Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Cymbosema roseum

Benth. in Hook., J. Bot. (Hooker) 2:61.1840

Semiherbaceous liana climbing to the top of trees, soft­-villous all over, generally with tendrils. Leaves trifoli­olate; stipules acuminate, ca 2 mm long; petioles 3-7 (12) cm long; leaflets broadly lanceolate to elliptic, broadly rounded to acute and sometimes retuse at apex, rounded-­truncate at base, 6-12 cm long, 3-6 cm wide, darker above than below, the veins finely reticulate. Racemes terminal; peduncles to 25 cm long; rachises to ca 10 cm long; flowers bright red turning lavender on drying; pedicels ca 2 mm long; calyx ca 1 cm long, lobed ca one-­fourth its length, bilabiate, the upper lip with 2 minute teeth, the lower with 3 acute teeth, gibbous at base; petals subequal, to ca 3.5 cm long; standard oblong-ovate, ca 1 cm wide; wings ca 5 mm wide, the keel flaring open; stamens 10, diadelphous, barely exceeding the petals. Legumes oblong-elliptic, 4.5 cm long and 2 cm wide, beaked, densely appressed-pubescent, the trichomes acicular, the beak attenuate, to 2 cm long; seeds 3-6. Croat 8304.

Apparently rare, seen only along the shore. Some flowers have been seen in October and February, and mature fruits in February and July.

May be confused with Dioclea guianensis, but Cymbosema is distinguished by having a free stamen associated with the banner, long petals, and fruits with a falcate stigma even at maturity.

Mexico(Chiapas), Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, and Peru. In Panama, known only from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone and Panama.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Cymbosema roseum