Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Diospyros artanthifolia

Mart., Fl. Brasil. 7:7. 1856

Slender dioecious tree, ca 4-15 m tall, to ca 20 cm dbh, unbranched for much of its length; smaller branches long and drooping; most parts moderately to densely hirsute (especially dense on young parts), the upper blade sur­faces, petals, and inner flower parts glabrous. Petioles 5 mm long; blades lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, nar­rowly acuminate, obtuse to rounded at base, 6-14 cm long, 2.5-4 cm wide (larger in South America), glabrous above except on midrib. Staminate flowers in short axil­lary cymes, usually only one flower opening at a time; pubescence of branches, pedicels, and calyces crisp­-villous; buds narrowly ovate; calyx campanulate, to 3.7 mm long, appressed-pubescent inside except near base, the lobes 6, irregular, triangular, extending one-third to one-half the way to base; corolla white, ca 1 cm long, lobed to near base, the lobes 6, somewhat imbricate, thick, 4 mm wide, with a longitudinal line of sparse pubescence somewhat off-center outside, this diminishing at about middle, the apex asymmetrical and recurved at anthesis; stamens ca 35-40, to 2.7 mm long; filaments less than 11 mm long, narrowed at apex, pubescent along inner side, the trichomes stiff, straight, translucent, extending entire length of connective; anthers apiculate at apex, the con­nective prolonged one-third to one-half the length of the thecae. Pistillate flowers in ca 5-flowered axillary cymes, subsessile or with pedicels to 5 mm long; corolla and calyx like staminate flowers; staminodia ca 6; ovary ovoid-conical, ca 4 mm wide and long; styles 4 or 5, ca 4 mm long, divergent, united only at base; locules 8 or 10; ovules 1 per locule. Berries subglobose, 8-celled, hispidu­lous, to 4 cm diam; seeds 8 or 10 or fewer by abortion, ca 20 mm long and 9 mm wide, ca 6 mm thick, black, the endosperm smooth; fruiting calyx scarcely accrescent. (Description of pistillate flowers and fruits taken from White, 1978.)

Rare, in the old forest. Seen in flower in May.

The flowers are open and unspecialized, but because of the rarity of the species and its dioecious condition, it might be expected to have some specialized pollinators. The fruits are probably mammal dispersed.

Panama to Brazil. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone and Darién, from premon­tane wet forest in the Canal Zone, and from tropical wet forest in Co1ón.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Diospyros artanthifolia seed-dry
  • Diospyros artanthifolia leaf base
  • Diospyros artanthifolia Mature Fruit plant
  • Diospyros artanthifolia Mature Fruit
  • Diospyros artanthifolia Mature Fruit
  • Diospyros artanthifolia seed wet
  • Diospyros artanthifolia
  • Diospyros artanthifolia
  • Diospyros artanthifolia Fruit
  • Diospyros artanthifolia Fruit Leaf