Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Cecropia insignis

Liebm., K. Danske Vidensk. Selsk. Skr. Naturvidensk. Math. Afd., ser. 5, 318. 1851

C. eximia Cuatr.

Guarumo blanco

Dioecious tree, to about 40 m high and 70 cm dbh, broadly branched; trunk with prominent lenticels and often stilt-rooted; outer bark thin; inner bark reddish. Petioles stout, arachnoid-villous and longitudinally striate, the basal pulvinus brown; stipules commonly red when falling, mostly 17-26 (40) cm long and 5-8 cm broad, densely hirtellous on outer surface, with 2 promi­nent ridges; mature leaves prominently clustered at ends of branches, up to 90 cm wide, divided more than three-­fourths of the way to center, the lobes 7-9, acute to obtuse at apex, conspicuously narrowed at base, to 22 cm broad, the margins held conspicuously upward, the upper sur­face smooth and shiny, glabrous except for sparse arach­noid trichomes deciduous in age, the lower surface paler and minutely canescent beneath (at least between veins). Staminate spathes oblong, 10-12 (16) cm long, 5-6.5 cm wide, rounded at apex with long apiculate tip, the spa­dices held erect in clusters of usually 6 or 7, 12-15 cm long, 8-10 mm wide, whitish or green, the basal stipes purplish, broad, 12-16 mm long, pruinose, the common peduncles 5-10 cm long; pistillate spathes as those of staminate, the spadices in clusters of 4-7, pale yellow, 8-10 cm long and ca 8 mm thick at anthesis, becoming bright yellow in fruit and to 15 cm long and 1.3 cm thick, the basal stipes thick, pruinose, ca 1 cm long, the common peduncles 8-13 cm long, gray-hirtellous. Achenes ovate-­elliptic, somewhat flattened, 1.7-2.3 mm long, ca 1 mm wide, conspicuously muricate, reddish-brown. Croat 7023.

Common in the forest, even in the older forest. Many individuals grow in the vicinity of the Laboratory Clear­ing. Flowers in the dry season (December to April). The fruits mature from April to August with a peak in July.

Easily distinguished by the large, smooth, very deeply divided blades and the spadices with pruinose stipes. Nicaragua to Colombia. In Panama, known from tropi­cal moist forest in the Canal Zone, Bocas del Toro, and Los Santos and from tropical wet forest in Colon (Salúd). Reported from premontane wet and rain forests in Costa Rica (Holdridge et al., 1971).

See Fig. 194.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Cecropia insignis flower
  • Cecropia insignis flower
  • Cecropia insignis flower
  • Cecropia insignis flower
  • Cecropia insignis seed-dry
  • Cecropia insignis Flower
  • Cecropia insignis Leaf
  • Cecropia insignis Leaf
  • Cecropia insignis
  • Cecropia insignis Trunk