Wedelia bahamensis

Wedelia bahamensis O.E. Schulz

Common Names: Rong Bush

Family: Asteraceae

Habit: Wedelia bahamensis a woody perennial shrub to 2 meters in height. The leaves are arranged oppositely, to 15 cm in length, ovate-lanceolate, with a dentate leaf margin and an acute leaf apex.

The actinomorphic flowers are arranged in heads. The heads are subtended by a series of involucral bracts. The calyx is modified as a ring of hairs (pappus).  There are both perfect and imperfect (carpellate) flowers in the heads. The perfect flowers are in the center and the imperfect flowers are arranged around the edge of the heads. Each flower is subtended by a bract.

The imperfect flowers have 3 yellow fused petals and no stamens. The perfect flowers have a corolla with 5 fused, yellow petals.  There are 5 stamens fused at their base. In both types of flowers the ovary is inferior with a single locule but only the imperfect flowers have functional ovules.  The fruit is an achene at maturity that retains the modified calyx (pappus).

Habitat: Wedelia bahamensis in coastal areas in a sand substrate.

Distribution: Wedelia bahamensis is endemic to the Lucayan Archipelago known to occur on the southern and central island groupings.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Wedelia bahamensis is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.