(H. & B.) H.B.K., Nov. Gen. & Sp. 5:306.1823
Cuipo, Quipo, Bongo, Hamati
Deciduous tree, to 40 m tall, small-crowned; trunk usually 1-1.5 m diam, pale, often somewhat bulging ca 2 m above base, markedly ringed at intervals of ca 1.5 m, the surface planar but roughened with lenticels in age; inner bark granular. Leaves simple, clustered at apex of branches; stipules ovate, 5 mm long; petioles 10-25 cm long; blades ovate, palmately lobed (young leaves entire), the lobes 3-7, acuminate, cordate at base, to 30 cm long and wide' glabrate above, densely puberulent below. Cymes contracted, axillary; pedicels ca 1 cm long, surmounted by 3 fugacious bracteoles; flowers red, precocious, 2-3 cm long; calyx bell-shaped, irregularly 5-lobed, ca 1.5 cm long; calyx and pedicel shortly ferruginous-tomentulose; petals 5, strap-shaped, to 2.5 cm long and ca 5 mm wide, red, ferruginous-tomentulose toward obtuse apex; stamens many, reddish, to 2 cm long, united into a column about one-third their length; anthers ca 1 mm wide, broader than long, dehiscing upward; ovary 4- or 5-celled, the ovules 2 per cell; style straight, exceeding stamens by 5-10 mm; stigma 5-forked. Capsules hard, narrow, linear, to 12 cm long, with 4 or 5 conspicuous wings; wings semicircular, membranous and markedly veined, each to 15 cm long and 8 cm. wide, red and green when mature; seeds 4 or 5. Croat 8348.
Occasional, in the forest. Flowers in March and April. The fruits mature in April and May. Leaves fall in December or January and reappear in May and June.
The fruits, despite their large wings, are poor fliers, and most land within a few hundred feet of the parent plant.
Nicaragua to Peru. In Panama, a typical component of tropical moist forest (Tosi, 1971) and described as the most abundant tree in upland Darién, (Lamb, 1953); known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Los Santos, Panama, and Darién, mostly on limestone soils (R. Foster, pers. comm.).
See Fig. 369.