Lycianthes multiflora Bitter

Solanaceae – Tobacco Family


– liana of forest edges and gaps

– white flowers, 2 cm across, corolla lobes fused almost to the tips

– globose red-orange 2 cm fruit


habit with fruit


Description. A woody liana, reproductive at 3 to 10 m; stems to 1.5 cm, without spines; leaves to 9 x 14 cm, seldom paired, sparse soft stellate hairs mostly on veins, ovate to elliptic, apex acuminate, base rounded; inflorescence 1-8 mm, axillary between a leaf and a new twig or at the end of a new twig; flowers with pedicels 7-10 mm, calyx with 10 linear appendages, 3 mm long, corolla white, 2 cm across, lobes fused almost to apex, yellow anthers; fruit 1-2 cm, globose, bright red-orange.

Similar species:

Lycianthes furcastistellata is a very similar liana of high cloud forest ridges with small, densely pubescent, ovate leaves and blue flowers. The other local Lycianthes spp. are shrubs or epiphytes, not climbers.

Solanum siparunoides and S. lanceifolium both have spines and only 5 calyx lobes.

Tournefortia hirsutissima (Boraginaceae) leaves are never paired.

Archibaccharis panamensis (Asteraceae) has similar pubescent leaves, but they are always solitary at a node.

Local distribution. Pacific slope at 1200-1600 m; also Atlantic slope at 600-1300 m (San Miguel, Refugio Eladio, Las Nubes).

Habitat. Forest edge, large gaps and stream margins in forest.

Species range. Belize to Panama

Abundance. Common

Phenology. Flowers: Jun, Sep-Jan; Fruit: Oct +.

Herbivores. Ithomia patilla, Napeogenes tolosa, Oleria paula, O. vicina, Pteronymia artena

Pollinators. Bees

Seed dispersers. Birds

Comments. A common liana on forest edges on both slopes.

Voucher No. Haber 8676

Home | Solanaceae list | Plant page | Butterfly page | Clearwing Guide | Maps | EFG Homepage
Images and text copyright © 2001 by William A. Haber,
Created: 21 February 2001. Updated: 14 May 2001.