Cecropia sciadophylla Mart.

Tree with infructescences


Fruits ellipsoid, ca. 2.9 x 1.2 x 0.9 mm, dark brown, glossy, the end(s) acute, the transverse section triangular-rounded or elliptic, the surface tuberculate, the tubercles smaller or absent at ends; mucilage layer ca. 0.1 mm thick exudes after placed of fruits in water. Pedicel scar conspicuous, basal, circular; vascular bundle single, on one lateral side. Pericarp ca. 160-200 µm thick, thicker on lateral sides, thinner on middle of dorsal and ventral sides, with 5-8 layers, differentiated into exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp. Exocarp single-layered, with two cell types: the first large, mucilaginous, with thin anticlinal walls and thickened outer periclinal walls, considerably elongated, without destruction of cell boundaries when wet, the second cell type non-mucilaginous, much smaller, with thicker walls, filled with brown pigment, the non-mucilaginous cells situated at apex of tubercles, the mucilaginous cells between the tubercles. Mesocarp 3-6 layers thick, differentiated into two zones, the outer zone 2-5 layers (more layers in tubercles) of longitudinally elongated tanniniferous cells, the walls slightly thickened, the outer periclinal walls of first layer thicker, the inner zone a single layer of cells, each with a prismatic crystal 6.5-13 µm diam. Endocarp occupying one-half to two-thirds of pericarp, a single layer of radially elongated macrosclereids, longer under tubercles, with very narrow lumens, the lumens broad and more-or-less roundish at apex, the cell walls considerably thickened, with thin tiny pores, the pores thicker at cell apex. Seeds oblong-ovoid, 1.9 x 0.9 x 0.6 mm, light brown, glossy, the micropilar end acute, the transverse section triangular-rounded or elliptic, the surface indistinctly striate-reticulate. Hilum conspicuous, basal, slightly displaced to one side. Seed coat reduced to membrane 8-11 µm thick, of two cell layers, the cells of first layer longitudinally elongated, very small, flat, light brown, thin-walled, the cells of second layer transversally elongated, bigger, thick-walled, filled with tannins. Endosperm of 2-5 layers, the cells thin-walled, with protein bodies, small starch grains, and oil. Embryo linear, straight, ca. 1.5 x 0.6 mm, the cotyledons large, plano-convex.

Bat dispersers. Artibeus jamaicensis, Carollia perspicillata, Phyllostomus hastatus, Rhinophylla pumilio.

Voucher specimens. Mori 18749 (herbarium specimen), Peckham 209/2000, Peckham 211/2000 (fruits from digestive tract of bats).

For more information regarding fruit morphology and dispersal ecology of Cecropia species in French Guiana see Lobova et al., 2003.