Hamelia patens

Hamelia patens Jacq.

Common Names: Fire Bush

Family: Rubiaceae

Habit: Hamelia patens grows as a medium shrub to small tree up to 6 m in height. The stems are triangular and red.  The leaves are arranged oppositely, oblong to lanceolate or oval, to 15 cm long with an acuminate leaf apex and an entire margin. The abaxial surface is pubescent. The stipules are triangular.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in terminal cymes/panicles.  The calyx has 5 fused, red, pubescent sepals.  The corolla has 5 orange-red fused petals forming and elongate tube with small lobes.  There are 5 stamens fused to the mouth of the corolla tube.  The ovary is inferior with 2 locules and numerous seeds.  The fruit is a few seeded berry, turning dark red to black at maturity.

Habitat: Hamelia patens grows in Human Altered environments (yards, roadsides, abandoned fields).

A doubtful native as it does not occur in natural areas.

Distribution: Hamelia patens occurs in the northern island groupings of the Lucayan Archipelago, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America, and Florida.

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

The flowers are attractive to butterflies and birds, especially hummingbirds, and the fruits are attractive to other birds.