Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Byrsonima crassifolia

(L.) H.B.K., Nov. Gen. & Sp. 5:149. 1822

Nance, Nance blanco, Nance Colorado

Tree., 4-13 m tall, to 30 cm dbh; bark fissured and lenti­cellate; wood dull reddish-brown, hard, heavy; younger parts densely downy-tomentose (sparsely on upper leaf surface and becoming glabrate); stems bearing prominent leaf scars. Petioles ca 1 cm long, stout; blades obovate to elliptic or ovate, acuminate, narrowed to an acute or obtuse base, 7-14 cm long, 3-8 cm wide, densely pubes­cent below becoming glabrate except on midrib in age; midrib ± arched. Pseudoracemes terminal, usually soli­tary, to 20 cm long; pedicels to 1.5 cm long; flowers many, yellow, becoming red-orange in age; sepals each bearing 2 conspicuous glands, blunt, recurved, glabrous inside; petals clawed, 10-13 mm long, the blade orbicular, often concave, ± equaling length of claw, the margin irregular, 1 petal often smaller and held somewhat erect, the others spreading to reflexed; stamens 10, 4-5 mm long, inter­spersed with long straight trichomes; anthers introrse equaling length of styles, the thecae prominently raised, shedding pollen in bud, the connective thickened; ovary usually pubescent; styles 3, distinct, slender, longer than stamens, persisting on young fruits. Drupes ± globose, 1-1.5 cm diam, green turning yellow to reddish; pyrenes 1-3. Croat 6068, 8702.

Locally common along the shore; infrequent in the forest, usually near old settlement sites. Flowers from November to July, principally from March to June. Each tree flowers for about 6 weeks. The fruits mature princi­pally in August and September. Leaves turn old and reddish, falling in the dry season and gradually growing out again in March just before the greatest flush of flow­ering. Allen (1956) reported that the species had fruits during April and May in Costa Rica, but the fruits were probably not ripe.

Byrsonima crassifolia may be confused with B. cumin­giana Adr. Juss., which ranges from Nicaragua to Colom­bia. B. cumingiana is distinguished by having a glabrous ovary and leaves that are more thickly coriaceous and rugose above.

The fruits are probably dispersed by large birds and by mammals.

Veracruz, Mexico, south to Brazil and Paraguay; West Indies. In Panama, widespread and ecologically variable; known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Bocas del Toro, Veraguas, Herrera, Coclé, Panama, and Darién, from premontane dry forest in Coclé, from trop­ical dry forest in Los Santos and Panama, from premon­tane moist forest in the Canal Zone, from premontane wet forest in Chiriqui, and from tropical wet forest in Colon. Tosi (1971) listed this species as characteristic of tropical dry and tropical moist forests in Panama.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Byrsonima crassifolia flower
  • Byrsonima crassifolia Inflorescence
  • Byrsonima crassifolia Inflorescence
  • Byrsonima crassifolia flower plant
  • Byrsonima crassifolia flower plant
  • Byrsonima crassifolia flower plant
  • Byrsonima crassifolia fruit
  • Byrsonima crassifolia immature-fruit
  • Byrsonima crassifolia leaf
  • Byrsonima crassifolia leaf