Mosiera longipes

Mosiera longipes (Berg) McVaugh  

Synonym: Psidium longipes

Common Names: Sweet Margaret, Wild Guava

Family: Myrtaceae

Habit: Mosiera longipes grows as a low shrub to small tree up to 5 m in height.  The leaves are arranged oppositely with smooth margins and can be up to 6 cm long.  Young stems and petioles often have a reddish color. The leaves have a distinctive odor when crushed.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers occur in groups from 1 to 4, in leaf axils and are fragrant.  The calyx has 4 unfused sepals.  The corolla has 4 unfused white petals.  There are numerous stamens.  The fruit is a berry that turns dark red to black with maturity and retains the sepals at its top like a crown.

Habitat: Mosiera longipes occurs on both sand and hardened limestone substrates in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations –Forests/Woodlands/Shrublands/Dwarf Shrublands (coppice) as well as in Pine Woodlands. It is common along rocky coastlines as well as interior plant communities.

Distribution: Mosiera longipes grows throughout the Lucayan Archipelago as well as Florida and Mexico.

Cultural/Economic/Medicinal usage: Mosiera longipes is used in general soothing teas, to treat colds, diarrhea, stomach aches, and as an aphrodisiac tea for men.  The fruits are edible. Either the leaves or the bark is used to treat diseases.