Lycianthes synanthera (Sendtn.) Bitter

Solanaceae – Tomato Family

habit with flower


– large hemi-epiphyte

– leaves paired, glabrous

– flowers lavender with recurved lobes

– fruit a yellow berry

Description. Woody hemi-epiphyte with branches to 3 m; leaves paired, glabrous; flowers sessile in leaf axils, few to numerous, calyx cup-like, 4 mm, without lobes, corolla lavender-blue, anthers yellow; fruit to 6 mm long x 10 mm diameter, yellow when mature.

Similar species. Lycianthes sanctaeclarae is a hemi-epiphyte on the lower Atlantic slope below 900 m, with stellate pubescent leaves and larger blue flowers and yellow fruit.

Local distribution. From 800-1500 m on Pacific slope (common at 1400-1500 m); rare on Atlantic slope (1200-1600 m).

Habitat. Forest canopy and in pasture trees.

Species range. Mexico to Peru.

Abundance. Common

Phenology. Flower: May-Jun, Sep; fruit: Sep.

Herbivores. Oleria vicina, Pteronymia artena, Pteronymia fulvimargo?

Pollinators. Bees

Seed dispersers. Birds

Comments. The attractive flowers produce a very pleasant fragrance. These are often common epiphytes on the trunks of trees in pastures below the level of the cloud forest.

Voucher No. Haber 7140

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Images and text copyright © 2001 by William A. Haber,
Created: 21 February 2001. Updated: 12 May 2001.