Ocotea coriacea

Ocotea coriacea (Sw.) Griseb.

Synonym: Nectandra coriacea

Common Names: Lance Wood, Bastard Torch, Sweet Torch Wood

Family: Lauraceae

Habit: Ocotea coriacea grows as a tree up to 12 m in height with a trunk to 50 cm in diameter.  The leaves are arranged alternately with petioles and midribs that are yellowish and the petioles have a distinct hook shape.  The leaves are lanceolate, to 15 cm in length with an entire margin and an acute leaf apex.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in panicles.  The calyx has 3 white, pubescent, unfused sepals.  The corolla has 3 white, pubescent, unfused petals. There are 9 stamens, the 3 center ones have glands below the anthers.  Interspersed among the stamens are 3 additional glands.  The superior ovary has a single locule and 1 seed.  The fruit is a drupe that turns black at maturity.

Habitat: Ocotea coriacea grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations- Forest/Shrubland (coppice) on limestone substrate.

Distribution: Ocotea coriacea occurs on all island groups within the Lucayan Archipelago as well as south Florida, the entire Caribbean region and Central America.

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

Ocotea coriacea has a large volume of oil in the wood and branches have been used as a light source thus the common name Sweet Torch Wood.