Triopterys jamaicensis

Triopterys jamaicensis L.

Common Names: Cough Vine

Family: Malpighiaceae

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

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

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