Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Quararibea pterocalyx

Hemsl., Diag. Pl. Mex. 4. 1878

Wild palm

Tree, usually less than 10 m tall; twigs with a strong spicy odor. Leaves simple; stipules lanceolate, to 5 mm long, caducous; petioles densely tomentulose, less so in age, 1.5-2.5 cm long; blades broadly elliptic, rounded to acuminate at apex, rounded at base, 13-30 cm long, 7-13 cm wide, glabrous above or tomentulose on veins, densely tomentulose below with whitish stellate tri­chomes, entire, venation pinnate. Flowers solitary, mostly opposite leaves on young branchlets, 12 cm long; pedicels 1-1.5 cm long, bracteolate; calyx tubular, to 4 cm long and ca 1 cm wide when in flower, the lobes 3, to 4 mm long; both calyx and pedicel generally yellowish, short-­tomentulose, with 10 longitudinal wings at least 1 mm high; petals 5, linear, at least 10 cm long when fully expanded and 1-1.5 cm wide, white, with trichomes in scattered groups; staminal column 8-13 cm long, enlarged at its apex, with numerous anthers; anthers subsessile, extrorse, longitudinally dehiscent; style about as long as staminal column, slightly enlarged at apex. Nuts sub­globose, ca 4 cm diam, greenish, subtended by and at least two-thirds enclosed by enlarged calyx, tomentulose, with a prominent mammillate apex, generally 2-celled; seeds 1 per cell, more than 2 cm long. Croat 6828, Foster 1031.

Occasional along the shore and in the forest on Pearson Peninsula. Flowers from May through July. The fruits mature in September and October. Leaves may be re­placed twice per year (R. Foster, pers. comm.).

Fruits are dispersed chiefly by mammals. They are buoyant and may be dispersed by water as well.

Known only from Panama, from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Bocas del Toro, Panama, and Darien, from premontane moist forest in Panama, and from pre­montane wet forest in Darien.

See Fig. 376.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Quararibea pterocalyx
  • Quararibea pterocalyx Leaf
  • Quararibea pterocalyx Leaf
  • Quararibea pterocalyx Leaf
  • Quararibea pterocalyx Leaf