Taxon Details: Capparidastrum frondosum (Jacq.) Cornejo & Iltis
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Capparaceae (Magnoliophyta)
Scientific Name:

Capparidastrum frondosum (Jacq.) Cornejo & Iltis
Primary Citation:

The reinstatement of Capparidastrum (Capparaceae).
Harvard Pap. Bot. 13: 232. 2008
Accepted Name:

This name is currently accepted.

Author : Xavier Cornejo

Description: Shrubs or trees, to 7 m tall, mostly glabrous. Leaves spirally arranged; petioles of different lengths; blades elliptic to obovate, (4-)7-34 x 2.5-12 cm, coriaceous, the base cuneate to widely obtuse and shortly cordate, the apex often acuminate, the margin often undulate in lateral view; lateral veins in 8-16 pairs. Inflorescences erect racemes, usually terminal; peduncles (0.2-)1-10 cm long; pedicels 4-15(-35) mm long. Flowers with sepals deltoid, 1-1.5(-2) x 2-2.5 mm, glabrous abaxially; petals ovate, widely divergent, 8-11 x 5-6 mm, white to greenish-white abaxially, often purple tinged, the base subsessile, the apex rounded; nectary glands four, fleshy; stamens numerous, the filaments 15-20 mm long, purplish-red for lower half; gynophore 5-15 mm long, the ovary green. Fruits subpendulous capsules, oblong to oblong-subtorulose, often laterally curved, 2.2-10 x 0.7-2 cm, dark purple toward maturity without, the pulp white. Seeds 6-20, the testa dark brown; embryo cream.

Common names: COSTA RICA. talcacao (Zamora, 1989). ECUADOR. cafetillo (Cornejo & Bonifaz 7878 [GUAY, WIS]). VENEZUELA: dormilón negro (Aristeguieta 7015 [NY]), zapatilla de la reina (Steyermark 102018 [NY]). CUBA: palo de cochino (Fre León 11858 [NY]).

Distribution: Widely distributed from southwestern Mexico to northwestern Peru, Brazil and the West Indies from sea level to 800 m (Cornejo & Iltis, 2008).

Ecology: In dry and moist forests. During the mornings the flowers are visited by at least two species of butterflies. After flowering the ovaries, as well as the young fruits, secret micro-droplets of nectar, which are actively collected by ants (Cornejo & Bonifaz 7878 [GUAY] from Ecuador). It is likely that the ants protect this species from phytophagous insects. The leaf blades of Capparidastrum frondosum are sometimes infected by the fungus Leptodothiorella capparidis R.C. Srivast. (Cornejo & Bonifaz 7597 [GUAY, NY, WIS] from Cerro Blanco, Guayas, Ecuador).

Phenology: In Costa Rica, this species has been collected in flower in Feb (Zamora, 1989). Nocturnal.

Pollination: The flowers are most likely pollinated by moths or bats but, as of yet, no pollination observations have been made.

Dispersal: In Panama, the fruits of this species are reported as eaten by white-faced monkeys (Croat, 1978; Lentz & Dickau, 2005).

Taxonomic notes: Due to a Linnaean mistake (Sp. Pl. ed. 1. 504. 1753), the name of Capparis baducca L., an East Indian species, has been misapplied to the American Capparidastrum frondosum Jacq. thereby a great deal of confusion. This mistake was corrected by Linnaeus himself (Sp. Pl. ed. 2 [and 3]: 1763, 1764) who restricted the use of C. baducca to the SE Asian plants illustrated in Rheede's Hortus Indicus Malabaricus t. 57, 1678 (= C. rheedei DC.). At the same time Linnaeus accepted C. frondosa Jacq. for American plants and this decision has been supported by several authors (Iltis, 2001; Rankin & Greuter, 2004; Cornejo & Iltis, 2008).

Conservation: This is a widespread and often collected species which suggests that it is an IUCN species of Least Concern (LC) . However, in western Ecuador and northwestern Peru, at the south westernmost extreme of its distribution, it is known by few, relatively small, populations.

Uses: Wood flexible and very durable, used for "tajonas" (Zamora, 1989). The fruits are reported to be eaten by humans, although in some parts thought to be poisonous (Standley & Steyermark, 1946; Lentz & Dickau, 2005).

Etymology: Jacquin named this species "frondosa" most likely because it is evergreen condition during the dry season, a characteristic shared by most of the species of this family in Americas.

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J. A. Shafer 2531, Puerto Rico
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F. L. Stevens 3802, Puerto Rico
N. L. Britton 9089, Puerto Rico
C. A. Purpus 8797, Mexico
X. Cornejo 8110, Ecuador
D. C. Daly 1105, Brazil
D. C. Daly 118, Ecuador
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E. Palmer 441, Mexico
C. A. Purpus 13008, Mexico
R. S. Cowan 1638, Antigua and Barbuda
Fr. León 11858, Cuba
R. A. Howard 19053, Montserrat
J. N. Rose 3628, Virgin Islands (U.S.)
E. Forero 463, Colombia
L. P. de Queiroz 2913, Brazil
J. R. Pirani 3452, Brazil
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F. W. Pennell 4107, Colombia
O. L. Haught 1540, Colombia
R. Fonnegra G. 2896, Colombia
Fr. Elias 575, Colombia
R. Callejas Posada 5502, Colombia
L. Aristeguieta 7015, Venezuela
A. Licata 768, Venezuela
G. S. Bunting 12914B, Venezuela
G. A. Aymard Corredor 10217, Venezuela
J. Rivera H. 2140, Mexico
G. Carnevali Fernández-Concha 6575, Mexico
F. May 1418, Mexico
B. A. Lavastre 1396, Dominican Republic
G. T. Prance 28138, Brazil
H. H. Bartlett 12453, Guatemala
M. H. Nee 29129, Mexico
M. H. Nee 26615, Mexico
W. W. Thomas 8885, Brazil
W. W. Thomas 13486, Brazil
W. W. Thomas 8786, Brazil
J. A. Steyermark 123042, Venezuela
J. A. Steyermark 102018, Venezuela
J. L. Zarucchi 4948, Colombia
T. B. Croat 7802, Panama
T. B. Croat 8815, Panama
Capparidastrum frondosum (Jacq.) Cornejo & Iltis
Capparidastrum frondosum (Jacq.) Cornejo & Iltis
Capparidastrum frondosum (Jacq.) Cornejo & Iltis
Capparidastrum frondosum (Jacq.) Cornejo & Iltis
Capparidastrum frondosum (Jacq.) Cornejo & Iltis
Capparidastrum frondosum (Jacq.) Cornejo & Iltis
Capparidastrum frondosum (Jacq.) Cornejo & Iltis
Capparidastrum frondosum (Jacq.) Cornejo & Iltis
Capparidastrum frondosum (Jacq.) Cornejo & Iltis
S. A. Mori 26958, Bonaire
B. M. Boom 11018, Bonaire
B. M. Boom 11019, Bonaire
I. Boldingh 445B, Bonaire
T. A. Zanoni 42320, Dominican Republic
R. A. Howard 19476, Guadeloupe
T. G. Yuncker 18277, Jamaica
D. L. Lentz 2805, Belize
P. Acevedo-Rodríguez 2748, Virgin Islands (U.S.)
P. Acevedo-Rodríguez 4663, Virgin Islands (U.S.)
P. Acevedo-Rodríguez 4663, Virgin Islands (U.S.)
A. H. Liogier 11159, Dominican Republic
A. H. Liogier 10686, Puerto Rico
M. M. Mejía Pimentel 6344, Dominican Republic
E. G. Britton 2252, Puerto Rico
H. H. Bartlett 12453, Guatemala
A. H. Gentry 4845, Panama
A. H. Gentry 41161, Venezuela
G. Davidse 16200, Venezuela
Capparidastrum frondosum (Jacq.) Cornejo & Iltis
Capparidastrum frondosum (Jacq.) Cornejo & Iltis
Capparidastrum frondosum (Jacq.) Cornejo & Iltis