Witheringia meiantha (Donn. Sm.) Hunz.
SolanaceaePotato Family


  - paired glabrous leaves with impressed veins
  - small yellow flowers with recurved lobes
  - small round red berries

Description: Semi-woody shrub, mature at 1-2 m; twigs somewhat zig-zag and swollen at the nodes; leaves paired, distichous, glabrous, petioles to 4 cm, blades to 6 x 12 cm, minor leaves 50-70% as long, ovate-elliptic, base often unequal, veins weakly impressed above, membranous, very shiny above; flowers nearly sessile on very short peduncles arising between leaf pairs, with 4-15 flowers, pedicel to 18 mm, calyx 2.7 mm wide, without lobes, corolla 6 mm long with 5 recurved yellow 4 mm lobes, dull yellow, often with purple shading inside, usually without green spots, glabrous; fruit a bright red juicy berry, globose or slightly squashed, to10 mm long.

Similar species
Witheringia coccoloboides
Witheringia solanacea

Local distribution: Pacific slope from 1300 to 1600 m, uncommon in wet spots lower down; Atlantic slope above about 900 m.

Species range: Mexico to Panama

Habitat: Forest edge, light gaps, stream margins in forest.

Ithomia patilla

Phenology: Most of year, especially wet season.

Pollinators: Small bees, also Bombus.

Seed dispersers: Birds

Comments: Common and conspicuous along the trails and road in the Triangle area of the Cloud Forest Preserve. Occurs within the forest in light gaps and open understory.

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