Vallesia antillana

Vallesia antillana Woodson

Common Names: Piss-A-Bed, Pisser Bed, Pearl Berry, Tear Shrub

Family: Apocynaceae

Habit: Vallesia antillana grows as shrub up to 4 meters in height with a small trunk to 10 cm in diameter.  The bark is yellowish gray with fissures.  The leaves are arranged alternately, to 10 cm long and 4 cm wide, usually smaller. The leaves have an acuminate leaf apex and an entire margin.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are in dichotomous cymes.  The calyx has 5 unfused, greenish sepals.  The corolla has 5 white petals that are fused forming a tube with the lobes overlapping to one side forming a pinwheel shape. There are 5 stamens fused to the corolla tube.  The ovary is superior and has two locules and many ovules.  The fruit is a berry that turns white at maturity.

Habitat: Vallesia antillana grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Forest/Shrubland (coppice or scrublands).

Distribution: Vallesia antillana occurs on all island groupings within the Lucayan Archipelago as well as south Florida and the Greater Antilles.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Vallesia antillana is used to treat gastrointestinal problems.