Rochefortia spinosa

Rochefortia spinosa Urb.

Family: Boraginaceae

Habit: Rochefortia spinosa grows as a small to medium shrub, to 3 meter in height.  The branches zigzag with branch tips forming spines. The leaves are arranged alternately but clustered along the stems, to 4 cm in length, ovate with an entire margin and rounded apex.  New leaves are ciliate/glandular becoming glabrous with age

The  incomplete, imperfect, slightly zygomorphic flowers are arranged solitarily or in reduced cymes. The calyx has 5 unfused green petals. The corolla has 5 fused yellowish white petals with a pinkish center, with one lobe slight larger than the others.  Staminate flowers have 5 stamens fused to the base of the corolla and a non-functional ovary. Carpellate flowers have no stamens and a superior ovary with 2 locules and numerous seeds. The fruit is a red berry at maturity.

Habitat: Rochefortia spinosa grows as an understory shrub in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Forest/Shrubland (coppice) on a limestone substrate.

Distribution: Rochefortia spinosa occurs in the central islands of the Lucayan Archipelago, the entire Caribbean region and northern South America.

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