Occasional, in marshy areas along the shore, particularly in protected areas. Flowers and fruits throughout the year. Mature fruits may develop while the plant is still flowering. Seeds float. Their fringe of scales possibly aids in their establishment in a place suitable for germination. Because the dark seeds stand out against the silvery inner valve surfaces, they may be distributed by birds also, though it seems no part is edible unless the exocarp is crushed. Southern Florida and Mexico to Colombia, Venezuela, and Peru; the Antilles. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Los Santos, and Panama and from tropical dry forest in Herrera.