Solandra grandiflora Sw.
SolanaceaePotato Family

Flower
Flower
Fruit
Fruit



Identification
  - canopy liana
  - fleshy leaves bunched at twig tips
  - 20 cm tubular flowers
  - top-shaped fruit with elongate calyx lobes

Description: A canopy liana, to 6 cm diameter with tan checkered bark; leaves alternate and solitary, with long petioles, fleshy, glabrous, ovate to elliptic; large white to orange tubular flowers, 20 cm long, with purple lines inside corolla and somewhat frilly lobes, 5 large, elongate calyx lobes; fruit to 7 cm, ovate, shaped like a top with persistent style and large calyx lobes.

Similar species
Merinthopodium neuranthum
Schultesianthus megalandrus

Local distribution: On the Pacific slope from the upper San Luis Valley to the edge of the cloud forest in the premontane zone at about 900 to 1500 m.

Species range: Mexico to Panama. Widely cultivated in the tropics

Habitat: Ascending trees in both forest and forest edge.

Herbivores
Eutresis hypereia
Olyras crathis

Phenology: Flower: jun-aug. Fruit: nov-dec.

Pollinators: Hawkmoths (Sphingidae).

Seed dispersers: Arboreal mammals

Comments: The corollas of fresh flowers are nearly white, but they turn orange with age and become conspicuous when they litter the ground under a large flowering plant. The leaves are generally a lighter green than surrounding foliage. Using a night viewing scope, I have observed hawkmoths visiting the flowers at night, but not bats as some people have suggested. Widely cultivated.



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