Lam., Encycl. Meth. Bot. 3:133.1789
H. americana sensu Aubl. non L.
Small tree or arching shrub, 1-5 m tall, usually less than 10 cm dbh; young branches usually moderately pubescent. Petioles 1-3 mm long, densely hispid to glabrous; stipules paired, linear, 2-5 mm long, persistent; blades elliptic to oblong, bluntly acuminate at apex, obtuse to subcordate at base, 4-12 (19) cm long, 1.5-5 (7) cm wide, sparsely appressed-pubescent on midrib above and below and sometimes on surface below. Racemes axillary or terminal, 5-15 (29) cm long; rachis and pedicels puberulent; bracts and bracteoles 1-3 mm long, narrowly triangular, appressed-pubescent, usually with 1 or more round, sessile glands near base; pedicels slender, (1.5) 4-11 mm long, perpendicular to rachis; calyx lobes 5, ovate, 2-3 mm long, sparsely puberulent; petals 5, obovate to elliptic, 3-5 mm long, lavender; stamens 5-7; filaments 1-2 cm long, lavender; ovary densely pilose-tomentose; style to 1.5 cm long. Drupes oblong-obovoid, to 1.5 cm long, ca 6 mm diam, purplish-brown turning black, sparsely pubescent. Croat 9518.
Frequent in the forest and along the shore. Flowers from November to June, principally in the dry season. The species may flower more than once a year. The fruits probably mature in a few months, mostly in the late dry and early rainy seasons.
Panama through Colombia, Venezuela, and the Guianas to Peru, northern Bolivia, and Amazonian Brazil.
In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Colón, Los Santos, Panama, and Darien and from tropical dry forest in Coclé (Penonome) and Panama (Taboga Island). Reported from premontane moist, premontane wet, and premontane rain forests in Costa Rica (Holdridge et al., 1971).
See Fig. 252.