CochlospermaceaeCochlospermum family





Identification
  - Leaves alternate with lateral lobes, and serrate margin.
  - Inconspicuous stipules and some mucilage.
  - Smooth gray bark.
  - Without stellate hairs.
  - Large yellow cup-shaped flowers with free petals and many stamens.
  - Fruit a dehiscent pod, seeds with cottony wings.

Diagnosis: Trunk smooth and gray, with mucilage, stipules, leaves alternate, palmately lobed, and serrate, with large yellow flowers.

Local distribution: Dry lowlands, barely reaching 700 m elevation.

Similar families
Cecropiaceae: The leaves are deeply lobed and the stems have obvious nodes.
Euphorbiaceae(Ricinus): nectar glands at leaf base, flowers not showy, fruits spiny.
Malvaceae(sensu lato): stipules larger and conspicuous, with stellate hairs and mucilage.

Diversity: Total: 1 genus, 1 species. Trees: 1 genus, 1 species.

Comments: Sometimes included in the Bixaceae. Cochlospermum vitifolium, a gap-colonizing species characteristic of semi-deciduous forest, is the only species in Costa Rica.



Credits: Images and text copyright 2000-2007, William A. Haber, http://efg.cs.umb.edu/