Spathelia bahamensis

Spathelia bahamensis Vict.

Common Names: Bahama Spathelia

Family: Rutaceae

Habit: Spathelia bahamensis grows as a shrub to small tree up to 5 meters in height.  The pinnately compound leaves are arranged alternately, clustered at the ends of branches, and are up 35 cm in length. The leaflets occur in 12-24 pairs that are alternate or subopposite, to 5 cm in length with an acuminate leaf tip and crenate to serrate leaf margin with glandular teeth.

Spathelia bahamensis is monoecious. The incomplete, imperfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in terminal panicles. The calyx has 5 unfused, green sepals. The corolla has 5 unfused, white petals.  Staminate flowers have 5 stamens and a nonfunctional superior carpel.  Carpellate flowers have 5 nonfunctional stamens and a superior ovary with three locules. The fruit is a 3 – winged samara at maturity.

Habitat: Spathelia bahamensis grows as an understory shrub in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations – Shrublands (coppice/scrubland) primarily with a limestone substrate but occasionally in a sand substrate.

Distribution: Spathelia bahamensis is endemic to the Lucayan Archiepalgo occurring on only Cat Island and Eleuthera

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Spathelia bahamensis is not used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.