Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Hippocratea volubilis

L., Sp. Pl. 1191. 1753

Liana; branches usually opposite, the older branches minutely fissured, the younger branches glabrous to puberulent. Leaves opposite; stipules deltoid, ca 2 mm long, widely separated on stem; petioles short,       canalicu­late; blades usually elliptic to oblong-elliptic, bluntly cuspidate to acuminate and often downturned at apex, rounded to acute at base, mostly 4-11(17) cm long, 2-6 (8) cm wide, glabrous, the margins subentire to crenate, continuous with edges of petiole. Inflorescences axillary and terminal, cymose-paniculate with     dichoto­mous branching, mostly 6-15 cm long, most parts minutely tomentulose; flowers greenish-white or      yel­lowish, with a faint sweet aroma, 5-parted, 6-8 mm diam, short-pedicellate, bracteolate; sepals rounded, minute; petals 3-4 mm long, glabrous at base inside, completely pubescent at apex or bearing an inverted          Y-shaped fringe of trichomes; disk prominent; stamens 3, erect at anthesis, hiding style, later folding outward to expose style; filaments flattened; style ca 1 mm long. Mericarps 3, flattened, oblong or elliptic, 4-6 (8) cm long, mostly to 3 cm broad, rounded or deeply emarginate at apex; seeds samaroid, mostly 3.5-5 cm long; seminiferous area apical, darker, 13-25 mm long. Croat 5040, 7275.

Very abundant in the canopy and over the water at the edge of the lake. Flowers most of the year except in the early rainy season. Fruit maturity time uncertain.

Southern Florida and Mexico to northern Argentina. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Bocas del Toro, Panama, and Darien and from premontane wet forest in Colon.

See Fig. 333.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Hippocratea volubilis damaged-fruit
  • Hippocratea volubilis flower-bud
  • Hippocratea volubilis flower
  • Hippocratea volubilis flower
  • Hippocratea volubilis Inflorescence
  • Hippocratea volubilis Inflorescence
  • Hippocratea volubilis flower plant
  • Hippocratea volubilis fruit
  • Hippocratea volubilis fruit plant
  • Hippocratea volubilis immature-fruit