Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

MANSOA VERRUCIFERA, leaves & fruit

from the February 29, 2012 Newsletter issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO

Occasionally you see a woody vine, or liana, dangling from roadside trees bearing opposite, trifoliate leaves and seven-inch long (18cm), cigar-shaped fruit capsules with woody, exceedingly warty husks, as shown above. A closer look at a fruit is shown below:


When you meet a liana with opposite, compound leaves and woody, elongated capsules, the first plant family to come to mind should be the Trumpet Creeper or Bignonia Family, the Bignoniaceae. Our vine is a member of that family, though it's in a genus I've never heard of. It's MANSOA VERRUCIFERA, apparently lacking a generally accepted English name, so I think of it just as Mansoa Vine. It seems to be spottily but widely distributed from Mexico through Central America into central South America.

I read that it bears rosy-colored flowers with corollas up to 3.2 inches long (8.1cm) and that the fruits can be nearly twice as long as the one shown in my hand. The flattish seeds bear membranous wings on both ends.