Triopteris jamaicensis

Triopteris jamaicensis L.

Common Names: Cough Vine

Family: Malpighiaceae

Habit: Triopteris jamaicensis grows as a vine/liana to 12 m in length and 2 cm in diameter. The leaves are arranged oppositely, to 5 cm in length, linear to obovate with an emarginate to rounded leaf apex, and an entire margin.

The actinomorphic flowers are arranged in racemes or panicles. At the base of the flower are 3 bracts and 8 sepal glands in pairs. The calyx has 5 unfused green sepals. The corolla has 5 unfused, clawed, purple-blue petals. There are 10 stamens with yellow stamens. The 3-lobed ovary is superior with 3 locules. The fruit is a samara with two wings; a larger upper and smaller lower.

Habitat: Triopteris jamaicensis grows climbing other trees and shrubs in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation- Forests/Woodlands/Shrublands (coppice, scrublands).

Distribution: Triopteris jamaicensis occurs in the central and northern island groupings in the Lucayan Archipelago as well as Cuba and Hispaniola.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Triopteris jamaicensis has been used in the Bahamas to treat respiratory illness (coughs and tuberculosis).