Plant Listings

Echites umbellata

Common Names: Devils Potato, Wild Potato, Rubber Vine, Danish

Family: Apocynaceae

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

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: 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 walls.