Erithalis odorifera

Erithalis odorifera Jacq.

Common Names: Scented Black Torch

Family: Rubiaceae

Habit: Erithalis odorifera grows as a shrub to small tree up to 8 m in height.  The leaves are arranged oppositely with paired cuspidate stipules at the petiole base. The leaves are to 13 cm in length, ovate to obovate to elliptic, with an entire margin and a round leaf apex and tapering along the petiole at its base.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in cymes. There are 5, partially fused, green sepals in the calyx.  There are 5-7, partially fused, elongate, white petals in the corolla. There are 5-7 stamens.  The ovary is inferior with a single locule containing 2-3 seeds.  The fruit is a berry or drupe that is dark purple/black at maturity. The flowers are fragrant.

Habitat: Erithalis odorifera grows primarily in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation –Forests/Shrublands (coppice) on either a sandy or limestone substrate.

Distribution: Erithalis odorifera occurs on the northern island groupings in the Lucayan Archipelago, the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles and Venezuela.

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