Matayba arborescens

Primary tabs

Matayba arborescens


Tree 3-12 m tall. Stems puberulent or tomentulose, glabrescent with age. Leaves paripinnate; petiole plus rachis (5.5) 7-10 (20) cm long, slightly angled; petiolules 4-7 mm long, puberulent, enlarged at base; leaflets (4) 6 (8), alternate, chartaceous, glabrous, elliptic or oblong-elliptic, 8-17 (23) × 4-6.2 (7) cm, the base acute to obtuse, sometimes slightly asymmetrical, the apex obtuse or less often abruptly acuminate into an obtuse, retuse tip, the margins crenate; venation prominent on abaxial surface, usually drying darker than the blade; tertiary veins reticulate. Thyrses axillary or distal, 10-25 cm long, paniculate; axes tomentulose, slightly angled. Flowers in compound or simple dichasia; pedicels ca. 1 mm long. Calyx green, tomentulose, cup-shaped, 0.6-1 mm long, the lobes triangular, 0.4-0.5 mm long; petals white, rhombate, clawed, ca. 0.5 mm long, sparsely tomentose, with a single sericeous-tomentose appendage that is twice as long as the petal, and is fused to the petal’s base to form a pocket; disc puberulent; stamens 8, ca. 3 mm long, the filaments tomentose for most of their length; ovary appressed-pubescent. Capsule glabrous, reddish, stipitate, with a cordiform outline, retuse at apex, bilocular (third locule rudimentary) or less often 3-locular, 1.3-1.5 cm long (including a 3-5 mm long stipe); pericarp coriaceous; endocarp glabrous. Seed dark brown to black, ellipsoid, ca. 7 mm long, nearly completely covered by a white arillode.


Guianas present, Southern America: Bolivia (Bolivia present); Colombia (Colombia present); Peru (Peru present); Venezuela (Venezuela present), Trinidad present
Widely distributed in Trinidad, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas, Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia (GU: 3; SU: 5; FG: 8).

Common Name

Creole (French Guiana): encens, kalima; English (Suriname): basrakromantiehoedoe, gauetrie, kwassiewassitikie, se-gowtrie, warrimea, witte-gauetrie


1 The label of the type collection at BM has been switched with that of Pseudima frutescens (Sapindus frutescens Aubl.).