Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Aniseia martinicensis

(jacq.) Choisy, Mém. Soc. Phys. Genève 8:66. 1839

Herbaceous vine; stems sparsely pubescent with fine appressed trichomes, directed toward base of plant. Peti­oles 1-2.5 cm long; blades oblong-elliptic, acute and apiculate at apex, acute at base, 5-10 cm long,  1.8-3.5 cm wide, glabrous above, appressed-pubescent below. Flowers axillary, mostly solitary or in dichasia of few flowers; calyx ca 1.5 cm long, with the inner 3 sepals winglike, broadly ovate, the outer 2 shorter, sharply pointed; corolla campanulate, pleated, 2-3 cm long, ca 2.5 cm wide when open, white, the triangular areas ex­posed in bud densely pubescent, the margin with 5 short apiculae; stamens equaling style, little more than half the length of the corolla; filaments pubescent in basal half and united with tube most of their length; pollen shed when stigma apparently receptive; ovary subglo­bose, ca 5 mm long; style ca 9 mm long. Capsules ovoid, ca 2 cm long, 4-valved; valves scarcely exceeding the persistent sepals, brown outside, silvery and shiny inside; seeds 4, ca 6 mm long, round in outline, ± wedge-­shaped in cross section, brown, bearing short stellate trichomes, at least one margin fringed with a row of brown scales. Croat 8308.

Occasional, in marshy areas along the shore, particu­larly in protected areas. Flowers and fruits throughout the year. Mature fruits may develop while the plant is still flowering.

Seeds float. Their fringe of scales possibly aids in their establishment in a place suitable for germination. Be­cause the dark seeds stand out against the silvery inner valve surfaces, they may be distributed by birds also, though it seems no part is edible unless the exocarp is crushed.

Schlising (1972) said the style is shorter than the stamens.

Southern Florida and Mexico to Colombia, Venezuela, and Peru; the Antilles. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Los Santos, and Panama and from tropical dry forest in Herrera.

See Figs. 469 and 470.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Aniseia martinicensis