Glabrous tree, to 10 m tall; branches lenticellate, terete. Stipules minute, caducous; petioles canaliculate, ca 1 cm long; blades ± elliptic, acuminate, acute and inequilateral at base, 5-12 cm long, 2-3.5 cm wide, pellucid-punctate and glabrous, crenulate. Flowers white to greenish-white, in axillary dichasia to ca 8 cm long, usually only a few open at a time; bracts minute; pedicels puberulent, 9-13 mm long, articulated near base; sepals 4, caducous, ± elliptic or boat-shaped, rounded at apex, to 9 mm long; corolla and staminodia lacking; stamens many, to 8 mm long; filaments often puberulent; ovary ovoid; style short; stigma simple. Capsules ± globose, to 4 cm diam, with dense, short, brown, tomentulose pubescence; exocarp thick; valves 3, thick, red inside when dehisced; seeds irregular, rounded, to 6 mm long, embedded in an orange mesocarp. Croat 13977.
Occasional, in some areas of the old forest and along the margin of the lake on the south side of the island. Flowers mostly from March to May, with the fruits maturing from June to September. Frankie, Baker, and Opler (1974) reported that the species may flower more than once a year. Leaves probably fall during the dry season.
Southern Mexico to northern South America; West Indies. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Veraguas (Coiba Island), and Panama and from tropical wet forest in Colón (Miguel de la Borda).