H.B.K., Nov. Gen. & Sp. 3:83. ed. fol. 1818
T. obscura DC.
Vinelike shrub, sometimes growing into canopy at 10 m or more; stems, petioles, and inflorescences densely pubescent, the long trichomes erect, brown, hirsute, 4-6 mm long, the short ones gray, puberulent, less than 0.2 mm long. Leaves short-petiolate; blades usually ± ovate, acuminate, often falcate and downturned at apex, obtuse to rounded at base, 10-19 cm long, 5-8 cm wide, pubescent on both surfaces especially on veins beneath. Cymes dense, mostly terminal, helicoid; flowers 5-parted, sessile; sepals narrowly pointed, usually 5-7 mm long; corolla tubular, to 1 cm long, the tube greenish, bearing long appressed trichomes, tapered to flaring rim, the limb white, ca 5 mm wide; stamens fused to tube just above somewhat bulbous base; anthers shedding pollen in bud; ovary ovoid, glabrous; style simple, very short, somewhat globular, held well below anthers; lateral rim of stigma with a ± sticky secretion. Fruits ovoid to obovoid, 3-4 mm long, fleshy, held within persistent sepals, separating into 4 nutlets at maturity; nutlets irregularly ellipsoid, brown, ca 2.5 mm long. Croat 13114.
Occasional on the shore, generally climbing to less than 5 m; uncommon in younger areas of the forest, climbing into the canopy to 10 m or more. Flowers in Panama in all months of the year, but predominantly from January to July. The fruits develop quickly and may be found on flowering inflorescences, mostly maturing in the late dry and early rainy seasons.
Central America and northern South America; West Indies. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Bocas del Toro, Colón Panama, and Darién and from tropical wet forest in Colón (Miguel de la Borda).
See Fig. 477.