Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Strychnos panamensis

Seem., Bot. Voy. Herald 166. 1854

Canjura, Fruta de murcielago

Liana or climbing shrub; tendrils short-coiled, pubescent, becoming woody; stems sparsely                long-pubescent to gla­brous in age. Petioles 1-5 (15) mm long, sparsely pubes­cent especially when young; blades lanceolate to elliptic, usually acuminate, acute to rounded (rarely cordate) at base, 4.5-12 cm long, 1.5-4 (5) cm wide, sometimes sparsely pubescent at base of midrib below, pliveined, the veins 3 (5). Cymes pedunculate, terminal; pedicels obsolete or to 3.5 mm long; flowers (4) 5-parted; sepals ± lanceolate, to 4 mm long, ciliate; corolla salverform, 8-24 mm long, the tube greenish-white, very minutely papillate outside, with a broad band of moniliform tri­chomes on apical third inside, the lobes white, slender, to 4.7 mm long, recurved at anthesis, densely papillate inside; stamens exserted to 3 mm above the rim; anthers ca 8 mm long, attached subbasally; style exserted about twice as far as stamens, expanded somewhat and flat at apex. Fruits globose, l to several on a stout woody stalk, at first         blue-green, turning orange and usually 6-9 cm diam at maturity; seeds many, 2-3 cm long, irregular, embedded in a fleshy, sweet, orange pulp. Croat 10229, 12595.

Common along the shore; apparently less abundant in the forest. Usually flowering from April to August, chiefly from May to July, rarely late in the rainy season or in the early dry season. Full-sized fruits are seen by the late rainy season. They turn orange in the dry season and are removed usually before flowering begins again. Plants usually put on new leaves shortly before flowering.

Pacific slope of tropical Mexico to northeastern Vene­zuela and northern Colombia. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Chiriqui, Coclé, Panama, and Darien, from tropical dry forest in Panama (Taboga Island), and from premontane rain forest in Panama (summit of Cerro Jefe).

See Fig. 447.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Strychnos panamensis immature-fruit plant
  • Strychnos panamensis leaf
  • Strychnos panamensis seed-dry
  • Strychnos panamensis
  • Strychnos panamensis
  • Strychnos panamensis Timeseries