Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Leucaena multicapitula

Schery, Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 37:302.1950

Tree, to 20 m tall; branchlets glabrate and lenticellate in age. Leaves bipinnate with 2-4 pairs of opposite pinnae, with minute appressed pubescence above and below; petioles 3-5 cm long with a small, sessile, conical gland near apex; rachis 5-9 cm long, usually eglandular; pinnu­lar rachis to 9 cm long with a gland at the apex; leaflets in 3-5 pairs per pinna, ovate to elliptic, acute at apex, acute to rounded at base, l.5-5.5 cm long, 1-2.5 cm wide. Inflorescences terminal and upper-axillary, compounded 3 times, the heads orbicular, ca 1 cm wide, in simple or compound fascicles, the branches 1-5 per axil, to 20 cm long; peduncles ca 1 cm long, tomentose; flowers green, sessile, each subtended by a peltate bract as long as calyx; calyx ca 1.1 mm long; petals to 3.3 mm long, linear-­oblong, weakly adnate to calyx; stamens 10, free, exserted ca 3 mm; style 1-2 mm longer than stamens. Legumes linear, flat, 7-14 cm long, 2.5-4.5 cm wide, thin, glabrous; seeds ovate, flat, ca 8 mm long, dark brown with promi­nent margins. Croat 11735.

Uncommon; collected on the shore of Miller Peninsula south of Orchid Island and at Gross Point. Flowers from June to August (sometimes as early as May) in central Panama. The fruits mature from July to October.

Albizia adinocephala (Dorm. Sm.) Britt. & Rose, as reported by Standley (1933), is clearly this species. Bailey 281 has no more than ten stamens per flower, and the up­per sides of the leaflets are not conspicuously reticulate-­veined, as is A. adinocephala.

The species has been confused with L. trichodes (Jacq.) Benth., a closely related South American species, and is distinguished from it by having its inflorescence more highly branched.

The dark-colored seeds may either be displayed against the opened light-colored interior of the valves or fall free as the valves open.

Known only from Panama, from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Coclé, Panamd, and Darien.

See Fig. 267.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Leucaena multicapitula