Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Licania platypus

(Hemsl.) Fritsch, Ann. K.K. Natur-hist. Hofmus. 4:53.1889

Sangre, Wild pear, Zapote

Tree' 10-30 (50) m tall; trunk to 75 cm dbh (sometimes buttressed to 1-2.5 m elsewhere); branches and leaves glabrous; branchlets often reddish; sap red in age. Petioles ca 1 cm long; stipules ovate, ca 2.5 mm long, stiff, adnate to petiole at base, persistent; blades mostly narrowly oblong-elliptic, shortly acuminate at apex, acute to rounded at base, 10-20 (30) cm long, 3-6 (8) cm wide, lustrous above, pale and              ± glaucous below, with small round flattened or sunken glands below, especially near margin. Panicles terminal or upper-axillary, 10-25 (35) cm long, the branches gray-tomentose, flattened at base; flowers minute, white, fragrant, sessile or very short-­pedicellate; hypanthium, sepals, and edges of petals        gray­-tomentose; hypanthium ± turbinate, ca 1.5-2 mm diam; sepals 5, triangular, ca 1 mm long and wide, spreading; petals 5, obovate, 2-3 mm long; stamens 15, glabrous; fila­ments ca 3 mm long, attached separately to disk; style 5-6 mm long. Drupes variable in size, reported to 20 cm long and 14 cm diam, green turning brown; mesocarp granular, yellow, juicy, sweet; seed usually 1, ovate-oblong, flat­tened, to 5 cm or more long. Croat 8695, 11851.

Frequent in the forest, especially the old forest. Flow­ers principally in the dry season, especially from Febru­ary to April. Time of fruit maturation is uncertain, since fruit size is so variable, but fruits believed to be mature were falling in June and late August. Some fruits prob­ably persist on the tree much longer.

At maturity, the mesocarp smells much like fresh pumpkin.

Southern Mexico (both coasts) south to Colombia; reported also from the valley of the Magdalena (Jimenez S.,1970). In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Chiriqui, Panama, and Darien; Allen (unpublished) reported the species to be very common on the dry Pacific coast, and Johnston (1949) reported that it appears to prefer growing on well-drained terraces in ravines.

See Figs. 254 and 255.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Licania platypus seed-wet
  • Licania platypus seed-wet
  • Licania platypus leaf base
  • Licania platypus leaf
  • Licania platypus
  • Licania platypus
  • Licania platypus Flower
  • Licania platypus Fruit
  • Licania platypus Gland
  • Licania platypus Flower Leaf