Trichostigma octandrum

Trichostigma octandrum (L.) H. Walter

Common Names: Hoop Vine, Hoop With, Basket Wiss, Black Basket Wythe

Family: Petiveriaceae

Habit: Trichostigma octandrum grows as a woody, climbing vine to subshrub up to 10 m in length. The leaves are arranged alternately, to 15 cm in length, elliptic to oblong to lanceolate, with an acute/acuminate leaf apex and entire margin. The leaves smell like garlic when crushed.

The incomplete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in lax axillary and terminal racemes.  The calyx has 4, white/green, reflexed unfused, sepals. There is no corolla. There are no petals. There are 8-12 unfused stamens.  The ovary is superior with a single locule.  The fruit is black/dark red berry. 

Habitat: Trichostigma octandrum grows in Human Altered environments (yards, waste areas, abandoned fields).

Distribution: Trichostigma octandrum is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago.  It is native to the general Caribbean region, and Central and northern South America.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Trichostigma octandrum is not known to be used medicinally in the Bahamas. 

Elsewhere it has been used as a source of fiber and new vegetation is edible if cooked.