Erithalis diffusa

Erithalis diffusa Correll.

Family: Rubiaceae

Habit: Erithalis diffusa grows as a lax medium shrub to 1 m in height. The leaves are arranged oppositely with paired rounded stipules at the petiole base. The leaves are to 7 cm in length, round, oval, with an entire margin and a round leaf apex and tapering along the petiole at its base. The leaves are primarily occurring at branch tips.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in panicles. There are 5 partially fused greenish sepals in the calyx. There are 5 partially fused white petals in the corolla. There are 5 stamens. The ovary is inferior with a single locule containing 2-3 ovules. The fruit is a berry that is dark purple/black at maturity.

Habitat: Erithalis diffusa grows primarily in coastal Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Shrublands (scrublands) on sand substrate and along Dune systems.

Distribution: Erithalis diffusa is an endemic species occurring only in the Central and South islands of the Lucayan Archipelago.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Erithalis diffusa is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.