Suriana maritima

Suriana maritima L.

Common Names: Bay Cedar, Tassel Plant

Family: Surianaceae

Habit: Suriana maritima grows as a medium size shrub up to 3 meters in height.  The leaves are arranged alternately, sessile, to 4 cm long with an obtuse apex and entire margin. The leaves have a dense pubescence and are slightly succulent.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in few flowered panicles. The calyx has 5, green, unfused sepals.  The corolla has 5, unfused, bright yellow petals.  There are 10 fertile stamens or 5 fertile stamens and 5 staminodes.  There are 5 superior ovaries each with a single locule. The fruit is a brown pubescent schizocarp at maturity.

Habitat: Suriana maritima grows in Dunes and Rocky Shores.

Distribution: Suriana maritima occurs on all island groupings within the Lucayan Archipelago as well as south Florida, the entire Caribbean region, Central and South America and in some parts of the Old World tropical zone.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Suriana maritima is used in the Lucayan Archipelago for dermatological problems (itchy skin), gastrointestinal (causes vomiting), to ease sore throats and toothaches, and strengthening teas.

Suriana maritima is also used in the horticultural industry for coastal plantings because of its salt and drought tolerance.