Maytenus buxifolia

Maytenus buxifolia (A. Rich.) Griseb.

Common Names: Box Leaved Maytenus, Spoon Wood, Stinging Apple, Spoon Bush, Smokey Joe Bush

Family: Celestraceae

Habit: Maytenus buxifolia grows as a large shrub to small tree up to 10 m in height with a trunk to 30 cm in diameter. The leaves are arranged alternately, up 4 cm in length, are oblong/oblanceolate/spathulate, with an entire leaf margin and an obtuse/rounded leaf apex. The leaves are dark green at maturity.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers occur in clusters along the stem and from leaf axils.  The calyx has 5 greenish unfused sepals.  The corolla has 5 whitish unfused petals.  There are 5 stamens and the carpel has 1 locule and the fruit is a few-seeded berry that is orange/red at maturity.

Habitat: Maytenus buxifolia grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations – Woodland/Shrublands and Pine Woodlands.

Distribution: Maytenus buxifolia is found throughout the Lucayan Archipelago, Cuba and Hispaniola.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage:  Maytenus buxifolia is used medicinally to treat gastrointestinal issues, as well as in obstetrics/gynecological problems.