Monographs Details: Swartzia panacoco (Aubl.) R.S.Cowan var. panacoco
Authority: Cowan, Richard S. 1967. Swartzia (Leguminosae, Caesalpinioideae Swartzieae). Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 1: 3-228. (Published by NYBG Press)
Synonyms:Robinia panacoco (Aubl.) Aubl., Robinia tomentosa (Aubl.) Willd., Swartzia tomentosa var. polyanthera Sandwith, Tunatea panacoco (Aubl.) Kuntze, Swartzia similis Benoist
Description:Description - Tree with dark-brown tomentose branchlets; stipules caducous (10-) 15-20 mm long, (12-) 15-25 mm wide, densely strigose-velutinous externally and marginally within; petioles (2.5-)4-7(-8.5) cm long, densely velutinous, the rachis terete, stipellate at each pair of leaflets, (11.5-)14-18(-26.5) cm long, densely velutinous; leaflets (3-)5- or 6-jugate, the petiolules (1.5-)2-3(-4) mm long, velutinous, the blades usually coriaceous, oval (the basal pair) to oblong or elliptic, the basal pair smaller, 5.5-8(-10) cm long, 3-5.5 cm wide, the other blades (8.5-)11-15(-24) cm long, 4-6(-9) cm wide, the base rounded, obtuse to slightly cordate, the apex shortly and often abruptly acute, the upper surface glabrous except for the densely velutinous costa, tomentose beneath, the hairs white to gray or pale buff-colored, the venation conspicuous, more or less impressed on the upper surface of the blades, salient beneath; inflorescence (5-)7-10(-15) cm long, racemose or panicled-racemose, cauligerous or ramigerous, the axis densely pilose-velutinous, the bracts persistent, semicircular, 1.5-3.5 mm diameter, densely strigulose-velutinous externally, glabrous within; pedicels (9-) 12-15(-18) mm long, densely pilose-velutinous; buds globose, 8-9 mm diameter, densely velutinous; calyx segments 4, irregularly elliptic, thick-coriaceous, velutinous externally, glabrous within; petal villose-sericeous externally, glabrous within, the claw 2-4 mm long, the blade oblate, cordate basally, ca 15 mm long and 20 mm wide; larger stamens ca 6, usually glabrous, rarely the filaments sparsely villosulose, 20-22 mm long, the anthers narrowly oblong, 3 mm long, 1 mm wide, the smaller stamens glabrous, the filaments 10-12.5 mm long, the anthers suborbicular, ca 0.7-0.8 mm diameter; gynoecium glabrous, the stigma capitellate, the style 6.5-7.5 mm long, the ovary 6-9 mm long, 1.5-3 mm wide, arcuate oblong-elliptic, the gynophore 9-12 mm long; immature fruit drying black.

Discussion:Although most of these collections provide no exact collecting locality, it can certainly be assumed that they were all made in a narrow coastal zone; only in very recent years have there been any noteworthy attempts at collecting in the interior. The locality data on the Patris collection was copied from a note from the collector to DeCandolle. The Lemmonier collection is very probably a duplicate of one of the other collections, since he did not collect in South America.

As has been noted by DeCandolle and later by Sandwith (in Kew Bull. 1934: 358), Aublet established his Robinia panacoco on two “discordant elements”-the foliage of a Swartzia and the flowers and fruits of perhaps a species of Lonchocarpus. Willdenow renamed the species Robinia tomentosa, apparently without realizing that two taxa were involved in Aublet’s description and figure. DeCandolle adopted Willdenow’s superfluous specific epithet, as did Sandwith later, because they considered the Aublet name a nomen confusum. However, the present Article 70 provides that if it is possible “to select one of these elements as a satisfactory type,” the earlier name must prevail. Since the vegetative parts of this complex are so distinctive, there is no doubt whatever that the two Aublet sheets at the British Museum represent those parts in Aublet’s original concept and should be looked upon as type material. Benoist’s S. similis differs in no way from ordinary collections of S. panacoco var. panacoco; apparently he confused var. sagotii with the typical element.

There is no more diverse species in the genus than Swartzia panacoco. The several varieties are surely no more distinct than this rank implies, for the differences which separate them are not overly impressive. They differ primarily in the presence or absence of pubescence, its distribution when present, and in the number of pairs of leaflets and the texture and form of these.
Distribution:French Guiana South America|

Common Names:Bois-pagaie blanc, panacoco