Suffruticose vine or clambering shrub, glabrous but with the fertile parts stellate-villous. Leaves alternate; petioles 0.5-3.5 cm long; blades lanceolate to ovate, broadly acuminate and mucronate at apex, +/- obtuse at base, 7-15 cm long, 3-6 cm wide, villous when young, becoming glabrous. Inflorescences of glomerules arranged in axillary spikes to 10 cm long or in terminal or upper-axillary, often leafy panicles to 20 cm long; flowers bisexual, subtended by membranaceous-margined bracts to 1.5 mm. long; sepals 5, subequal, ovate, acute, 5-veined, the central vein more conspicuous; stamens 5; filaments to 3 mm long, the lower third united; ovary ovate, crowned by a narrow circular ring; style to 1 mm long; stigmas 2, less than half the length of style. Utricles ovate, thin-walled, 4-5 mm long, exserted from bracts at maturity, weakly crowned at apex, circumscissily dehiscent; seed rounded and flattened, ca 2 mm diem, shiny, round, enveloped in an aril, the aril foamy, glistening, transparent, 2-valued, extruding from lower valve and becoming somewhat enlarged. Croat 7082. Occasional in clearings. Flowers principally throughout the dry season, from December to April, but sometimes as late as June and elsewhere in Panama as early as September. Central Mexico to northern Argentina; West Indies. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Bocas del Toro, Colón, San Blas, Los Santos, and Darién, from tropical dry forest in Los Santos, Coclé, and Panama, from premontane wet forest in Coclé, and from tropical wet forest on the Atlantic slope in Coclé. See Fig. 225.