Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Casearia guianensis

(Aubl.) Urban, Symb. Ant. 3:322.1902

Palo de la Cruz

Shrub or small tree, (1.5) 3-6 (10) m tall; trunk to 12 cm dbh; stems glabrous to puberulent. Leaves deciduous; stipules subulate, 2-5 mm long, densely pubescent, cadu­cous; petioles 2-10 mm long; blades mostly obovate, abruptly acuminate, acute and ± decurrent at base, 5-18 cm. long, 2-8.5 cm wide, glabrous or puberulent on veins especially below, pellucid-punctate and pellucid­-lineate, ± entire to shallowly crenate-serrate, the teeth often sharp. Fascicles dense, in old leaf axils; pedicels and calyx puberulent; pedicels 2.7-4.7 mm. long at anthe­sis, articulated shortly above base, elongating to 8 mm in fruit; flowers white, with a faint sweet aroma, precocious; calyx deeply 4-6-lobed, 4-6 mm long, the lobes spread­ing; corolla lacking; stamens (7) 8, ± glabrous, 2.5-3.5 mm long, alternating and uniting with much shorter, densely villous staminodia; ovary villous; stigma globular, held ± at level of anthers. Capsules ellipsoid, 8-14 mm long, green often becoming violet-purple at least at apex, splitting into 3 parts; valves red inside; seeds several, irregular, brown, ca 3 mm long, enveloped in an orange aril. Croat 8391, 8747.

Common along the shore and at the margins of clear­ings; occasional in the young forest. Flowers commonly from March to May. The fruits mature from March through June. Leaves fall before flowering, and new leaves begin to develop near the time of flowering in the late dry season.

The species is similar to Casearia aculeata. See that species for a discussion.

Costa Rica to Venezuela, the Guianas, and Brazil (Pará). In Panama, known only from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Bocas del Toro, Veraguas, Herrera, Panamá, and Darien.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Casearia guianensis fruit plant
  • Casearia guianensis fruit plant
  • Casearia guianensis leaf
  • Casearia guianensis seed-wet
  • Casearia guianensis Flower plant
  • Casearia guianensis
  • Casearia guianensis
  • Casearia guianensis Flower
  • Casearia guianensis Fruit
  • Casearia guianensis Fruit