Monographs Details: Abarema cochliacarpos (Gomes) Barneby & J.W.Grimes
Authors:Rupert C. Barneby
Authority: Barneby, Rupert C. & Grimes, James W. 1996. Silk tree, guanacaste, monkey's earring: a generic system for the synandrous Mimosaceae of the Americas. Part I. Abarema, Albizia, and allies. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 74: 1-292.
Description:Species Description - Macrophyllidious trees and arborescent shrubs, potentially attaining 30 m with trunk to 4.5 cm dbh, but sometimes flowering as a shrub or small bushy tree only 2-5 m, the young branchlets and most young lf-axes puberulent with fine, forwardly curved, either pallid, sordid or rusty hairs at most 0.15 mm mixed with minute thickened or claviform, dark reddish trichomes, glabrescent in age, the glabrous chartaceous lfts bicolored, dark olive-green and lustrous above, paler beneath, when dry brunnescent or fuscescent, the dense capitula of greenish white fls borne solitary or 2-3 together in the axil of coevally developing lvs, the fruits long persistent on annotinous branches. Stipules very small and obscure, firm triangular, less than 1.2 mm, more or less adnate to stem. Lf-formula ii-iv(-v)/3-4(-5); lf-stks (2—)3—11 (—15) cm, the petiole (5-)8-30(-36) mm, the longer interpinnal segments 1.2—3(-4.5) cm; petiolar nectaries sessile or immersed in epidermis, shallowly cupular or plane, the first one situated between proximal pinna-pair 0.5—1.1 mm diam, those between distal pinnae and between most pairs of lfts similar but a little smaller; pinnae strongly accrescent distally but either the furthest or the penultimate pair longest, the rachis of these 3-7.5(—8.5) cm, the longer interfoliolar segments 10-22(-28) mm; lft-pulvinules in dorsal view 0.8-1.8 x 0.5-1 mm; lfts strongly accrescent distally, variable in outline from obovate or obovate-elliptic to elliptic and shortly acuminate, at base subequilater-ally cuneate, at apex very obtuse or emarginate, the blades of the penultimate pair 2.5-6 x 1.4-2.6(-3) cm, 1.6-2.6(-2.8) times as long as wide; the almost centric and almost straight midrib giving rise to ±6-9 pairs of major secondary nerves ascending at ±45° to anastomosis well within the incipiently revolute margin, the tertiary venulation ordinarily weak and random, the whole venation either weakly prominulous or impressed on upper face, a little more sharply prominulous beneath. Peduncles (3-)4-11.5 cm; capitula ±25-45-fld, the subspherical or shortly clavate receptacle 2.5-4 mm diam (rarely one or more random flowers remote on peduncle); bracts ovate or spatulate 0.4-0.8 mm, early caducous; fls homomorphic, all sessile or nearly so, glabrous except for minutely ciliolate calyx-teeth and pallid-papillate or -ciliolate tip or distal margin of corolla-lobes, the perianth 5-merous, greenish white, the filaments white (brown when dry); calyx membranous campanulate 1.6-2.2(-2.8) x 1.1—1.6(—1.8) mm, the depressed-deltate obtuse teeth 0.2-0.5 x 0.5—0.7 mm; corolla 5.5-6.5 mm, the nearly erect, distally involute lobes 1.5-2.2 x 0.7-1 mm; androecium 20-25-merous, 13-16 mm, the stemonozone 1.1-1.6 mm, the tube (3.5-)4-7 mm, usually about as long as, rarely a little longer or shorter than the corolla; ovary obliquely truncate, glabrous; style either longer or shorter than longest stamens, the little-dilated stigma 0.1-0.2 mm diam. Pods 1 or rarely 2 per capitulum, sessile at cuneate base, in profile undulately linear and evenly recurved through (3/4-)l-3 complete turns into a ring or flat spiral ±3.5-4 cm in exterior diam, at fertile locules (9—)10—15(—17) mm wide, deeply constricted only where ovules abort, 8-12-seeded, the valves at first piano-compressed and framed by stout sutures, becoming convex over each seed, the glabrous, dull fuscous or almost black exocarp rugulose and densely papillate overall, the endocarp orange-brown, smooth in the seed cavities but furfuraceous between them; dehiscence of Abarema; funicle ligulate, coiled at apex; seeds broadly obovoid, compressed but plump, in broad view ±7x6 mm, the testa bicolored, in lower 1/3 ivory-white and faintly areolate (pleurogram ±3x4 mm), translucent distally and there blackish when fresh but brown when dry, the color derived from fuscous bony embryo within, the crustaceous brittle outermost shell hardly 0.4 mm thick in section lined with gelatinous tissue ±0.2 mm thick.

Distribution and Ecology - In coastal woodland, sometimes on the slope of morros, and inland in disturbed mata do cipó and cerrado or campo rupestre, discontinuously dispersed below 200 m along the Atlantic lowlands of Brazil from Paraiba S to Rio de Janeiro, in Bahia locally inland and on Chapada Diamantina ascending to 1100 m. — Map 26. — Fl. IX-III. — Barbatimõ (NE Brazil, a name shared with Stryphnodendron adstringens, from the common property of the bark).


Lewis (1987: 178) distinguished the coastal phase of A. cochliacarpos from the inland one, which tends to be smaller and to have leaflets obovate rather than elliptic and shortly bluntly acuminate; but some material from Rio de Janeiro has similarly shaped leaflets and is said to flower as a bushy treelet. The species differs from Abarema filamentosa in (inter alia) dense capitula of sessile or subsessile flowers and dull blackish, densely papillate pod-valves. The pod of populations in Paraiba and Pernambuco tends to be wider (to 14-17 mm) than in those in Bahia southward (10-15 mm).

The epithet cochliacarpos was so spelled in the original description, but a variant cochleacarpos appeared in the title of the accompanying illustration. We do not here adopt the spelling preferred by Macbride when he transferred Gomes’s epithet to Pithecellobium, but instead choose the stem vowel -a and the final -os, which seems to indicate a noun in apposition rather than a declinable adjective.

Distribution:Paraíba Brazil South America| Pernambuco Brazil South America| Alagoas Brazil South America| Bahia Brazil South America| Rio de Janeiro Brazil South America|