Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Adenopodia polystachya

 (L.) J. Dixon, comb. nov. Mimosa polystachya L., Sp. Pl. 520. 1753; Entada polystachya (L.)DC.,

Prodr. 2:425. 1825; Mém. Leg. 422, 434, t. 61, 62. 1826

Liana; trunk to 15 cm dbh; stems striate; pinnular rachises and inflorescences puberulent, otherwise ± glabrous. Leaves bipinnate with 2-5 (mostly 3 or 4) pairs of pinnae; petiole and rachis lacking glands; leaflets in 5-7 pairs per pinna, oblong, rounded at both ends, oblique at base, 1.5-4 cm long, 0.5-1.8 cm wide. Inflorescences terminal racemes to 25 cm long, of many slender spikes to 10 cm long; flowers small, sessile or short-pedicellate, mostly white, but reportedly also reddish, with a foul odor; calyx cupulate, shallowly lobed to subentire, ca 1 mm long; corolla of 5 petals, the petals ± free, 2.5-3 cm long, acute; stamens 10, somewhat exserted, ca 4 mm long. Legumes oblong, 15-30 (40) cm long, 5-7.5 cm wide, flat, thin, curved; exocarp thin, peeling away at maturity, the valves then breaking into narrow,        wind-dispersed, transverse segments, each carrying a small seed; seeds ellipsoid, 1-1.4 cm long, shiny, brown. Foster 731, Starry 318.

Occasional, in the canopy of the forest; seldom seen, except for its fallen rectangular fruit segments. Flowers from July to September. Mature fruits were seen in December.

The transfer of Entada polystachya (L.) DC. to Adeno­podia was convincingly argued by John Dixon (unpub­lished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Southern Illinois, Carbondale, 1965). Adenopodia and Entada as repre­sented on BCI are two very different taxa both mor­phologically and ecologically.

Mexico to central South America; West Indies. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, and Panama and from tropical dry forest in Herrera (Pesé).

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Adenopodia polystachya
  • Adenopodia polystachya
  • Adenopodia polystachya
  • Adenopodia polystachya
  • Adenopodia polystachya
  • Adenopodia polystachya
  • Adenopodia polystachya