Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Inga insignis
Kunth, Fabaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Habit:  tree

Description:  "Young shoots slightly angular, pale-lenticellate, brown-tomentose.  Stipules 5-8 mm long, ovate, tomentose, caduceus.  Petiole 1.5-2.6 cm long, narrowly winged, tomentose; rachis 8.5-12 cm long, winged (up to 2 cm wide), axis pubescent, appendix absent.  Foliar nectaries stalked (1-2 mm long), head capitate to cup-shaped, 0.3-1.5 mm in diameter.  Petiolule 2-3 mm long.  Leaflets 4-6 airs; terminal pair 9.5-14 x 4-6 cm, elliptic to obovate, apex narrowly attenuate, base rounded, sometimes asymmetrical; basal pair 4.2-7 x 1.7-2.8 cm, same shape as terminal pair; scattered pubescence or subglabrous; venation eucamptodromous; secondary veins 8-12 pairs, convergent, arcuate; intersecondaries moderate or absent; tertiaries oblique.  Inflorescence axillary, solitary or aired, a congested spike or raceme; peduncle 3.5-5.5 cm long, tomentose; floral rachis 2.5-4 cm long; bracts 7-9 mm long, linear to narrowly elliptic, persistent; pedicel 0.5-2 mm long.  Calyx open in bud; tube 7-12 mm long, narrowly funnel-shaped, striate, lobes 1.5-3 mm long; tomentose.  Corolla tube 1.3-2 cm long, lobes 3-5 mm long; sericeo-villose.  Stamens 65-70, staminal tube 1.5-2 cm long, 2-2.5 mm in diameter, included, free filaments 2-2.5 cm long.  Ovary of 1 carpel, glabrous, style exceeding the stamens, style-head cup-shaped, ovules 20-24.  Legume 14-18 x 2-2.5 x 1.5-2 cm, quadrangular, straight or slightly curved, apex and base obtuse to rounded, faces smooth, margins 1.5-2 cm thick, longitudinally ribbed; tomentose.

"Field characters:  Unbuttressed tree to 10 m high and 35 cm in diameter, usually branched from near the base; bark smooth, grey; crown dense, usually broader than tall, of deep green glossy foliage.  Young foliage develops reddish-brown.  Flowers with slight scent, with yellowish-green to greenish-brown calyx and corolla, and white stamens, said to be much frequented by hummingbirds in Peru.  Mature fruit green to greenish-brown, the seeds surrounded by a succulent white sarcotesta"  (Pennington, 1997; pp.746-749).

Habitat/ecology:  In its native range, "widely cultivated for its fruit in the cool sierras, between 1000 and 3000 m"  (Pennington, 1997; p.749).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Colombia; Ecuador and Peru (GRIN).


Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Colombia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Perú (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)

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This page was created on 28 JUN 2009 and was last updated on 28 MAY 2010.