Paullinia cupana

Primary tabs

Paullinia cupana


Shrub or liana to 5 m long. Stems obtusely pentagonal, sulcate, puberulent; cross section with a single vascular cylinder. Stipules minute, deltoid, 2-3 mm long, tomentulose, persistent. Leaves pinnately 5-foliolate; petiole and rachis unwinged, puberulent or glabrous; petioles 11-20 cm long; rachis 7-12.5 cm long; petiolules puberulent, 5-15 mm long; leaflets chartaceous, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface sparsely, minutely pubescent, with microscopic scurfy-like papillae, oblong-elliptic or elliptic, 11-30 × 7-11 cm, the base acute, obtuse to subrounded on lateral leaflets, attenuate or cuneate on distal leaflets, the apex narrowing into an acute broad apiculum with rounded tip, the margins grossly crenate or sinuate dentate with glandular tooth; tertiary veins slightly prominent, sub-clathrate. Thyrses axillary, racemiform, solitary, puberulent; bracts and bracteoles deltate, minute, tomentulose; cincinni sessile, 5-8-flowered. Calyx green, tomentulose, with 5 sepals, the margins with minute glandular hairs, outer sepals 2.5-3.2 mm long, inner sepals ca. 4 mm long; petals white, oblong, 4-5.5 mm long; disc tomentulose, with 4ovate, glabrous lobes, ca. 1 mm long; gynoecium glabrous. Capsule ellipsoid to subglobose, 6-ridged, unwinged, maturing red, glabrous, 1-2-seeded, long-stipitate; endocarp tomentose. Seeds ovoid, dark brown, with a white, fleshy sarcotesta on lower ½ to ⅓


Guyana present, Southern America: Brazil North (Amazonas present, Pará present); Venezuela (Venezuela present), north of the Amazon R present
Wild populations of this species are know north of the Amazon R., from Venezuela, the Brazilian states of Amazonas and Pará, and Guyana; (GU: 1).


Widely cultivated in the Amazonian region of Brazil as the source of guaraná, prepared as a caffeine-rich tea, and as a flavoring agent in carbonated drinks.