Publication: Sp. Pl. 958 (1753)
This plant has such variable foliage that it has often been mistaken for a new species and thus the large number of synonyms noted above. This plant produces leaves that tend to change in waves as the plant grows older or taller. It has been suggested by lepidopterists that this is a defense against caterpillar attack at the early stages of the plants development, by constantly changing its leaf shape so that it is not recognizable by its predator.
This species grows wild over most of South America, Central America, the West Indies, Hawaii, New Guinea, New Caledonia, Fiji and Samoa, and two forms grow on the Galapagos Islands.
Vine glabrous or pubescent, lower stems corky. Stipules linear, 6-8 mm long. Petiole 5-40 mm long. Petiole glands 2, very small, stipitate, 0.5 mm. Leaves very variable, entire to deeply 3-lobed. Peduncle slender, 10 mm long. Bracts minute, soon deciduous. Flowers 8-30 mm wide, singly or in pairs. Sepals green or yellowish green. Petals none. Corona filaments 2 series, outer yellow and white or green and yellow. Fruit small, globose, size of a pea, dark purple blue when ripe. Propagation easy from seed or cuttings from good specimens.
In Cuba it is known as pintero or huero do gallo, in Peru as noxbe cimarron and in St. Thomas as pap bush.
data regenerated on Fri, 23 Jan 2015 08:45:20 -0500