Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Jacaranda copaia

(Aubl.) D. Don, Edinburgh Philos. J. 9:267.1823

Palo de bura.

Tree, to 45 m tall; trunk 30-50 cm dbh, often buttressed, often wrinkled near base; outer bark fissured, very soft, thin, light brown, flaking; inner bark light tan, with minute reddish-brown sap droplets in time after being slashed; petioles, rachises, and midribs below with granu­lar puberulence. Leaves bipinnate, crowded near apex of branches, to 40 cm long (juvenile branches with the leaves to 1.5 m long); petioles and rachises with medial groove; rachis ± angulate; pinnae 5-20 per leaf; leaflets 3-25 per pinna, ± elliptic, inequilateral, 2.5-7 cm long, 1.5-3.5 cm wide, conspicuously punctate on both sur­faces, toothed only on juveniles. Flowers precocious, the panicles very large, narrow, borne among leaves near apex of stem, dense but well spaced on rachis; calyx ± truncate, but often split on one side, 4-7 mm long, densely pubescent with short, branched trichomes, lepi­dote; corolla lavender-blue, 4-5 cm long, densely pubes­cent with branched trichomes outside and on lobes inside, the tube constricted 7-8 mm at base, then prominently flaring, somewhat curved, white inside, glabrous except for glandular trichomes near juncture of stamens; stamens included, the longer pair 1.1-1.3 cm long; anthers with one theca very reduced; base of filaments and stami­nodium with glandular trichomes; staminodium to 3 cm long, tufted at apex; pistil 1.5-1.8 cm long; ovary flattened-cylindrical, 2-2.5 mm long and wide, 1.5 mm thick, glabrous. Capsules shortly and broadly oblong, rounded at both ends, compressed, 8-14 cm long, 5-8 cm broad, glabrous, prominently and minutely lenticellate; seeds suborbicular, to 2.5 cm long and 4 cm wide, the seminiferous area 5-6 mm long, the wings transparent except for veins extending out from center, with a distinct sinus at point of attachment. Croat 6782, 7888.

Common to locally abundant in the forest. Flowers from February to May; individuals flower in an    extrava­gant burst that lasts over a month. The fruits mature from July to October, with a few fruits falling as late as April (Foster, 1974). Leaves fall in the early dry season and are replaced after flowering.

Belize to the Guianas, Brazil, and Peru. In Panama, a characteristic tree species of tropical moist forest (Hol­dridge & Budowski, 1956; Tosi, 1971) and common in secondary areas at low elevations (Holdridge, 1970); known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Bocas del Toro, San Blas, Panama, and Darien, from premontane wet forest in Panama, and from tropical wet forest in Colón and Darien.

See Figs. 493 and 494.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Jacaranda copaia subsp spectabilis flower
  • Jacaranda copaia subsp spectabilis flower
  • Jacaranda copaia subsp spectabilis flower
  • Jacaranda copaia subsp spectabilis Inflorescence
  • Jacaranda copaia subsp spectabilis Inflorescence
  • Jacaranda copaia subsp spectabilis Inflorescence
  • Jacaranda copaia subsp spectabilis Inflorescence
  • Jacaranda copaia subsp spectabilis flower plant
  • Jacaranda copaia subsp spectabilis flower plant
  • Jacaranda copaia subsp spectabilis fruit