(Bonpl.) Naud., Ann. Sci. Nat. Bot., sér. 3,16:152.1851
Shrub, to 2 (4) m tall; stems, petioles, and axes of inflorescences with many violet-purple to red-violet trichomes mostly 5-10 mm long. Petioles 1-3.5 cm long; blades ± ovate-lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, acuminate, obtuse to rounded or slightly subcordate at base, 5-15 cm long, 2-6.5 cm wide, more or less pilose on both sides especially on veins, entire to serrulate and ciliate; veins from base 3-5. Panicles very congested in flower, branched or unbranched, to 4 cm long, the trichomes at first whitish becoming colored in fruit; flowers ca 6 mm wide, secund, in a staggered row; hypanthium usually glabrous; calyx spreading, its lobes deeply lacerate and markedly ciliate, the exterior teeth equaling calyx lobes; petals 5, white to pinkish, 3-4 mm long, often emarginate at apex; stamens and style folded in bud; stamens red-violet, ± directed to one side; anthers 1.7 mm long, their terminal pores held in close proximity to style; style directed like the stamens. Berries subglobose, 6-7 mm diam, black, shiny; seeds numerous, minute, brown. Croat 6126.
Occasional in clearings and infrequent within the forest. Elsewhere in the Canal Zone it is frequent in open areas. Plants flower more than once per year and may bear both flowers and fruits on different branches. Flowers from March to August. The fruits mature principally from June to October but are seen all year.
The plant apparently does not produce nectar and is probably visited by small pollen feeders. The anthers do not forcibly expel the pollen, but the grains come out readily if the stamens are pulled back and then released.
Mexico to Peru; West Indies, Trinidad. In Panama, widespread and ecologically variable; known from tropical dry forest in Panamá (Taboga Island), from premontane moist forest in the Canal Zone, from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Bocas del Toro, San Blas, Chiriqui, Herrera, Coclé, Panama, and Darien, from premontane wet forest in the Canal Zone, Colón, Coclé, and Panamá, from tropical wet forest in Veraguas (Atlantic slope), Colón, Coclé, Panama, and Darien, and from premontane rain forest in Panamá.
See Fig. 435.