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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 1/22/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 1/22/2013)
PlaceOfPublication Loefl. Iter Hisp. 272. 1758, nom. conserv.
Synonym Coilotapalus P. Br. Hist. Jam. 111. 1756, nom. rejic. Ambaiba Adans. Fam. 2:377. 1763.
Description Dioecious trees, the trunk and branches stout and hollow. Leaves spiral, eccentrically peltate when mature; stipules fully amplexicaul and leaving a scar completely surrounding the stem. Inflorescences of spadicose spikes in digitate clusters. Staminate flowers: perianth tubular with a somewhat thickened porous operculum; stamens 2. Pistillate flowers: perianth tubular with thin shredding walls and a fleshy porous circumscissile operculum, the penicillate stigma barely exserted. Fruit a minute achene.
Habit tree
Distribution Possibly in excess of 80 species of tropical America
Note a genus badly in need of revision as in most Moraceae, the species of which are probably not as difficult to distinguish as has been supposed. Cecropia is one of the most conspicuous and picturesque trees of moderate size in clearings and thicket areas because of its rapid growth and long-petioled digitate leaves; it is seldom if ever found in established forests. The hollow trunks and branches almost invariably are the homes of myriads of aggressive ants. It is commonly known as guarumo, with various modifications. Young seedlings of Cecropia present what may be an interesting instance of juvenile reversion. The first stem leaves of C. peltata are subtended by lateral stipules and are undivided although with more or less undulate-serrate margins; next ensue leaves with fully amplexicaul stipules and basifixed blades which are palmately divided into 3 segments as in many species of Pourouma. Finally the excentrically peltate mature foliage is attained.
Key a. Leaves divided about midway to the center or scarcely beyond, the lobes not contracted toward the base or scarcely so; spadices usually shorter than the common peduncle; spathes about 4-6 cm. long shortly before anthesis. b. Basal pulvinus of petioles minutely ferruginous-velutinous without conspicuous interspersed longer hairs; staminate spadices in pedun- culate clusters of 12-30; pistillate spadices in clusters of 4-6, nearly half as long as the common peduncle; spathes densely arachnoid- villous ....-...................................... 1. C. PELTATA bb. Basal pulvinus of petioles with the ferruginous velamen more or less concealed by interspersed dense white longer hairs; staminate spadices in pedunculate clusters of 50-60; pistillate spadices in clusters of 10-12, far shorter than the common peduncle; spathes shortly hirtellous. - ....... 2. C. LONGIPES aa. Leaves divided about two-thirds to three-quarters to the center, the lobes conspicuously contracted toward the base; spadices usually longer than the common peduncle; spathes 10-15 cm. long shortly before anthesis. b. Leaves smooth above; petioles densely arachnoid-villous; pistillate spadices with enlarged subcalyculate pruinose stipes, 8-10 cm. long at anthesis; staminate spadices about 10 ------------------------------------------------- 3. C. EXIMIA bb. Leaves scaberulous above; petioles minutely puberulent or hirtellous; pistillate spadices subsessile or with slender stipes. c. Leaves conspicuously pellucid-maculate; staminate spadices in clusters of 12-15, 5-6 cm. long; pistillate spadices in clusters of 3-4, about 15 cm. long in fruit ......................................................... 4. C. MAXON II cc. Leaves not pellucid-maculate; staminate spadices in clusters of 3-6, 12-14 cm. long; pistillate spadices in clusters of 3-4, 25-30 cm. long ............................................................. ......... 5. C. OBTUSIFOLIA
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