(Jacq.) Dug., Contr. Hist. Nat. Colomb.1:11.1938
P. polystachyum Benth. ex Seem.
Quirá, Swamp kaway, Sangrillo, Panama redwood
Tree, to 30 m tall and 40 cm dbh; outer bark light brown, fissured, ± flaky, soft, ringed (like Tabebuia guayacan, 25. Bignoniaceae); wood reddish-brown, hard. Leaves opposite, imparipinnate; stipules interpetiolar, lanceolate, to 1.2 cm long, deciduous, leaving distinct scars; leaflets in 4-7 pairs, opposite on the rachis, ovate to elliptic, acuminate, obtuse to rounded at base, 5-11(22) cm long, 2.5-4.5 (15) cm wide, glabrous, entire and sometimes undulate. Racemes or panicles 9-17 cm long, terminal, subtending new leaves or in lower leafless axils; pedicels 3-6 mm long, glabrous; bracteoles ovate; flowers 1-1.5 cm long, often paired at nodes, yellow-orange tinged with purplish-brown toward center, especially on standard; calyx narrowly campanulate, glabrous to warty-puberulent, with short, acute teeth, the lateral and carinal teeth somewhat shorter than the vexillar teeth; standard orbicular, emarginate at apex; keel petals fused at apex and on outer edge, ciliate below point of fusion; stamens ca 1 cm long, in 2 fascicles of 5 each, loosely fused to form an open tube; anthers reniform, about as broad as long; ovary and style glabrous, the style bent sharply inward, much longer than anthers. Fruits samaroid, oblong-elliptic, obtuse to rounded at apex, acute at base, flat, 5-11 cm long, to 3.5 cm wide, thin, on stipes ca 1 cm long, the winged portion of same thickness throughout; seminiferous area medial, to 3.5 cm long, l cm wide; seed 1. Croat 5218, 5652, Standley 40945.
Occasional, in the forest. Leaves fall shortly before the flowers appear, and new leaves are produced with the flowers from March to May (rarely earlier). The species may flower only every other year. The fruits are dispersed one year later in the dry season (R. Foster, pers. comm.).
From a distance the flowers and new leaves appear somewhat brown.
Guatemala to Panama on the Pacific slope and along the Atlantic slope from Colombia to Trinidad. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest on both slopes in the Canal Zone and on the Pacific slope in Chiriqui and from the Azuero Peninsula to Darien. Characteristic in Panama of tropical dry forest (Holdridge & Budowski, 1956) and tropical moist forest (Tosi, 1971). Reported from tropical wet forest in Costa Rica (Holdridge et al., 1971).