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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

Main | Family List (MO) | Family List (INBio) | Cutting Edge
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The Cutting Edge

Volume XV, Number 4, October 2008

News and Notes | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature | Season's Pick

SEASON'S PICK: Being touted as having the largest seed of any non-monocot flowering plant (dare we say "dicot"?), or better still, the largest embryo of any plant, makes our choice for this season, Mora oleifera (Triana ex Hemsl.) Ducke (Fabaceae/Caesalpinioideae), quite a mouthful.


Mora oleifera (Triana ex Hemsl.)
Mora oleifera (Triana ex Hemsl.)

The fruit pod itself produces just one seed, and the seeds appear to be quite resistent to saltwater, amenable to ocean dispersal.  These were gathered, one of them rooted and already with a considerable stem, at Playa Ballena, northwest of Puerto Cortéz and quite a ways from the mouth of the Rió Sierpe, the closest known population of the trees. They might, however, have floated from the mouth of the Río Térraba, a large, virtually unbotanized estuary only ca. 15 km away. In Costa Rica the species has been collected only from the mouth of the Río Sierpe and from various spots on the Osa Peninsula.


Mora oleifera (Triana ex Hemsl.)
Mora oleifera (Triana ex Hemsl.)

The impressive trees look imminently climbable; would Jack's giant dwell there up?


Mora oleifera (Triana ex Hemsl.)
Mora oleifera (Triana ex Hemsl.)

These photos of flowers, taken in April, are vouchered
by Aguilar 10623

Thanks to Reinaldo Aguilar for the photos, seeds and idea for this Season's Pick.

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