Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Witheringia solanacea

L'Hér., Sert. Angl. 33, pl.1.1788

Capsicum macrophyllum(Dun.) Standl.

Suffrutescent herb or shrub, to 3 (4) m tall; stems, peti­oles, and midribs often purplish when young, nearly glabrous or sparsely pubescent with short, stiff, uncinate or appressed trichomes. Leaves alternate or subopposite in unequal pairs; petioles mostly 1-5 cm long, flat and marginally ridged above, the ridges extending along stem to next node; blades ovate to elliptic-oblong, acuminate, obtuse to subcordate and sometimes somewhat inequi­lateral at base, mostly 8-20 cm long, 3.5-11 cm wide, glabrous or sparsely scabrous and moderately shiny above, duller below, the trichomes sparse or restricted to veins. Fascicles dense, axillary; flowers minutely pu­bescent, greenish-yellow; calyx truncate, sparsely pubes­cent, to 2 mm long; corolla 4- or 5-lobed, 6-9 mm long, divided about halfway to base, the lobes spreading; sta­mens 4 or 5, broad, ca 5.3 mm long; filaments adnate to tube basally, densely villous in basal half; anthers acute at apex; ovary ovoid, glabrous, ca 1 mm long; style 4 mm long. Berries depressed-globose, ca 8 mm diam, orange­-red; seeds many, ca 1.3 mm long, densely alveolate-­ridged. Croat 12199.

Occasional, in the Laboratory Clearing; rarely encoun­tered in the forest as a shrub. Flowering and fruiting

all year, but especially during the rainy season. Often occurring with both flowers and mature fruits. Distinguished by the dense axillary clusters of greenish-yellow flowers and bright red fruits.

Mexico to Brazil; the Antilles. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Bocas del Toro, San Blas, Chiriqui, Los Santos, Panama, and Darien, from premontane wet forest in Chiriqui, Coclé and Panama, from tropical wet forest in Colón, Coclé and Panama, from premontane rain forest in Chiriqui, Pa­nama, and Darien, and from lower montane wet forest in Chiriqui.

See Figs. 488 and 489.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Witheringia solanacea, fruit
  • Witheringia solanacea, fruit
  • Witheringia solanacea, leaves
  • Witheringia solanacea, mature fruit & seeds
  • Witheringia solanacea with flowers
  • Witheringia solanacea with flowers
  • Witheringia solanacea flowers