Cobana negra


Cobana negra is native to eastern Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. It reaches a height of 50 feet, with a trunk 2 feet in diameter, but trees of this size are very rare. The leaves are up to 7 inches long and have up to 12 leaflets, on the backside of which there are many small black glands that smell of onions when rubbed. Flowers are about half an inch wide and are grouped in erect clusters. Fruits are up to 2 inches long and produce a strong sweet aroma. It flowers mostly during spring and the fruits mature mainly during summer. The generic name honors the Puerto Rican physician and botanist Agustín Stahl (1842-1917), who studied and illustrated the local flora. The species name refers to the presence of a single seed in the fruit.

The photographed tree is one of seventeen specimens planted behind the Art Museum and Academic Senate Building. There are other mature trees west of the Dispensary, southwest of the Rafael Mangual colisseum, and behind the greenhouses near the Entomology Laboratory. The large trees were planted between 1936 and 1942 by initiative of Carlos Chardón, chancellor of the University of Puerto Rico from 1931 to 1936. The tree near the Entomology Laboratory was planted later by José A. Ramos.

Stahlia monosperma (Fabaceae)