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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 3/28/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 3/28/2013)
Species Carpotroche platyptera Pittier
PlaceOfPublication Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 12: 178, pl. 19, figs. 15, 16, 1909.-Fig. 3.
Description Shrub 1.50-2.40 m high, or small tree up to 6 m high, the trunk to ca 7.5 cm in diam, the young branchlets inconspicuously puberulous. Leaves on petioles to 5 cm long, thick, and inconspicuously puberulous; blade obovate to narrowly obovate, long-attenuate towards the base, obtuse at the base, acuminate at the apex, coarsely serrate to serrulate along the margins, to 50 cm long and 18 cm wide, chartaceous, inconspicuously puberulous mainly along the costa and lateral veins beneath, the costa very prominent and the lateral veins prominent below. Staminate flowers fasciculate in the leaf-axils (or on the trunk?), the pedicels short, puberulous; sepals 2, concave, to 6.5 mm long, puberulous outside, glabrous inside; petals 4 or more (5 or 6 in Panamanian material), oblong-elliptic to nar- rowly oblong-elliptic, the apex involute at least in bud, to 6.5 mm long and 1.7-2.7 mm wide, sparsely appressed-pilose in the middle especially outside; stamens co (21-26 counted in Panamanian material), the filaments ca 0.5 mm long, densely barbate, the anthers to 3.5 mm long, appressed-pilose. Pistillate flowers (not seen; description acc. to Pittier, loc. cit. 179), solitary, to 30 mm in diam; sepals as in staminate flowers but larger; petals 8, elliptic-obovate, more or less obtuse; ovary ovoid, longitudinally 8(-10)-ribbed, pilose, with 4(-5) placentas, the styles 4(-5), distinct, very short. Capsule ? globose, reddish or purplish, 2.5-4.5 cm long (wings in- cluded), ligneous, with 8-10 broad, vertical, undulate-margined wings, these 0.8-2 cm broad in the middle, rigid-chartaceous, inconspicuously puberulous; seeds ovoid, angulate, to 0.8 cm long.
Habit Shrub
Distribution Guatemala to Panama, along the Atlantic coast, in forest.
Note It is difficult to say whether the plants are monoecious or dioecious. On several herbarium sheets, however, staminate flower buds and capsules are present (although the latter are never attached to the specimens) and this suggests that the flowers are monoecious. I did not see pistillate flowers! Carpotroche crassiramea Pittier (loc. cit. 180) from Costa Rica is probably synonymous with our species, the only significant difference being the number of wings on the capsule: 10 wings in C. crassiramea and 8 wings in C. platyptera. This species is called colloquially rabo de gallo in Panama (cf. von Wedel 2186). According to Seibert (1571) the bark and wood smell much like potassium cyanide.
Specimen BOCAS DEL TORO: region of Almirante, Daytonia Farm, Cooper 367 (F, US), 377 (F, NY, US); Changuinola Valley, Dunlap 129 (F); 10-15 mi S from mouth of Chawnguinola River, Lewis et al. 879 (MO); Nievecito, United Fruit Co., Seibert 1571 (US); lower Changuinola River, Stork 129 (US); vic of Chiriqui Lagoon, von Wedel 1029 (MO, US); Water Valley, vic of Chiriquf Lagoon, von Wedel 1453 (MO), 1471 (MO), 1650 (MO); Fish Creek, vic of Chiriqui Lagoon, von Wedel 2186 (MO, US).
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