Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Piper auritum

H.B.K., Nov. Gen. & Sp. 1:54.1816

Cowfoot, Cordoncillo, Santa Maria

Tree, 2.5-8 m tall, the trunk to ca 10 cm diam; wood soft; cut parts sweetly aromatic; stems ± glabrous. Petioles 4-12 cm long, conspicuously winged-vaginate much of their length; blades ± ovate, acute to short-acuminate at apex, cordate at base with very unequal lobes and one side 1-2 cm shorter on petiole, mostly 20-40 cm long, 12-27 cm wide, pinnately veined above the sinus, sparsely short-pubescent above, especially on veins, densely so below, densely white-ciliolate. Spikes stout, 10-27 cm long, to 8 mm or more thick in fruit; peduncles 2-8 cm long; bracts ± round and densely ciliate with long white trichomes. Fruits small, obpyramidal-trigonous; stigmas 3, sessile. Croat 6976.

Uncommon; occurring sporadically, usually at the edge of clearings. Apparently not markedly seasonal in flow­ering behavior, but perhaps with more flowering activity in the rainy season. Plants tend to have more fruiting spikes in the dry season.

Mexico to Colombia; West Indies; sea level to 1,200 m. In Panamá, known from tropical moist forest all along the Atlantic slope and in the Canal Zone, Chiriqui, Pan­ama, and Darien; known also from tropical dry forest in Coclé, from premontane wet forest in Colón, Chiriqui, Coclé, and Panamá, and from tropical wet forest in Colón.

See Fig. 184.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Piper auritum
  • Piper auritum Flower Leaf