Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Peltogyne purpurea

Pitt., J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 5:471.1915

Nazareno, Morado, Purple heart

Tall tree, to 50 m tall and 1 m dbh; wood dark purple, hard; branchlets slender. Leaves bifoliolate; petioles to 2 cm long; petiolules 3-4 mm long; leaflets lanceolate­-elliptic, subfalcate, long-acuminate, obliquely rounded or obtuse at base, 5-7 cm long, 2-3 cm wide, the veins reticulate. Inflorescences racemose, terminal or subtermi­nal, bearing few to many flowers; branches of the inflores­cence 5-7 cm long, the branches, pedicels, and calyces tomentose; pedicels to 2 mm long, nodose in middle; sepals ca 2.5 mm long, obtuse; petals 5, ca 3 mm long, obovate; stamens ca 3 mm long; ovary tomentose; style slender, maroon, ca 2 mm long. Legumes broadly obo­vate, flattened, ca 3 cm long and 1.6 cm wide, glabrous, mucronulate at apex, somewhat arcuate above, rounded below, on pedicels to 8 mm long; seminiferous area indis­tinct; seed 1, ca 2 cm long, obliquely ovate, depressed, persistent on the dehisced fruit, hanging by the funicle.

Reported by Standley for the island, but no collection was cited and none has been seen. The only material of this species from the Canal Zone that I have seen was growing at Summit Garden. It is possible that the species is not native to central Panama.

Allen (1956) reported that in Costa Rica individuals flower several times from August to December at two-­week intervals, with flowers lasting about three days and the fruits maturing in February. The leaves of these plants were briefly deciduous in the early dry season.

Costa Rica and Panama. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone and reported to be common in Darien in tropical moist and tropical wet forests (Duke, 1968; Allen, unpubl.; Lamb, 1953). Tosi (1971) listed the species as characteristic of premontane wet forest in Panama. Holdridge (1970) reported it from tropical moist and tropical wet forests on well-drained soils.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Peltogyne purpurea