Guettarda scabra

Guettarda scabra (L.) Vent.

Common Names: Rough Leaf Velvet Seed, Velvet Berry

Family: Rubiaceae

Habit: Guettarda scabra grows as a shrub to small tree up to 10 meters in height (typically 2-3 meters). The leaves are arranged oppositely with triangular stipules between the petioles.  The leaves are ovate to elliptical, to 15 cm long, with a mucronate leaf apex and an entire margin. The leaf surfaces are rough and covered with a fine layer of pubescence. There are triangular stipules between the petioles.

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 bright red to pink berry at maturity.

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

Distribution: Guettarda scabra occurs on all island groupings in the Lucayan Archipelago, as well as the Caribbean region and the tropical and subtropical regions of Central and South America.

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