Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Ludovia integrifolia

(Woods.) Harl., Acta Horti Berg. 18:338.1958

Carludovica integrifolia Woods.

Nonrosulate epiphytic vine; stems 9-12 mm diam, at first green, becoming brown, forming long, ± tough, brown roots at most nodes; internodes mostly 5-7 cm long. Leaves drying thin, all but the upper 3-8 withering but often persisting; petioles 10-15 cm long, narrowly cana­liculate; sheaths thin, extending one-third to almost entire length of petiole; blades narrowly elliptic to oblanceolate, acuminate, cuneate and often ± unequal at base (one side slightly shorter), 13-23 (33) cm long, 4-7 (17) cm wide, weakly bicolorous, the lower surface dull, with 4-7 major veins running almost parallel to the midrib but extending to the blade margin; margins weakly toothed at termination of each veinlet, the midrib raised on both surfaces but most prominent in basal third of blade. Spathes 3, enveloping spadix, acuminate, greenish to white, the outer 6-8 cm long, the inner to 5 cm long, all caducous, breaking loose from base at anthesis and carried upward by the enlarging spadix; spadix ca 3 cm long at anthesis; staminodia widely dispersed in clusters of 4 (rarely 5), to ca 3 cm long; staminate flowers ca 3.5 mm long, the perianth 20-30-lobed, glandular; pistillate flowers connate with each other, the tepals much reduced, the long, immersed stigmas sessile, longer than broad; fruiting spadices 8.5-9.5 cm long, ca 1.5 cm diam, blunt, becoming orange, fleshy and tasty at maturity, the pedun­cles with 3 prominent spathe scars; stipes 5-7 mm long; stigmas round, ca 0.5 mm diam. Fruits diamond-shaped, 11-17 mm long, 9-12 mm wide, conical; seeds numerous, ± ovoid, ca 1.5 mm long, embedded in a sweet, sticky, gelatinous matrix at maturity. Croat 12560.

Occasional, in the old forest. Reportedly flowers in June. Mature fruits have been recorded in November and December.

Obscurely resembling Stenospermation (21. Araceae), but distinguished by having more than one spathe. Panama to Ecuador on the Pacific slope. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone and Darién.

See Figs. 78 and 79.