Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Arrabidaea patellifera

(Schlecht.) Sandw., Kew Bull. 22:413. 1968

Petastoma patelliferum (Schlecht.) Miers; P. breviflorum Standl.

Liana; trunk light brown; outer bark soft with large corky lenticels; stems terete, lenticellate, with an interpetiolar ridge, glabrate in age; tendrils simple; pseudostipules foliaceous, to 1 cm long, falcate, caducous. Leaves bi­foliolate or rarely simple; petioles 1.1-3.5 cm long; peti­olules 0.5-2.2 cm long; petioles and petiolules short­-pilose; leaflets ovate to obovate, obtuse to caudate-­acuminate, obtuse to rounded or subcordate at base, 5-15 cm long, 3-10 cm wide, lepidote on both surfaces, otherwise glabrous above, villous at least on veins below, usually with tufts or cavelike domatia in axils below, entire or rarely dentate on juveniles. Inflorescences large, pyramidal, axillary or terminal panicles; flowers red-­violet to violet-purple, whitish-tipped in bud; branches and pedicels lepidote and            white-villous; calyx bowl­-shaped, 1-4 mm long, 4-8 mm wide, flared, the margin entire, wavy; corolla 2.5-4.7 cm long, the tube glabrous except for gland-tipped trichomes at point of staminal attachment inside, the lobes sparsely pubescent on both sides; stamens included, with the longer ones 1.1-1.3 cm long, the shorter ones 0.8-1 cm long, the thecae divar­icate, to 2 mm long; staminodium 3-4 mm long, held on 2-lobed side of corolla opposite nectar guide, this side whitish and spotted inside; pistil 1.5-2.3 cm long; ovary linear, 1.5-2.5 mm long, slightly lepidote. Cap­sules linear, flattened, 15-39 cm long,    1.1-1.5 cm wide, with medial rib faint or prominent, densely lepidote, often sparsely whitish-lenticellate; seeds ca 1 cm long and 2.5-4 cm wide, the outer margin rounded to trun­cate, the lateral margin of wings translucent. Croat 6052, 13161.

Common along the shore and occasional in the forest. Flowers most abundantly from July to September (some­times from June to November), rarely in January and February; the flowers are abundant on an individual vine for over a month, but each flower lasts only one day. The fruits mature mainly in the middle of the dry season.

The species can be recognized by its open, bowl-­shaped calyces and white-tipped buds. Vegetative charac­teristics include the dense pubescence on the main veins beneath, the pubescent petioles and petiolules, and the frequency of simple leaves.

Petastoma breviflorum Standl., reported by Standley as a distinct species on the basis of its shorter corolla, ap­pears to be inseparable from this species. Corolla length in the family is variable.

Southern Mexico to Amazonian Brazil. In Panama, known on the Pacific slope, most commonly from    pre­montane moist forest in the Canal Zone and Panama; known also from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Veraguas, Herrera, Panama, and Darien, from tropical dry forest in Herrera, from premontane wet forest in Chiriqui, Panama, and Darien, and from tropical wet forest in Panama.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Arrabidaea patellifera Inflorescence buds
  • Arrabidaea patellifera flower-bud plant
  • Arrabidaea patellifera flower
  • Arrabidaea patellifera flower
  • Arrabidaea patellifera Inflorescence
  • Arrabidaea patellifera leaf
  • Arrabidaea patellifera seed-dry
  • Arrabidaea patellifera
  • Arrabidaea patellifera
  • Arrabidaea patellifera