Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Smilax spissa

Killip & Mort., Publ. Carnegie Inst. Wash. 461:273.1936

Vine, ± glabrous overall, the older stems somewhat woody; stems terete, unarmed. Petioles 5-10 (20) mm long, sheathed at base, with a pair of tendrils at apex of sheath; blades oblong or ovate-oblong, acuminate, rounded to obtuse at base, 6-18 cm long, 7-8 cm wide, 3-veined at base with an additional inconspicuous pair of submarginal veins, the secondary veins subparallel, connecting the primary veins. Flowers 6-parted, greenish-­white, sessile, congested on globose, bracteate receptacle, in solitary, axillary umbels; peduncles longer than sub­tending petioles, the fruiting peduncles 1.5-2.5 cm long; staminate umbels on peduncles 2-4 cm long, always solitary; tepals unequal, the outer ovate-oblong, 3-4 mm long, ca 1.5 mm wide, the inner narrowly oval, 2-3 mm long, ca 1 mm wide; filaments 1-1.5 mm long; anthers linear, 1.5-2 mm long. Pistillate flowers with pedicels 1-2 mm long (ca 5 mm long in fruit); tepals 6, unequal, the outer narrowly ovate, 3-3.5 mm long, ca 1.8 mm wide, the inner slightly shorter, ca 1 mm wide; ovary ca 2 mm long, subglobose; staminodia 3, minute, oblong, ca 0.5 mm long and ca 0.2 mm wide; styles 3, ca 0.5 mm long, flattened, nearly as broad as long. Berries ± glo­bose, ca 1.5 cm diam, green turning red and finally black, 1-3-seeded. Croat 8772, 15260, Zetek 5587.

Rare, in the forest. Flowers and fruits throughout the year.

Costa Rica and Panama. In Panama, known only from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone.

See Fig. 139.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Smilax spissa Inflorescence buds
  • Smilax spissa flower-bud plant
  • Smilax spissa flower
  • Smilax spissa Inflorescence
  • Smilax spissa leaf
  • Smilax spissa leaf base
  • Smilax spissa leaf
  • Smilax spissa Mature Fruit clus
  • Smilax spissa Mature Fruit plant
  • Smilax spissa Mature Fruit