Rachicallis americana

Rachicallis americana (Jacq.) Hitchc.

Common Names: Wild Thyme, Sand Flea Bush, Hog Bush, Salt Water Bush

Family: Rubiaceae

Habit: Rachicallis americana grows as a shrub up to 1.5 meters in height (typically 1 meter). The awl like, fleshy, sessile leaves are arranged oppositely with triangular stipules between the petioles, along the ends of branches.  The leaves are linear to 1 cm long, with an apiculate leaf apex and a slightly revolute margin. The abaxial surface is covered in white pubescence.

The sessile, perfect, complete, actinomorphic, solitary flowers occur in the leaf axils. A stipular sheath subtends the flowers. The calyx has 4 fused, triangular sepals.  The corolla has 4 fused, pubescent, orange-yellow petals that form a short, pubescent tube.  There are 4 stamens that are fused to the perianth forming a hypanthium. The ovary is half inferior with 1 locule and many ovules.  The fruit is a capsule at maturity.

Habitat: Rachicallis americana grows along shorelines on Dunes and Rocky Shores as well as inland saline rock flats.

Distribution: Rachicallis americana occurs on all island groupings in the Lucayan Archipelago, as well as southern Florida and the Caribbean region and Mexico.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Rachicallis americana is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.   It has been burned to keep away mosquitos and no-see-ums.