Trema lamarckiana

Trema lamarckiana (Roem. & Schult.) Blume

Common Names: Pain-in-Back

Family: Celtidaceae

Habit: Trema lamarckiana grows as a large shrub to small tree up to 9 meters in height, typically to 3 meters. The leaves are arranged alternately to 7 cm in length, ovate with an acute leaf apex, serrate margin and 3 prominent mid-veins.  The leaf surface is covered in stiff hairs giving it a rough texture.

Trema lamarckiana is monoecious and hermaphroditic. The incomplete, imperfect/perfect actinomorphic flowers are arranged in clusters at leaf axils.  The calyx has 5 unfused greenish, hirsute sepals. There is no corolla. Staminate flowers have five stamens and a nonfunctional ovary.  The perfect flowers have 5 stamens and a superior ovary with a single locule and seed.  The fruit is a pink drupe at maturity.

Habitat: Trema lamarckiana grows in disturbed areas such as roadsides, construction areas, and abandoned fields.  It may also grow along the edges and occasionally the interior of Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations – Forests/Woodlands/Shrublands (coppice).

Distribution: Trema lamarckiana occurs on all island groupings within the Bahamian Archipelago as well as Florida and the entire Caribbean region.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Trema lamarckiana is used in strengthening and aphrodisiac teas.