Tree, 5-35 m tall, l m dbh; outer bark deeply fissured, very thick; inner bark thick, with annular rings; stems, petioles, and leaflets moderately lepidote throughout. Leaves palmately 3-5-foliolate; petioles 5-25 (32) cm long; petiolules 0.2-8 cm long, of varying lengths on one petiole; leaflets broadly elliptic, abruptly acuminate, obtuse to rounded or slightly subcordate at base, 5-22 cm long, 2-11 cm wide, with clusters of round glands in vein axils at base below. Flowers precocious, the panicles terminal, cymose; calyx bilabiate, 1.5-2.5 cm long, densely glandular-lepidote, persisting in fruit; corolla lavender to whitish, 6-11 cm long, glabrous outside, pubescent inside on lobes and especially on nectar guides within tube on 3-lobed side of corolla; stamens with the longer filaments 1.4-2 cm long, the shorter ones 1-1.5 cm long, the thecae divaricate, 2.5-3.5 mm long; staminodium 2-6 mm long, inserted 5-10 mm from base of corolla; pistil 1.9-3.2 cm long; ovary linear, 5-8 mm long, densely lepidote. Capsules cylindrical, elongate, terete or somewhat flattened, 25-35 cm long, ca 1.5 cm wide, densely lepidote and also with a few larger, crateriform glands, lacking projections. Croat 7771, 8394. Frequent throughout the island. Flowers most abundantly in March and April (sometimes in February); individuals produce an extravagant burst of flowers over a long period. The fruits are seen all year; seeds are released mostly in the early rainy season. Leaves fall possibly twice per year, once in the dry season and again around July. The species can be recognized when sterile by its leaves, which have five leaflets and are lepidote but otherwise glabrous (Gentry, 1973b). Mexico to Colombia and Venezuela; West Indies; ranging from near sea level to 1,500 m. In Panama, a characteristic species of tropical dry, premontane moist, and tropical moist forests (Tosi, 1971); known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Bocas del Toro, San Blas, Veraguas, Herrera, Panama, and Darien, from tropical dry forest in Coclé, from premontane moist forest in Panama, from premontane wet forest in Chiriqui, Coclé, Panama, and Darien, and from tropical wet forest in Colón, Veraguas, and Panama.