

L., Syst. Nat. ed.10,1261.1759 O. cordifolia H.B.K.


Monoecious perennial, mostly 2-3 m tall and erectto arching, rarely to 5 m long and clambering;culms           be­coming woody, to 6 mm diam, often mottled withpurple, freely branching at upper nodes. Sheaths glabrous tohispid, usually longer than the internodes, the lowermost short andnearly bladeless; blades lance-linear to   lance-­oblong, inequilateral, acuminate atapex, acute to rounded at base, very short-petiolate, the lowersurface usually gla­brous, the margins and midrib on uppersurface scabrous, the upper surface papillate or           papillate-scabridulous.Panicles terminal or upper-axillary, narrow to pyramidal, 5-17 cmlong; branches and peduncles closely scabrid and sparsely hispid,the branches with a single pistillate spikelet at the end, thestaminate spikelets scattered along branch below it; staminatespikelet reduced to the awned lemma and palea, deciduous, 4-5 mmlong excluding awn, the awn 2-3 mm long; pistillate spikeletlacking first glume; second glume and sterile lemma 1-2 (2.5) cmlong, long-acuminate, minutely scabridulous, diverging and exposingfruit at maturity, often purplish along margin. Fruits white,shiny, smooth, indurate, acute at apex, 5-6 mm long. Croat 6634,11713.

Frequent in the forest. Plants flower and fruitprin­cipally throughout the rainy season, though they areoccasionally fertile during the early dry season.

Plants are extremely variable, especially in sizeof leaves and inflorescences. The larger plants, which mayrepresent tetraploid races, have previously been separated as O.cordifolia H.B.K., but the species is now consideredpolymorphic.

Throughout most tropical areas of the New World; Africa. InPanama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone,Veraguas, Panama, and Darien, from premontane wet forest inColón, Chiriqui, and Panama, from tropical wet forest inColón, and from premontane rain forest in Panama (summit ofCerro Jefe).

Olyra  latifolia
Olyra latifolia
Enrique Moreno, David Roubik
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