Ernodea littoralis

Ernodea littoralis Sw.

Common Names: Golden Creeper, Beach Creeper, Common Ernodea

Family: Rubiaceae

Habit: Ernodea littoralis grows as a small shrub to 1 meter in height.  The leaves are arranged oppositely with no petiole, to 5 cm long, linear to lanceolate with an acute leaf apex and an entire margin.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers arise solitarily from the leaf axils.  The calyx has 4 green unfused sepals. The corolla has 4 fused red (occasionally white) petals that form a tube 4-5 times the length of the calyx.  There are 4 stamens fused to the mouth of the corolla tube.  The ovary is inferior with 2 locules.  The fruit is a 1 or 2-seeded drupe/berry that is golden yellow at maturity.

Habitat: Ernodea littoralis grows in Pine Woodlands, Dune systems, Human Altered environments such as roadsides and abandoned fields. It can also be found in the understory of Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Woodland/Shrublands (coastal coppice) with a sand substrate.

Distribution: Ernodea littoralis occurs on all island groupings in the Lucayan Archipelago as well as Florida, the Caribbean region, Central America and northern South America.

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

Ernodea littoralis is now part of the horticultural industry and is a great hummingbird and butterfly attractor.