Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Paullinia fuscescens

H.B.K. var. glabrata Croat, Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 63:480.1976

Hierba de alacran

Tendriled liana; stems terete, inconspicuously pubescent and bearing many small lenticels; tendrils borne on a short branch, usually bifid. Leaves biternate, to 12 cm long; petioles with a raised pubescent margin on upper surface; rachis narrowly winged, the wing sometimes widest in apical half; blades ± elliptic or oblanceolate, bluntly acute to acuminate (rarely rounded to emarginate) at apex, attenuate to base, sparsely crenate, glabrous above except on sharply raised midrib, glabrate below but with tufts of trichomes in axils, the terminal leaflets 3-9 cm long, 3.3 (5) cm wide. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, borne often on the same short branches as the tendrils, to 10 cm long and 1 cm wide; pedicels short, 1.5-2.5 mm long at anthesis, puberulent, articulate about middle or above; flowers with a faint, very sweet aroma, ca 2.5-3.5 mm long; sepals sparsely to moderately ap­pressed-pubescent, boat-shaped, rounded at apex; petals white, the glands of all 4 petals ovoid, yellow to orange, the scales of the anterior petals to 1.5 mm long, about as broad as long, the reflexed appendage densely bearded, the scale crest slender, 0.7 mm long, often as long as reflexed appendage; stamens 8, the staminate flowers with the short stamens to 1.5 mm long, the longer stamens to 2.5 mm long, the pistillate flowers with the stamens ca 1.5 mm long, about as long as ovary; anthers narrowly ellipsoid; pollen golden-brown, tacky; pistil small, well concealed by the densely pubescent filaments; stigmas 3, short, 0.7 mm long. Capsules suborbicular to broadly obovate, to 2 cm long, red, sharply 3-angled, glabrate to sparsely pubescent, short-stipitate, ± beaked at apex, the medial crest sharply raised, the wings 7-8 mm wide; seeds 1-3, oblong, shiny, black, the lower half enclosed in a white aril. Croat 13235,13809.

Occasional, in the canopy and at the margin of the lake. Flowers throughout the dry season. The fruits develop within about 1 month.

It is difficult to distinguish flowering or sterile collec­tions from Paullinia costaricensis Radlk., which occurs elsewhere in Panama and Central America.

Mexico to Panama along the Atlantic slope. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, from tropical wet forest in Veraguas, and from an undeter­mined life zone in Chiriqui (Cerro Vaca).

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Paullinia fuscescens immature-fruit
  • Paullinia fuscescens immature-Infructescences
  • Paullinia fuscescens seed-dry
  • Paullinia fuscescens glabrata
  • Paullinia fuscescens var. glabrata Kunth, Isotype
  • Paullinia fuscescens Timeseries