Paullinia alata

Primary tabs

Paullinia alata


Woody vine 2-20 m long, usually many-branched from base. Stems trigonous, glabrous, sometimes producing milky sap; cross section with a large, central vascular cylinder and 3 peripheral smaller ones, older stems trigonous, deeply obtusely costate, spirally twisted, bearing no leaves. Stipules subulate, ca. 3 mm long. Leaves pinnately 5-foliolate; petiole and rachis broadly winged; petiolules 3-5 mm long; leaflets subcoriaceous, glabrous except for the barbate vein axils, elliptic to oblong-elliptic, 10-15 × 5-6 cm, the base attenuate to obtuse, the apex obtusely acuminate, the margins repando-dentate to nearly entire; tertiary veins reticulate. Thyrses cauliflorous, racemiform, 2-2.5 cm long, tightly grouped in short fascicles; flower in congested dichasia or elongated cincinni with 4-6 flowers; pedicels 3.5-9 mm long, hirtellous, articulated on upper third. Calyx hirtellous, with 5 sepals, outer sepals ovate, 1.7-2 mm long, inner sepals ca. 3 mm long, oblong; petals oblanceolate, rounded at apex, ca. 4.5 mm long; appendages almost as long as the petals, with fleshy crest at apex; filaments of unequal lengths, pubescent at base. Capsule pyriform or pyriform-trigonous, unwinged, bright red, 1-1.2 cm long, short-stipitate, coriaceous, glabrous, 2-3-seeded. Seeds ca. 1 cm long, prismatic-ellipsoid, black, shiny, covered on lower ⅔ by a thick, fleshy, white sarcotesta.


French Guiana present, Southern America: Bolivia (Bolivia present); Colombia (Colombia present); Ecuador (Ecuador present); Peru (Peru present); Venezuela (Venezuela present), Suriname present, lowlands of Panama present
Widely distributed in the lowlands of Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Suriname, French Guiana, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil (SU: 3; FG: 6).

Common Name

English (French Guiana): pakale, peku lea sili, taaukasi, taitetulea


Woody vine , usually many-branched from base.1
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