Willd. ex R. & S. var. adpressa (Wernham) Standl., Publ. Field Columbian Mus., Bot. Ser. 7:52. 1930
Liana, the younger parts herbaceous; all parts pubescent, the trichomes stiff, ± appressed, sparse on leaf surfaces but conspicuous on veins below. Stipules broadly ovate, acute, 7-10 mm long, persistent; petioles 5-18 mm long; blades ovate to elliptic, acute to acuminate, obtuse to rounded at base, mostly 6-13 cm long and 2.5-7 cm wide, purplish below when young. Flowers sessile, 5 (6)-parted, in short, axillary clusters to 3 cm long; calyx lobes 5-7 mm long, recurved, persisting in fruit; corolla white, 8-10 mm long, the tube glabrous inside except near anthers, the lobes short; anthers 5 (6), 1.3-2.3 mm long, opening in bud, fused to tube near base of corolla lobes; style variable, to 5 (8) mm long, the branches 5, to 3 mm long, held well below anthers within the narrow corolla tube; nectar copious. Berries globose, ca 10 mm diam, sparsely to densely pubescent, red becoming dark purple; seeds many, tan, minute. Croat 11725.
Occasional in older clearings, on trails, and at the margin of the forest along the lake. less commonly climbing to the top of the forest canopy and sometimes rooting in water (Shattuck 704). Flowers and fruits to some extent throughout the year, but mostly in the dry season, from December to April, and again from June to August. Most fruits mature in the middle to late rainy season. Flowers and mature fruits are common on the same stem.
The genus is so poorly known that the geographic limits are uncertain. The species is found from Belize and Honduras south to Colombia, Venezuela, and Guyana, and the variety adpressa ranges from
Costa Rica to Colombia. In Panama, the species consists of two intergrading varieties: the typical variety has spreading trichomes and is found in Bocas del Toro; var. adpressa, which is more widespread, is known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Bocas del Toro, San Blas, Panama, and Darien, from premontane moist forest in the Canal Zone, and from premontane wet forest in Panama and Darien. Intermediate forms are found in Bocas del Toro and central Panama on the Atlantic slope.