Cynophalla amplissima (Lam.) Iltis & Cornejo

  • Family

    Capparaceae (Magnoliophyta)

  • Scientific Name

    Cynophalla amplissima (Lam.) Iltis & Cornejo

  • Primary Citation

    Rodriguésia 61(1): 154. 2010

  • Description

    Author : Xavier Cornejo

    Description: Shrubs or trees, to 20 m tall, glabrous or with simple trichomes. Terminal branches zig-zaggy, bearing extrafloral axillary nectary glands. Leaves distichously arranged; petioles (3-)7-13 mm long; blades elliptic-lanceolate to oblong-oblanceolate, 6-15(-21) x 2.5-6(-8) cm, usually foliaceous to chartaceous when dry, the base obtuse to rounded, sometimes to subcordate, the apex usually acuminate to obtuse; lateral veins in 5-13 pairs. Inflorescences solitary flower, sometimes paired or suberect racemes, terminal; peduncles to 5 cm long; pedicels 1-1.7 cm long, usually glabrous. Flowers: Calyx 2-seriate, the outer sepals suborbicular, 1/3 to ½ the length of the inner sepals, the inner sepals ovate-orbicular, 5-12 x 10-12 mm, glabrous; petals oblong-obovate, widely divergent, reflexed, 20-35 x 10-13 mm, greenish abaxially, cream to greenish-white adaxially, the base subsessile, the apex obtuse, emarginate or retuse; nectary glands four, scaly-like; stamens numerous, the filaments 6-7(-9) cm long, white; gynophore 6-8(-10) cm long, the ovary greenish. Fruits pendulous capsules, globose to oblongoid, 2.5-7 x (1.5-)2-5 cm, greenish-brown at maturity, the pulp white. Seeds ca. 20-30, the embryo green.

    Common names: Not recorded.

    Distribution: From Nicaragua to Bolivia, also in Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic from sea level to 800 m.

    Ecology: In moist and wet primary forests, also in remnant forests.

    Phenology: On the Osa Peninsula, Cynophalla amplissima has been collected in flower and young fruits in Apr.

    Pollination : The nocturnal flowers of this species may be pollinated by bats.

    Dispersal: Not recorded, but mammals and birds may eat the pulp of the fruits and disperse the seeds.

    Taxonomic notes: This species was previously known as Capparis amplissima Lam.

    Conservation: Least Concern (LC).

    Uses: The pulp of the fruits is edible.

    Etymology: Not recorded.

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