Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Poulsenia armata

(Miq.) Standl., Trop. Woods 33:4.1933

Cucua, Cocua, Maragua, Mastate, Namaqua

Monoecious tree, to 27 m tall and 90 cm dbh, with low buttresses; outer bark thick; stems, petioles, stipules, and lower midrib of leaf armed with short sharp spines 1-3 mm long; sap copious,       yellowish-brown. Leaves alternate; petioles stout, l-4 cm long, armed; stipules amplexicaul, 1.5-3 cm long, armed; blades variable, obliquely ovate to oblong-elliptic, obtuse to short­-acuminate at apex, obtuse to rounded and inequilateral at base-, 10-40 (70) cm long, 6-25 (35) cm wide, usually glabrous in age, coriaceous. Staminate inflorescences globose, 1-2.3 cm diam, bearing many dense flowers; tepals 4, barely united; stamens 4, slightly exserted. Pistillate inflorescences ovoid, 1-1.5 cm diam, yellowish with (3) 5-9 flowers; perianth 4-dentate; stigmas deeply 2-lobed, exserted. Fruiting heads subglobose or ovoid, to 2.5 cm long, the individual carpels conic, irregularly angulate, sharply pointed at apex, the involucral bracts sharply pointed; seeds 1 per carpel, ovoid, shiny, brown, to 4 mm long. Croat 8533, 9280.

Abundant throughout the forest. Flowers and fruits throughout the year, especially during the dry and early rainy seasons. The leaves, which are somewhat resistant to decay, are usually lost and replaced during the dry season.

Red spider monkeys have been seen eating the syncarp. Mexico to Bolivia. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, San Blas, and Darien, from premontane wet forest in the Canal Zone, and from tropical wet forest in Colon and Darien.

See Fig. 206.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Poulsenia armata flower plant
  • Poulsenia armata flower-bud
  • Poulsenia armata flower
  • Poulsenia armata flower
  • Poulsenia armata flower plant
  • Poulsenia armata fruit
  • Poulsenia armata seed-dry
  • Poulsenia armata
  • Poulsenia armata
  • Poulsenia armata