Sp. Pl. 1: 509. 1753.


Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 225. 1754.

Common names: Balsam - or monkey-apple
Etymology: For Charles l’Écluse, 1525 – 1609, Flemish botanist
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 6. Treatment on page 67.

Shrubs or trees [lianas], sometimes epiphytic or epilithic with adventitious roots, sometimes polygamodioecious, sap yellowish [white]. Stems terete [4-lined]. Leaves petiolate [sessile]; petiole planoconvex to terete; blade leathery or fleshy, margins sometimes revolute, venation pinnate, glandular canals crossing veins. Inflorescences 1–3-flowered; bracts 2–6. Flowers stellate or cupuliform; sepals 4[–6], margins entire, glands linear, often obscure; petals [4–]6(–8)[–10], imbricate or decussate, white, turning pink to brown [red, yellow], margins entire, glands linear, laminar; [staminate flowers: stamens distinct or connate, pistillodes present or absent]; bisexual or pistillate flowers sometimes with ring of ± connate stamens or staminodes or sterile annulus; stigmas radiating. Capsules [4–]6–9(–12)-valved, leathery or fleshy. Seeds: aril red, basal or ± enveloping seed.


Fla., Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America.


A report of Clusia flava Jacquin from the Florida Keys (J. K. Small 1913c) was apparently erroneous.

Species 150+ (1 in the flora).

Selected References


Lower Taxa