Morinda royoc

Morinda royoc L.

Common Names: Wild Mulberry, Rhubarb

Family: Rubiaceae

Habit: Morinda royoc grows as a climbing shrub to 6 m in height with square stems. Stipules up to 2 mm in length. The shiny leaves are arranged oppositely, linear to lanceolate, up to 10 cm in length, with an acute/acuminate leaf apex and an entire leaf margin.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are in heads in the leaf axils. The calyx has 5 -6, fused, sepals.  The corolla has 5, fused, white petals that form a tube with a pubescent throat.  There are 5 stamens that are fused to the corolla. The ovary is inferior with 4 locules.  The flowers are buried in the peduncle and the fruit is a fleshy compound structure that is yellow, oval to 3 cm in length (usually smaller). The compound fruit has hexagonal lines surrounding a dark “eye”.  Each represents a carpel.

Habitat: Morinda royoc grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Shrublands (scrubland coppice) and near Fresh Water Wetlands.

Distribution: Morinda royoc occurs in the northern island groupings of the Lucayan Archipelago, the Caribbean (excluding the Windward and Leeward Islands), Central and northern South America, and Florida. 

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Morinda royoc is not known to be used medicinally in the Bahamas.