Erythroxylum rotundifolium

Erythroxylum rotundifolium Lunan

Common Names: Rat Wood, Swamp Redwood (Erythroxylum rotundifolium)

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.

Erythroxylum rotundifolium is monoecious. The incomplete, imperfect, 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 a superior ovary with 1 locule. The fruit is 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: Erythroxylum rotundifolium occurs on all island groupings within the Lucayan Archipelago, as well as the Caribbean region and Central America.

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