Schultesianthus megalandrus (Dunal) Hunz.

Solanaceae– Tomato Family


–Hemi-epiphyte on tree trunks

Leaves thick with blunt to rounded apex

– stout white to cream yellow flowers with 5 lobes

– fruit a purple-black 2cm berry


Description. Hemi-epiphyte, often with stems ascending tree trunks and branches, leaves simple, bunched at twig tips, to 6 x 10 cm long, glabrous, thick, entire, elliptic to obovate, apex blunt acute to rounded, minutely punctate below; flowers on short congested inflorescences near twig tips, calyx 1 cm, corolla 3.5-5 cm long, white when fresh, turning cream yellow by third day, fragrant during day; fruit a 2 cm purple-black globose berry.

Similar species.

Merinthopodium neuranthum– a hemi-epiphyte with purplish-green flowers on long dangling inflorescences.

Schultesianthus leucanthus and L. venosus– hemi-epiphytes with longer, narrower white flowers.

Bourreria costaricensis– a tree with similarly shaped white flowers (the style is forked).

Local distribution. Pacific slope cloud forest and Atlantic slope wet forest down to about 800 m (Río San Gerardo valley, Río Peñas Blancas valley).

Habitat. Primary and disturbed cloud forest, wet forest and rain forest.

Species range. Mexico to Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador.

Abundance. Uncommon

Phenology. FL: feb, mar, may; FR: jul-aug?

Herbivores. Eutresis dilucida, Eutresis hypereia

Pollinators. Bees

Seed dispersers. Birds

Comments. An attractive plant with showy flowers and a pleasant fragrance. Individual plants vary considerably in corolla length.

Voucher No. Haber 9544

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Images and text copyright © 2001 by William A. Haber,
Created: 28 April 2001. Updated: 12 May 2001.