Pentalinon luteum

Pentalinon luteum (L.) B. F. Hansen and Wunderlin

Synonym: Urechites luteus

Common Names: Wild Alamanda, Wild Unction, Catesby’s Vine

Family: Apocynaceae

Habit: Pentalinon luteum grows as a shrubby vine climbing over other vegetation and structures.  The leaves are arranged oppositely, ovate and up to 15 cm in length.  The leaf tip is apiculate and the margins are entire.  Stems and leaves have a milky sap.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in cymes.  The calyx has 5 unfused green, elongate sepals. The corolla has 5 bright yellow petals that are fused at the base forming a tube up to 5 cm long.  In the interior of the tube are slight reddish marks. At the end of the tube there are 5 lobes forming a pinwheel with the bottom edges of the lobes overlapping to one side.  There are 5 stamens that are fused to the inside of the corolla tube. The ovary is superior, forming follicles in pairs, each up 20 cm in length.  The seeds are brownish and have tufts of hairs (pappus) that assist in aerial dispersal.

Habitat: Pentalinon luteum grows in in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation Forests/Shrublands (coppice), Dunes, Rocky Shores, and Pine Woodlands.

Distribution: Pentalinon luteum occurs on all islands in the Lucayan Archipelago,  the entire Caribbean region, and Florida.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Pentalinon luteum is used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago treat dermatological problems (cuts and sores). It is used in the horticultural industry.  The milky sap is highly toxic and no portion of the plant should be ingested!