Pogonopus

 
 

Pogonopus, or chorcha de gallo, is native to Colombia and Venezuela. It generally grows as a shrub up to 15 feet tall with several trunks, the oldest 6 or more inches in diameter. The leaves are up to 10 inches long and are grouped toward the ends of branches. Flowers are about 1.5 inches long and appear in terminal inflorescences; some flowers develop from one of the calyx lobes a projection or bract about 2 inches long that supplements the color of the flowers. Fruits are up to three-quarters of an inch long and contain many small seeds. It flowers mainly in autumn, with some flowering until spring. The author has not seen fruits in our specimens. The generic name means bearded foot, maybe in reference to the shape and venation of the bract produced by some flowers. The species name means showy, beautiful.


The photographed shrub is west of the chancellor’s house, near the stairway leading to the Art Museum and Academic Senate Building. There's another specimen at the foot of the stairway leading to the Luchetti Building. Both were planted by Henry Cowles and Severo Vélez.

Pogonopus speciosus (Rubiaceae)