Eschweilera panamensis Pittier

  • Family

    Lecythidaceae (Magnoliophyta)

  • Scientific Name

    Eschweilera panamensis Pittier

  • Primary Citation

    Contr. U. S. Natl. Herb. 26(1): 12. 1927

  • Type Specimens

    Specimen 1: Isotype -- H. F. Pittier 4338, verif. S. A. Mori, 1982

  • Common Names


  • Description

    Author: Scott A. Mori

    Type: PANAMA. San Blas: Hills back of Puerto Obaldia, Aug 1911(fl, fr), Pittier 4338 (holotype, US---herb. no. 679481; isotypes, BM, F, K, NY).

    Description: Canopy trees, to 25 m tall; trunk described as cylindrical by Harmon (327) but clearly buttressed in Aguilar 10331). Bark brown, peeling in irregularly shaped, somewhat scalloped, thin plates (fide Harmon 327). Leaves: petioles 6-11 mm long; blades elliptic or oblong, 15-21.5 x 6-8 cm, chartaceous, the base acute to obtuse, the margins entire to slightly crenulate, the apex acuminate; secondary veins in ca. 16 pairs, not impressed adaxially. Inflorescences from branches below leaves (ramiflorous), axillary, or terminal (suprafoliar), once-branched, the principal rachis 5-7.5 cm long, puberulous, sparsely lenticellate; pedicel/hypanthium 4-5 mm long, tapered to articulation, not sulcate, puberulous, not lenticellate. Flowers 2.5 cm diam.; hypanthium puberulous; calyx with lobes very widely ovate, 1-1.5 x 1.5-2 mm, horizontally oriented at anthesis, thick, gibbous abaxially, the bases not imbricate; petals white or very pale yellow; androecial hood with double coil with incipient third coil, more intense yellow than petals. Fruits (description from protologue and from Aguilar 10331) 5-6 cm diam., depressed globose, the calycine ring with individual sepal lobes expanded, woody, the supracalycine zone erect, the infracalycine zone truncate to hypanthium/pedicel, attenuate at base, the pericarp 3 mm thick, the operculum convex, umbonate. Seeds (description partially from protologue and from Aguilar 10331) 2-4 per fruit , usually flat on two sides and rounded on the other, ca. 3 x 2 cm; funicle long and slender; aril spreading, white.

    Common names: None recorded

    Distribution: Known only from the vicinity of Puerto Obaldia, Panama and the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica.

    Ecology: In non-flooded forests below 500 m alt.

    Phenology: Collected in Flower in Jun and Aug in Panama and flower in Apr and Aug and fruit in Sep in Costa Rica.

    Pollination: No information recorded

    Dispersal: No information recorded but the flowers are similar to other species hat have been reported to be pollinated by bees.

    Predation: No observations recorded.

    Field characters: This species is characterized by the once-branched inflorescences, small flowers, very small calyx-lobes, and spreading aril.

    Taxonomic notes: On the herbarium label of Mori et al. 6789 it is noted that the petals fade to tourqouise and this was also observed by Aguilar 10331 (pers. comm.) but that is not apparent in his images of the flowers. This feature has been described for E. decolorans, E. laevicarpa, all species of Couroupita, and the sapucaia group of Lecythis, e.g., L. pisonis. It has only been reported in Mesoamerica for E. panamensis, Couroupita nicaraguarensis, and Lecythis ampla as well as in Couroupita guianensis which may not be native to the area. There is still some doubt that the Costa Rica population is the same as the Panamanian population. Pittier's protologue description of the fruit as having "rather thin walls" does not seem to be true for the fruits collected on the Osa Peninsula. In addition, the Osa population has seeds with a spreading aril, a feature usually associated with a triple-coiled androecial hood but Harmon 327 has a double coil with only a slight hint of a triple coil. In order to resolve these questions, medial longitudinal sections of flowers are needed from both the Osa and Panamanian populations and fruits with mature seeds are needed from the Panamanian population.

    Conservation: IUCN Red List: Not on list.

    Uses: None recorded

    Etymology: This species is named after the country in which the type was collected

    Source: This species page is based on Mori in Mori & Prance, 1990.

    Acknowledgements: We are grateful to R. Aguilar for allowing us to use his images to illustrate the characters of this species.

  • Floras and Monographs

    Eschweilera panamensis Pittier: [Article] Mori, S. A. & Prance, Ghillean T. 1990. Lecythidaceae - Part II: The zygomorphic-flowered New World genera (Couroupita, Corythophora, Bertholletia, Couratari, Eschweilera, & Lecythis). With a study of secondary xylem of Neotropical Lecythidaceae by Carl de Zeeuw. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 21: 1-376.