Common Name: Strong Back
Habit: Bourreria succulenta
grows as a shrub to small tree up to ten meters in height. The trunk
is typically two-ten centimeters in width but in very old specimens
as much as 20 centimeters wide. The leaves are arranged alternately
and are up to twelve centimeters in length with an entire margin. The
petioles are yellowish green.
The flowers are arranged in cymes. The
calyx has five fused sepals forming a tube. The corolla has five
white fused petals that are salverform. The five stamens are fused
to the corolla and are alternate with the petals. The fruit is a
berry that turns orange-red at maturity.
Habitat: Bourreria succulenta
occurs in sand and limestone substrate based Dry Broadleaf
Evergreen Formations (Coppice) that are either forests or shrublands.
Distribution in Bahamas/Globally:
Bourreria succulenta is known to occur on all islands groups
in the Bahamian Archipelago as well as Florida and Cuba.
Bourreria succulenta has a number of medicinal uses
including treating diarrhea, fevers, nerves, pain, skin infections
and inflammations, weak bladders, and as a component of strengthening
and aphrodisiac teas.
The fruits are edible to humans. The
flowers attract butterflies and other insects and the fruits are an
important source of food for birds. Bourreria succulenta is
used in the horticultural trade and the wood to make carvings.