Silva Manso

Enum. Subst. Braz., 31. 1836.

Etymology: Derivation uncertain, perhaps from Caiapó, river or native tribe of Amazonian Brazil
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 6. Treatment on page 46. Mentioned on page 4, 5, 47.

Plants perennial, usually monoecious, sometimes dioecious, climbing; stems annual or perennial, puberulent or glabrous; roots tuberous; tendrils unbranched or 2[–3]-branched. Leaves: blade [subquadrangular] pentagonal, deltate, or ovate, unlobed or 3–5-lobed, lobes broadly triangular or deltate to ovate-deltate, oblong-oblanceolate, or elliptic, margins denticulate or serrulate, surfaces sometimes with disc-shaped glands abaxially near base or bracts filiform or absent. Flowers: hypanthium campanulate; sepals 5, deltate to triangular or linear [ovate-lanceolate, oblong-lanceolate, or linear-subulate]; petals 5, connate 1/2–2/3 length, white, cream, or pale green [orange to yellow], oblong-lanceolate to linear-oblong, 5–10 mm, glabrous or puberulent or tomentose adaxially, corolla rotate to campanulate. Staminate flowers: stamens 3; filaments inserted near hypanthium rim, distinct; thecae distinct or connate, forming a head, sigmoid-replicate, connective narrow; pistillodes with 3-lobed ovary. Pistillate flowers: ovary 3-locular (or 1 or 2 by abortion), globose to ovoid or ellipsoid-cylindric; ovules 1–4(–10) per locule; style 1, narrow; stigmas 1, 3-lobed; staminodes 3, minute. Fruits dry pepos or berrylike, red to scarlet, orange, or golden brown [green], mostly ellipsoid-cylindric [to globose], smooth, glabrous, indehiscent. Seeds [1–]3–12[–30], obovoid, [ovoid or oblong], subcompressed, not arillate, margins variably differentiated, sometimes thinner or with narrow light-colored stripe, surface smooth.


se United States, Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America.


A discussion of plasticity of inflorescence morphology in Cayaponia was provided by R. McVaugh (2001b)––a flowering branch apparently constitutes a complex branching system, potentially producing solitary flowers, groups of flowers, or new branches from any node. Although these observations pertain directly only to C. attenuata (Hooker & Arnott) Cogniaux, they perhaps also apply to the two species included here.

Species ca. 60 (2 in the flora).


1 Petioles glabrous; leaf blades hirsute-hispidulous abaxially, pustulate-scabrous adaxially; fruiting peduncles 8–15(–30) mm. Cayaponia americana
1 Petioles usually villous-hirsute, sometimes villous, stipitate-glandular; leaf blades villosulous to hirsutulous; fruiting peduncles 1–4 mm. Cayaponia quinqueloba