Guettarda elliptica

Guettarda elliptica Sw.  

Common Names: Smooth Velvet Seed, Common Velvet Seed

Family: Rubiaceae

Habit: Guettarda elliptica grows as a shrub to small tree up to 7 meters in height (typically 2-3 meters). The leaves are arranged oppositely with triangular stipules between the petioles.  The leaves are oval, to 8 cm long, with a rounded to apiculate leaf apex and an entire margin.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in few-flowered axillary cymes. The calyx has 2 fused sepals.  The corolla has 7 pinkish-white, fused petals.  There are 7 stamens that are fused to the perianth forming a hypanthium. The ovary is inferior with a single locule and many seeds.  The fruit is a purple/red berry at maturity.

Habitat: Guettarda elliptica grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation- Forest/Woodland/Shrubland/Dwarf Shrublands (coppice of all types) as well as Pine Woodlands.

Distribution: Guettarda elliptica occurs on all island groupings in the Lucayan Archipelago as well as Florida, the Caribbean region, Central America south to Venezuela.

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