Taxon Details: Capparidastrum discolor (Donn.Sm.) Cornejo & Iltis
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Capparaceae (Magnoliophyta)
Scientific Name:

Capparidastrum discolor (Donn.Sm.) Cornejo & Iltis
Primary Citation:

The reinstatement of Capparidastrum (Capparaceae).
Harvard Pap. Bot. 13: 233. 2008
Accepted Name:

This name is currently accepted.

Author: Xavier Cornejo

Description: Shrubs or trees, to 20 m tall, mostly glabrous or with simple trichomes. Leaves spirally arranged; petioles of different lengths; blades usually elliptic, sometimes obovate, 7-23(-30) x 3-10(-15) cm, chartaceous when dry, usually light-brown, bronze, or reddish abaxially, at least on the midvein and lateral veins when dry, the base cuneate to widely obtuse, the apex usually acuminate; lateral veins in 6-14 pairs. Inflorescences erect racemes, terminal and subterminal, or sometimes flowers solitary and axillary; peduncles (0.5-)1-5(-7 [to 20]) cm long; pedicels (2-)3-8.2 cm long, usually glabrous. Flowers with sepals deltoid or ovate to lanceolate or oblong, (1-)2-5(-6) x 2-4(-6) mm, usually glabrous; petals obovate, widely divergent, (10-)12-23 x 5-10 mm, greenish abaxially, cream to white adaxially, the base subsessile, the apex rounded; nectary glands four, fleshy, rounded; stamens numerous, the filaments 3-7 cm long, purple for distal half; gynophore (2.8)4-8(-11) cm long, the ovary green. Fruits pendulous pepos, often oblongoid to ovoid, 6-15 x 3-8 cm, yellow or brown at maturity, the pulp white to cream, with a soft nail polish remover odor at maturity. Seeds ca. 10-30, the testa red to purple or brown; embryo white or cream.

Common names: Cacao de mico, granadilla de árbol, mango negro venenoso.

Distribution: México and Mesoamerica from sea level to 1500 m.

Ecology: In moist and wet forests, often in primary and remnant patches of mature forests. On the Osa Peninsula, Capparidastrum discolor sometimes is sympatric with Cynophalla amplissima (Cornejo & Aguilar 8037 [NY]).

Phenology: On the Osa Peninsula, Capparidastrum discolor has been collected in flower from Jun to Sep, Jan and Apr; and in fruit from Sep to Dec and Apr.

Pollination: No observations recorded.

Dispersal: No observations recorded.

Taxonomic notes: In the Flora of Nicaragua (Iltis, 2001), Capparis brenesii Standl. and C. pseudocacao K. Schum., nomen (both synonyms of Capparidastrum discolor) were treated as synonyms of C. mollicellum (Standl.) Cornejo & H. H. Iltis.

Conservation: This widespread species deserves a Near Threatened (NT) UICN category.

Uses: The overipe fruits of Capparidastrum discolor are left inside the burrows to kill "taltusas", a rat-like rodent. It is said that the smell of the fruit kills them (Thomsen 613 [K] from Aguabuena, Puntarenas, Costa Rica).

Etymology: The epithet of this species, which means 2-colored, refers to the light-brown, bronze or reddish color of the leaf blades abaxially when dried.