Plant Listings

Erythroxylum rotundifolium

Common Names: Rat Wood, Swamp Redwood

Family:  Erythroxylaceae

Habit Erythroxylum rotundifolium grows as a shrub or small tree to 7 meters in height. The leaves are arranged alternately, and are ovate to sub-orbicular, to 3 cm in length (usually smaller), with a rounded leaf apex and entire margin.

The monoecious, actinomorphic flowers emerge in groups (1-4 flowers) from leaf axils. The calyx has 5 unfused green sepals.  The corolla has 5 whitish-green unfused petals with nectaries at their base.  There are 10 stamens.  In the staminate flowers there is no functional ovary.  In carpellate flowers there are no functional stamens and the ovary, which is superior with 1 locule, becomes a red drupe at maturity.

Habitat: Erythroxylum rotundifolium grows primarily as an understory species in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation-Forests/Shrublands (coppice), Pine Woodlands, and near fresh water wetlands.

Distribution in Bahamas/Globally: Erythroxylum rotundifolium occurs on all island groupings within the Bahamian Archipelago, as well as the Caribbean region and Central America.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Erythroxylum rotundifolium has no known medicinal usage in the Bahamas.