Common Names: Devils Potato,
Wild Potato, Rubber Vine, Danish
Habit: Echites umbellata
grows as a shrubby vine climbing over other vegetation and
structures. The leaves are arranged oppositely, ovate and up to 20
cm in length. The leaf tip is apiculate and the margins are entire.
The flowers are arranged in cymes. The
calyx has 5 unfused greenish sepals. The corolla has 5 white petals
that are fused forming a tube up to 10 cm long. At the end of the
tube there are 5 lobes forming a pinwheel with the edges overlapping
to one side. There are 5 stamens that are fused to the inside of the
corolla tube. The ovary is superior, forming follicles in pairs, each
up 10 20 cm in length. The seeds are brownish and have tufts of
hairs (coma) that assist in aerial dispersal.
Habitat: Echites umbellata
grows in a variety of habitats including human disturbed areas,
Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations – Shrublands
(Scrublands/Whitelands) and Pine Woodlands.
Distribution in Bahamas/Globally:
Echites umbellata occurs throughout the Bahamian Archipelago
as well as Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America
Echites umbellata has no known medicinal usage The large,
showy, and attractive flowers have made Echites umbellata
useful in the horticultural trade for climbing up trellis’s and