Habit Citharexylum fruticosum
grows as a large shrub to medium size tree up to 11 meters in height
and to 25 cm in diameter. The leaves are arranged oppositely, are
lanceolate to oblanceolate, and to 15 cm in length. The leaf apex is
acute or emarginate, the margin is entire and the petiole and lower
midrib are a distinctive orange color.
The zygomorphic flowers are arranged in
racemes. The calyx has 5 fused green sepals. The corolla has 5
fused, white petals with hairs at the mouth. There are 5 stamens
fused to the mouth of the corolla. The ovary is superior with 4
locules. The fruit is a few seeded berry that turns orange and
eventually black at maturity.
fruticosum grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation
Distribution in Bahamas/Globally:
Citharexylum fruticosum occurs on all island groups within the
Bahamian Archipelago as well as the Caribbean region and the northern
portions of South America.
Citharexylum fruticosum is used in the Bahamas to treat
gastrointestinal issues (indigestion) as well as fatigue. In the
Turks and Caicos Citharexylum fruticosum is mixed with Thounia
discolor (Three Finger) Bourreria succulenta (Strong Back)
to treat infants with swollen feet and sores.
It is used elsewhere in the Caribbean
region for bathing as well as in combination with Ricinus communis
(castor bean) for poultices. The wood has been used to make musical
Citharexylum fruticosum is used
in the horticultural industry.