- 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.
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.
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.