- small tree with corky, fissured, beige bark
- large simple leaves, rarely paired, often with wart-like galls
- 1 cm white bell-shaped flowers in sessile groups
- small orange berries.
Description: Small to medium-sized tree, reproductive at 2-10 m; bark beige, corky with deep virtical ridges and fissures; leaves alternate, often not paired, to 25 cm long, glabrous, elliptic, entire, often with small wart-like galls; flowers white in dense fasciles in leaf axils or at leafless nodes, bell-shaped, 1 cm long, with 5 recurved lobes, green-spotted inside, anthers cream, fragrant; fruit a 7 mm orange juicy berry with many small flat seeds.
Local distribution: Common in disturbed areas from 700 to 1500 m on the Pacific slope; rarely cultivated on Atlantic slope.
Species range: Mexico to Costa Rica; Ecuador and Peru.
Habitat: Open areas such as roadsides, old pastures, and young secondary forest.
Phenology: Flower: jan-feb, may-jun. Fruit: may-sep. Some individuals can be found in flower at any time.
Pollinators: Small insects including bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, beetles, and ocasionally hummingbirds.
Seed dispersers: The fruits are eaten by more than 40 species of birds.
Comments: Because of its habitat and distinctive features, this species is hard to confuse with any other tree.