Shrub or herb-like tree, to 4 m tall, sarmentose; stems terete, glabrous, usually drying with a striate or furrowed appearance; twigs green or purplish, glabrous This content downloaded from 18.104.22.168 on Thu, 9 May 2013 15:30:06 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions1973] D'ARCY-FLORA OF PANAMA (Family 180. Caprifoliaceae) 161 or soon glabrescent, the pith white. Leaves 3-5 (-10) -foliolate; leaflets mostly ovate, obovate, or elliptical, apically acuminate, basally obtuse, 4-11 cm long, the margins irregularly serrate except the basal 1/5, glabrate or sparingly pubescent on the veins, sometimes with occasional subsessile glands; the veins mostly 4-5 on each side of the midvein; petiolules short, to 8 mm long, mostly pubescent above and glabrate on the sides and beneath; the petiole green or purplish, glabrate, somewhat clasping at the base, often with pairs of glands along its length and at the base where they resemble stipules. Inflorescences showy, 2-4 times compound glabrate cymes situated above the leaves on elongate peduncles to 16 mm long, the first division an umbel of 5 unequal branches often subtended by small glan- dular bracts; pedicels to 5 mm long or absent, glandular bracteoles sometimes present. Flowers white, fragrant; calyx ca. 1 mm long, the tube campanulate, glabrate with a few minute hairs, lobed to ca. 1/3 of the way down, the lobes obtuse, glabrous, persistent on the fruit; corolla campanulate-rotate, ca. 2 mm long (3-4 mm in diameter), sometimes with a few hairs near the apex of the short tube, deeply-lobed, the lobes rotund, glabrous, quincuncial in bud; stamens exserted, equal, the filaments glabrous, the anthers ca. 0.75 mm long, ellipsoidal, often dehiscing before the corolla opens; the ovary (1-)4-5-loculed, the style (superior portion of the ovary) glabrous, the stigmas as many as the locules, more or less connate, often unequal. Fruit unknown in Panama.
Sambucus canadensis ranges from Canada to Panama and has been introduced to South America. The var. laciniata which occurs in Panama is native to southern Florida, the Greater Antilles, and parts of Central America, but it has been widely planted throughout this range as an ornamental and medicinal plant so that the boundaries of its natural range are indeterminate.