Cyphomandra hartwegii (Miers) Dunal
SolanaceaePotato Family




Identification
  - treelet with lobed stem leaves
  - pendant inflorescences from branch forks
  - purple-blue flowers
  - fleshy elliptic fruits

Description: Treelet to 7 m; sympodial growth pattern, leaves alternate, glabrous, ovate to heart-shaped, stem leaves often larger and deeply lobed, strong rank odor; long-lasting pendant inflorescences with 2 cm purple-blue flowers; fruit elliptic to 3 cm, purple with fleshy rind and many seeds.

Similar species
Solanum chrysotrichum

Local distribution: Atlantic slope from lowlands to about 1200 m; less common on the Pacific slope mostly to the north of Monteverde (Los Llanos to Las Nubes).

Species range: Honduras to Peru

Habitat: Light gaps in primary forest, forest edge, secondary forest.

Herbivores
Talamancana lonera
Thyridia psidii

Phenology: Most of the year, but especially wet season.

Pollinators: Orchid bees (Apidae, Euglossinae)

Seed dispersers: Arboreal mammals

Comments: This species was recently lumped with the genus Solanum as S. circinatum Bohs. Stem leaves tend be to much larger than crown leaves and are often deeply lobed. The distinctive, pendant inflorescences arise at twig divergences, (most Solanum spp. have erect inflorescences). These small trees grow in light gaps and old clearings. The fruit are eaten in Panama.



Credits: Images and text copyright 2002-2006 by William A. Haber, http://efg.cs.umb.edu/