Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Gibasis geniculata

(Jacq.) Rohw., Farinosae Veg. El. Salv.143.1956

Tradescantia geniculata Jacq.; Aneilema geniculata (Jacq.) Woods.

Sparsely villous herb, to ca 60 cm tall; stems ± succulent, creeping at base, rooting at lower nodes, with a single row of trichomes on internodes. Leaves ± sessile; sheaths pilose all over; blades ovate to     ovate-lanceolate, 3-7 cm long, sparsely pilose on both surfaces. Inflorescences terminal, slender, to 7 cm long, dichotomously branched; flowers 3-parted; petals ovate, to 3 mm long, white, broader than sepals; sepals ovate-lanceolate, to 3 mm long and 1 mm wide; stamens 6, somewhat shorter than petals, interspersed with and slightly exceeding numerous mo­niliform trichomes; style ± equaling stamens; stigma minutely bristly. Capsules dry, 3-valved, 3-loculed, to 2 mm long, each locule with 1 or 2 seeds; seeds 1-1.5 mm long, each bearing a prominent funicular scar. Croat 12799.

Rare, in isolated, partially open areas along forest trails; often very abundant locally. Flowering and fruiting to some extent throughout the year, but mostly in the late rainy season and in the dry season.

Capsules do not appear to be always dehiscent; some may merely weather open. Seeds are possibly carried away by small insects.

Mexico to Bolivia and Brazil; West Indies. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Bocas del Toro, Colón, and Darien; doubtlessly elsewhere in tropical moist forest.