Witheringia cuneata (Standl.) Hunz.

Solanaceae– Eggplant Family


Identification:

– treelet with paired leaves

– erect hairs on the lower midvein

– long stalked inflorescence

habit with fruit

flower

Description. Treelet, 3-6 m; twigs round, nodes swollen, fine dorsal ridge arising between petioles; leaves often paired, petioles to 15 mm, blades to 5 x 19 cm, narrowly elliptic, asymmetric, glabrous above, soft erect hairs below on blade and veins, evident to touch, minor leaf to 3 x 11 cm, narrowly elliptic to ovate, spicey bean odor in leaf; inflorescence with peduncle 2-5 cm, erect, arising between leaf pairs, with groups of flowers that open successively; flower with pedicel 6-10 mm, calyx 6-7 mm, forming a tube, lobes 1.5 mm, glabrous, corolla 15 mm long, pale green, each lobe with a supapical tooth outside, style 10 mm, stamens tan, filaments pubescent, ovary glabrous; fruit to 13 x 15 mm, subglobose, green-white immature, blue mature, with pedicel 10-12 mm.

Similar species.

Cuatresia riparia- a treelet with similar leaf arrangement, but glabrous and the flowers are essentially sessile; more abundant than W. cuneata.

C. exiguiflora- a similar leaf conformation, but the leaves are generally much broader and glabrous; rarely seen in flower or fruit.

Local distribution. Pacific slope at 1400-1600 m in premontane wet forest and leeward cloud forest.

Habitat. Open understory, gaps and forest edge in cloud forest; restricted to wetter sites in premontane zone.

Species range. Nicaragua to Venezuela.

Abundance. Common

Phenology. Flower: may; Fruit: jun.

Herbivores. Ithomia xenos (Ithomiinae)

Pollinators. Bees

Seed dispersers. Birds and possibly bats

Comments. A locally patchy treelet of open understory, gaps and forest edge in cloud forest; restricted to wetter sites in the premontane zone.

Voucher No. Haber 11480


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Images and text copyright © 2001 by William A. Haber, www.cs.umb.edu/efg
Created: 14 May 2001. Updated: 15 November 2001.