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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 5/29/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 5/29/2013)
Genus Billia Peyr.
PlaceOfPublication Bot. Zeit. 16: 153. 1858.
Note TYPE: B. hippocastanum Peyr.
Synonym Putzeysia Planch. & Lind. in Lind., Cat. Hort. 22: 3. 1857, nomen nudum.
Description Trees to 30 m tall, the crown rounded or spreading. Leaves trifoliolate, de- ciduous or persistent; the leaflets coriaceous, glabrate, shiny above, pinnately veined, ovate or elliptic with an acuminate, ultimately blunt drip tip, the margins entire; petioles glabrate, shorter than the leaflets with an expanded, slightly clasping base, the petiolules short. Inflorescence a showy, many-flowered panicle to 25 cm tall with decussate branching terminating in dichasia, the bracts mostly resembling the foliage leaves, the small bracteoles leaving conspicuous rings around the axes. Flowers colorful; sepals often red or purple, essentially free, quincuncial in bud and imbricated at the base, mostly unequal, ovate to oblong; petals red or white with a yellow or pink base, 4(-5), 8-25 mm long, mostly with a basally pubescent claw, the upper pair longer than the lateral pair; disc mostly eccentric and trilobed; stamens 6-8, filaments often colored, 20-30 mm long, arcuate-ascending, the anthers yellow, long exserted, glandular at the ends of the locules; ovary deep pink, glabrous or pubescent, stipitate, oblong fusiform. Fruit a leathery smooth or slightly scaly moderately angled capsule, 5-8 cm long; seeds 1-3, 3-5 cm in diameter, dark brown or black.
Habit Trees
Distribution A tropical American genus of 2 species occurring mostly in upland areas.
Note The species overlap ranges in Costa Rica, B. hippocastanum extending north to Oaxaca and Vera Cruz and B. columbianum extending south and east to Ecuador and Venezuela. The trees are attractive in shape and showy in flower. Sterile collections of members of this genus may be confused with specimens of Caryocar microcarpurn Ducke (Caryocaraceae), a species which grows in eastern South America. Specimens of Caryocar may often be distinguished by the large, narrowly conical, peg-like vegetative tips and by the frequent presence of large (to 3 mm) extra-floral nectaries in the axils of the leaflets. The flowers and fruits in the two genera are quite different.
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