Standl., Publ. Field Columbian Mus., Bot. Ser. 4:154. 1929
Tree, 3-12 m tall; stems and inflorescences minutely pubescent. Petioles 2-6 mm long, bearing sparse to dense, appressed to erect pubescence; blades lanceolate-oblong or elliptical, gradually acuminate, acute to obtuse or rarely rounded at base, 5-16 cm long, 1.5-5 cm wide, glabrous and ± shiny above except on midrib, glabrous to inconspicuously puberulent below, usually glabrous in age, pellucid-punctate, usually moderately thick, the acumen usually less than one-sixth the length of the blade, the margins entire, weakly revolute; veins of lower surface ± prominulous when dried. Panicles axillary or terminal, 1.5-9 cm long; pedicels to ca 2 cm long; flowers 5-parted; receptacle produced into a densely silvery-puberulent, button-shaped structure above calyx; calyx to 4 mm wide, the lobes ca 1.5 mm long, ± rounded, pellucid-punctate; pedicel and calyx densely pubescent with short silvery trichomes, those of the calyx very dense and mostly appressed; petals orbicular, 1.5-2 mm long, white, pellucid-punctate, soon falling; stamens numerous; style pubescent in basal half. Berries ellipsoid to obovoid, prominently pellucid-punctate, to ca 1 cm long and 8 mm wide, usually considerably longer than broad, green becoming greenish-yellow and finally blue-black at maturity; seed 1. Croat 6133, Foster 1120.
Frequent along the shore on the eastern side of the island, apparently preferring forest edges near water. Flowering principally from June to August. Flowering collections believed to be this species were made in Bocas del Toro in February. The fruits mature mostly in August and September, sometimes as early as June.
There is considerable doubt that M. gatunensis Standl. is the oldest name for this taxon. Material of what I believe to be the same species has been identified by McVaugh and others as M. fallax (L. C. Rich.) DC. and M. splendens (Sw.) DC. In calculating the range for M. gatunensis I have limited myself to material that I am confident is the same species as the BCI material. The species is probably more wide-ranging, however, and it is certainly not restricted to BCI as is indicated in the Flora of Panama (Amshoff, 1958).
Known only from Panama, but probably ranging into Costa Rica and Colombia. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Bocas del Toro, and Darien and from tropical wet forest in Colón (Salúd).