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Title: Wildlife plants : illustrated description of U.S. Virgin Islands plants most used by local wild birds and mammals
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Title: Wildlife plants : illustrated description of U.S. Virgin Islands plants most used by local wild birds and mammals
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Division of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Planning and Natural Resources
Publisher: Division of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Planning and Natural Resources
Place of Publication: St. Croix, USVI
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Bibliographic ID: CA01300935
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of the Virgin Islands
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Full Text









WILDLIFE PLANTS
Illustrated Description of U.S. Virgin Islands
Plants Most Used by Local Wild Birds and Mammals











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Division of Fish and Wildlife
Department of Planning and Natural Resources
Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands















1988











CONTENTS

Page
INTRODUCTION 1

Acknowledgements 2

Glossary 3

List of Species Illustrated and Described 5

Species Illustrations and Descriptions 8

Index 58











INTRODUCTION


Common English names were selected to be consistent with local names
though they often may not be "colloquial" names. Common names differ so greatly
from place to place, that listing all such names used would require more space
than available.

An asterisk (*) after a plant scientific name indicates it is an
introduced -- or exotic -- plant. That is, it is not native to the Virgin
Islands. Plant scientific names without asterisks are native to the V.I.

Only observations made in the (US) Virgin Islands are included. Even
though items not listed in this book are used by the same wildlife in other
areas, it cannot be concluded that the same uses of plants are made here.




NOTES




Plants appear in the order given in Adams (1972), a more accepted and
typical arrangement than some rather drastic revisions offered by some more
recent authors.

Scientific FAMILY NAMES were selected to consistently represent the trend
toward uniformity in plant family names i.e., that they end in "ACEAE".

Scientific names of Genus and species of plants generally follow those
used by Liogier and Martorell (1982. Exceptions were made in cases where more
current or exact information warranted.











ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


Preparation of this booklet and gathering many of the observations that
went into preparing it, were made possible by financial support from the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, through funding under the Pittman-Robertson (P-R)
Program.

A major contribution was made by the recorded observations of George A.
Seaman, who worked as a biologist for the U.S. Virgin Islands Government for
over 20 years.

A second important source of information were the recorded observations
made by current and previous Division of Fish and Wildlife staff, including:
Arthur E. Dammann, Margo A. Hewitt, David W. Nellis, Robert L. Norton, Richard
Philibosian, Rebecca Rudman, Fred W. Sladen, Ann B. Swanbeck, James W. Webb, Jr.
and John A. Yntema.


Other data were generously contributed by Mary Edwards, Jill and Robert
Fleming, Houston Holder, Shirley Imsand, Ludwig Jorgenson, Walter Knausenberger,
The Lawaetz family (Anna, Irene, and Kai), the Ogden family (Eric, Nancy, and
John), Felix Revello, Joan Runge, Lisa Yntema, and Van Yntema.

Special gratitude is due to Dr. Frank H. Wadsworth and the U. S.
Department of Agriculture for permission to use illustrations from their books.
Thanks also to Robin Clair for artwork.














The following symbol
inches
Feet
mm millimeter
m meter
cm centimeter

Apex (leaves)

Annual

Alternate (leaves)

Arils

Awn

Bi-pinnate
(leaves)
Blade (leaves)

Bract (leaves)

Bromeliad

Calyx


Compound (leaves)

Culm

Deciduous
Dioeceous
Elliptic (leaves)

Epiphyte


Evergreen
Fissure (bark)

Habit

Habitat

Lanceolate

Leaf-stem


GLOSSARY

s and words, have been used in description of plants:
(1 inch = 2.54 cm = 25.4 mm)
(1 foot = 12")
(1 mm = .0394"; 25.4mm = 1")
(1 m = 100 cm = 1,000mm = 3.281')
(100 cm = im; 2.54 cm = 1")

The top of the leaf; the pointed end.

A plant that lives only one year or season.

Growing along the stem singlely at different intervals.

An additional covering that forms on certain seeds after
fertilization.
A slender terminal bristle, usually stiff in proportion to
its size.
Having pinnate leaflets on stems that grow opposite each
other on main stem.
The leaf of a plant, especially of grass. The flat expanded
part of a leaf.
Modified leaf growing at the base of a flower or on its
stalk.
Any member of the pineapple family; usually having stiff
leathery leaves and spikes of bright flowers.
The outer whorl of protective leaves, or sepals of a
flower; usually green. Example: The green portion at the
base of a rose bud.
A leaf divided into two or more leaflets with a common
leafstalk.
The stem of a grass or sedge.

Shedding leaves annually; as opposed to evergreen.
Bearing male and female flowers on separate plants.
Having the form of an ellipse.

A plant that grows on another plant but is not a parasite
and produces its own food. i.e. orchids, mosses, air
plants.
Having green leaves throughout the year.
A long, narrow deep cleft or crack.

The tendency of a plant to grow a certain
way; characteristic growth.
The region where a plant naturally grows or lives; native
environment.
Lance-shaped; narrow and tapering like the head of a lance.

The slender, usually cylindrical portion of a leaf which
supports the blade











Lenticel

Linear
Panicle
Perennial
Pinnate

Rib (leaves)
Rosette
Sepal
Simple (leaves)
Spike

Spikelet
Stamen

Stem
Stipule
Terminal
Whorled


A small curly dot or spot on the bark of young twigs in many
trees and shrubs.
Narrow and uniform in width, as the leaves of grasses.
A cluster of flowers having individual stalks.
Lasting or active throughout the whole year.
Leaflets on each side of a common axis in a featherlike
arrangement.
Any of the main veins in a leaf.
A circular cluster of leaves, petals or other organs.
Leaf-like parts of the calyx.
A leaf that is whole, not branched.
Along flower cluster with flowers attached directly to the
stalk; an ear of grain.
A small spike, as in a flower cluster of grass or sedge.
A pollen-bearing organ in a flower, made up of a slender stalk
and pollen sac.
Used herein, also includes the culm in grass or sedge
Pair of small leaf-like parts at the base of some leaf stalks.
A flower cluster at the end of a twig.
A circular growth of leaves, petals, etc. about the same point
on a stem.














FAMILY
BROMELIACEAE

LILIACEAE



ARECACEAE
(PALMAE, PALMACE;



POACEAE













LORANTHACEAE



POLYGONACEAE

AMARANTHACEAE

PHYTDLACCACEAE

CACTACEAE

ANNONACEAE

CAPPARACEAE
(CAPPARIDACEAE)

FABACEAE
(LEGUMINOSAE)
(aesalpinioideas
MIMOSOIDEAE


LIST OF PLANT SPECIES ILLUSTRATED AND DESCRIBED

SCIENTIFIC NAME COMMON NAME
Bromelia penguin pinguin

Aloe vera* aloe
(Aloe barbadensis)

Roystonea elata* royal palm
AE) (Roystonea borinquena)
(Roysontea regia*)

Chloris inflata mexican blue gr
(Chloris barbata)

Cynodon dactylon* bermuda gras;

Dactyloctenium aegyptium* goosefoot gra;

Eleusine indica* wire grass

Panicum maximum* guinea grass

Dendropenon sp. chinchiree bu;
(Phthirusa sp.)

Coccoloba uvifera sea grape

Amaranthus dubius bower

Trichostigma octandrum hoop-vine

Pilosocereus royneii dildo cactus

Annona muricata* soursop

Capparis flexuosa sticky cleome (au1
(Cleome icosandra)* name)

Tamarindis indica* Tamarind


Acacia spp.

Albiza lebbeck*

Leucaena leucocephala

Samanea saman*
(Pithecellobium saman)


ass



s

ss






sh


thor's


casha

thibet (woman's tongue)

tan tan (wild tamarind)

saman (rain tree)


e)














FAMILY
Papilionoideae




ERYTHROXYLACEAE

BURSERACEAE

MELIACEAE

EUPHORBIACEAE

ANACARDIACEAE

SAPINDACEAE

MALVACEAE

BOMBACACEAE

CARICACEAE

CUCURBITACEAE

RHIZOPHORACEAE

COMBRETACEAE









MYRTACEAE

BORAGINACEAE




VERBENACEAE

AVICENNIACEAE

BIGNONIACEAE


LIST OF PLANT SPECIES ILLUSTRATED AND DESCRIBED

SCIENTIFIC NAME COMMON NAME
Erythrina variegata* coral tree
(Erythrina indica)*

Gliricidia sepinn* quick stick
Erythoxylum rotundifolium brisselet

Bursera simaruba gumbo limbo

Swietenia mahogani* west indian maho

Croton rigidus maran

Mangifera indica* mango

Melicocsus bijugatus* genip

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis hibiscus

Ceiba pentandra kapok (silk cot1

Carica papaya* papaya

Momordica charantia maiden apple

Rhizophora mangle red mangrove

Bucida buceras gre-gre

Conocarpus erectus buttonwood

Laguncularia racemosa white mangrov

Terminalia catappa* Indian almond

Psidium guajava guava

Cordia alba white man-jac
(Cordia dentata)
(Calyptracordia alba)

Citharexylum fruticosum fiddlewood

Avicennia germinans black mangrov

Spathoden campanulata* African tulip t

Tabebuia heterophylla white cedar

Tecoma stans Ginger thoma
yellow cedar


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ton)














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d




k


e

ree




s


6 7














































PINEAPPLE FAMILY
Pinguin


HABITAT:

HABIT:

LEAVES:

FLOWERS:




FRUIT:

SEASON:

COMMENTS:


BROMELIACEAE
Bromelia pinguin


Usually found in coastal thickets or on dry bushy hillsides.

Epiphytic, upright bromeliad, terrestrial.

Spirally arranged.

Bisexual, approximately 6 cm (2.4) long,light red edged with white.
The slender petals downy-white at the tips. Borne in an erect
central pyramidal cluster.

Separate fleshy berries which are edible.

Flowers in March to June. Fruits borne in November.

Leaf axils serve as an important source of drinking water for birds.
Many observations of hummingbirds, bananaquits, and warblers
drinking from this plant.




















































LILY FAMILY
Aloe


LILIACEAE
Aloe vera*
(Aloe barbadensis)*


HABITAT: Locally gregarious, naturalized mostly on
and in pebbly soil, or arid areas.


HABIT:


A succulent plant with a stout stem which
of fleshy swordlike erect leaves, wide at
slender tip edged with sharp curved spines


exposed limestone rocks



supports a compact rosette
the base tapering to a
.


FLOWERS: Numerous tubular yellow flowers that are borne in a showy leaf-like
enclosure spathee) at the top of a stalk 1 m (3'.6") or more in
height.

SEASONS: Flowers from January to May.


COMMENTS:


Skin is tough and rubbery. The inner layer contains a bitter yellow
latex known for its healing of burns, also used as a medicinal tea.
The Green-throated Carib, Antillean-crested Hummingbird, and
Bananaquit have all been seen feeding on the flowers.

















































PALM FAMILY
Coconut


ARECACEAE
Cocos nucifera


HABITAT: Seaside or near-shore locations.


Evergreen tree,
at base.


9-18 m (30-60') tall; slender, ringed trunk enlarged


Shiny, compound, alternate, about 6 m
in cross-section.


(20')long overall; stem curved


FLOWERS: Whitish, inconspicuous, sexes separate. Stemless on long branched
clusters at leaf base, and enclosed in a woody sheath about 1.2 m
(4') long, which splits open as flower- branches expand.


Coconut, 3-angled, egg-shaped to 30 cm (12").

Flowers and fruits continuously all year.


Bats commonly roost under leaves while eating fruits from other
trees, dropping seeds on ground. These palms are preferred nesting
sites for roof rats, Zenaida Doves, and are used for nest sites and
nest material by several other birds. V.I. Tree Boas (Epicrates
monensia granti) use the sheaths at leaf bases as cover.


HABIT:



LEAVES:


FRUIT:

SEASON:


COMMENTS:












































PALM FAMILY
Royal palm


A:i


-I


ARECACEAE
Roystonea borinquena (elata)


HABITAT: Road borders and ornamental; also found near creekbeds and ponds.

HABIT: Evergreen tree 9-18 m (30-60') tall; trunk smooth, erect, gray,
swollen near top. Above is narrower column of light green leaf
sheaths 1.2 m (4') tall, then the spreading leaves.

LEAVES: Compound pinnatee), alternate, blade 2.5-4 m {3-13') long. Leaflets
numerous, leathery, paired, to I m (3.3') long, narrow.

FLOWERS: Whitish, inconspicuous, long drooping clusters at leaf base. Sexes
separate (dioecious).

FRUIT: Light brown, elliptic, about 13 mm (.5") each with 1 hard seed, in
clustered strings.

SEASON: Probably flowers and fruits all year.


COMMENTS:


Fruits important to Scaly-naped Pigeons, also eaten by other
pigeons, doves, thrashers, bat (Brachyphylla cavernarum) and other
animals. Some birds and rats nest in this tree.












































GRASS FAMILY POACEAE (GRAMINEAE)
Blue grass Chloris spp.

NOTE: There are several Chloris species in the Virgin Islands, and all are
generally similar in appearance to the one illustrated. The
description below is a composite.

HABITAT: Rather common, from dry and brackish soil, in lawns and along road
edges, up into hillsides

HABIT: Annual grass, with stems to 60 cm (24") tall or more and having
usually several notably hairy flower-branches (spikes) at their
tips.

FLOWER: Several more or less upright branches (spikes) at the top of
flowering stems culmss), each branch having 2 rows of single
flowers on one side. One or more scales of each flower has an
obviously long hair (awn), giving the branch a fluffy appearance.

SEASON: Flowers most of the year.

COMMENTS: Nests of White-cheeked Pintail ducks have been found in this grass.
Seeds are eaten by doves and grassquits.


































* t 4


GRASS FAMILY
Bermuda grass


POACEAE (GRAMINEAE)
Cynodon dactylon*


HABITAT: Common as a lawn-grass, but occurs also in open, rather dry ground,
and in moist shady places.

HABIT: Perennial grass, creeping and forming thick mats. Stems generally
low, except flowering ends which may be 30 cm (12") tall.

LEAVES: Simple, alternate, sheathing stem and rounded on side opposite
blade. Blades short, 6 cm (2.4") or less and narrow.

FLOWER: Mostly 3-6 thin branches (spikes), spreading at top of flowering
(stalk), each branch with two rows of stemless single flowers.

SEASONS: Flowers mainly late spring to fall.


COMMENTS:


Bermuda grass is shorter than most other grasses. Seeds are not so
noticeably consumed by seed-eating birds but are an important food
source for them. Cultivating and mowing provides a major habitat for
doves, grassquits, and seasonal migrants like buntings. Burros also
feed on this grass.












































GRASS FAMILY POACEAE (GRAMINEAE)
Goosefoot grass Dactyloctenium aegyptium*

HABITAT: Disturbed areas (e.g., lawnedges, ditches, "waste places").

HABIT: Annual grass, usually branching at the base, flat-spreading and
rooting at the joints (nodes). Stems up to 60 cm (24") tall unless
grazed or mowed, stems will remain near to the cut length.

LEAVES: Simple, alternate, overlapping, sheathing the stem. Blades thin,
generally flat, up to 15 cm (6") long but usually less; edges long-
hairy.

FLOWERS: Typically 3 (up to 5) branches at top of stem widely spreading,
narrowed to point at tip. Each branch 1-5 cm (.4-2") long, bearing 2
rows of crowded spikelets.

SEASON: Flowers mostly spring to late fall; old, sun-bleached spikelets can
be seen year around.

COMMENTS: Grass occurs in tropical and subtropical zones. Seeds are eaten by
grassquits, doves and other ground feeding seed-eating birds.





































GRASS FAMILY
Wire grass


I,







POACEAE (GRAMINEAE)
Eleusine indica*


HABITAT: Widespread in areas where ground has been disturbed (e.g. lawns,
cultivated and "waste" places).


Annual grass, erect or flat-spreading, branching at base, usually
less than 50 cm (20") tall or long. Stems culmss) flattened.

Flat or folded, simple, mostly linear, to 15 cm (6") long; tips
long-pointed alternate, overlapping, the sheaths around stem
flattened, "sharply keeled".


FLOWERS: Usually 3-4 (range 2-6) branches (spikes) at top of stem culmm),
each branch having 2 rows of flattened groups of flower-clusters
(spikelets) along 1 side. Occasionally single branches below group
of end-branches.


SEASON:


COMMENTS:


Flowers mostly spring to late fall.


One of the common and easily identified grasses for ground-feeding
seed-eaters like doves and grassquits. Burros also feed upon this
grass.


HABIT:


LEAVES:














































GRASS FAMILY
Guinea grass


POACEAE (GRAMINEAE)
Panicum maximum*


HABITAT: Widespread; open fields, hills, ditches, roadsides, yards, lawn
edges.

HABIT: Perennial grass, dense stands where possible (e.g., pastures), many
stems originating from clump at base.

LEAVES: Simple, alternate, overlapping stem; blades, flat, nearly linear, to
2.5 cm (1") wide and 50 cm (20") long or more; tips long-pointed;
edges minutely saw-toothed, capable of cutting bare human skin.

FLOWER: Loosely long-branched; branches thin; seeds on individual stem at
top of stalk, 50 cm (20").

SEASONS: All year, depending on rainfall and location.


COMMENTS:


Seeds eaten by doves and grassquits; leaves, young shoots eaten by
deer and burros. Used as "cover" by wild animals because of its
abundance and height. Used by birds as nest material. Primary
habitat of the grass lizard (Anolis pulchellus).











































MISTLETOE
Chinchiree bush, Mistletoe


LORANTHACEAE
Dendropemon spp.


HABITAT: Found on trees, especially thibet (Albizia lebbeck), and shrubs.

HABIT: Semi-parasitic shrub to about 75 cm (30") long, absorbing food from
host plant by root-like suckers (haustoria).

LEAVES: Opposite, simple, roundish to oval, somewhat leathery, green to
about 6 cm (2.4") long.

FLOWERS: Small, inconspicuous, clustered in 3's on common stem at leaf base.

FRUIT: A small, black, fleshy berry.

SEASON: Flowers and fruits all year.


COMMENTS:


Weakens host plant so it may die. A mistletoe plant can be destroyed
by spraying (which may also kill host plant), or by physically
removing and burning parasite and host plant on and near which
parasite is growing. Reinfestation is likely, if other plants are
nearby. Birds eat fruits; when wiping seeds off beaks on tree
branches, seeds may adhere to branch and begin to grow.













































BUCKWHEAT FAMILY
Sea grape


HABITAT:

HABIT:


LEAVES:


POLYGONACEAE
Coccoloba uvifera


Sandy and rocky seashore, coastal thickets.

Low shrub to wide spreading' evergreen tree. Bark is smooth, gray,
on larger trunks becomes mottled whitish light gray.

Alternate on stems .6-1.2 m (1/4-1/2") long. Rounded, thick,
leathery, 7.5 15 cm (3-6")long and 10 20 cm (4-8") broad.
Distinct midrib with large reddish veins.


FLOWERS: White flower clusters .6 1.2 cm (4-9") long, numerous fragrant
flowers on short stalks. Male and female are on different plants
dioecious.


FRUITS:

SEASON:


COMMENTS:


Round with thin skin, sweet/sour pulp. One seed within pulp.

Flowers and fruits throughout the year.

The grapes are edible, used in jelly and beverages. White-crowned
Pigeons and Pearly- eyed Thrashers eat the fruit. Hummingbirds and
bananaquits nest in the tree.












































AMARANTH FAMILY AMARANTHACEAE
Bower Amaranthus dubius

HABITAT: Common as a weed of cultivation, rough pastures and gravelly waste
places.

HABIT: Annual or short-lived perennial herb. Slender-stemmed, leaves are
alternate.

FLOWERS: Flowers grow in a long terminal in panicles. Flower heads are green
and tiny.

SEASON: Flowers all year.

COMMENTS: Zenaida and Common ground Doves feed on the seeds.











































POKEWEED FAMILY PHYTOLACCACEAE
Hoop-vine Trichostigma octandrum

HABITAT: Usually on trees in thickets, or at edges of wooded areas.

HABIT: Woody vine to 10 m (33') long, or shrubby. Branches long, slender.

LEAVES: Typically alternate, simple, mostly elliptic with pointed tip, thin,
dark green and somewhat shiny above, paler and dull below, to about
13 cm (5") long; edges smooth.

FLOWERS: White, small; clustered at ends of common flower stems sometimes
longer than leaves, from sides or ends of branches.

FRUITS: A dark purple berry with 1 seed.

SEASONS: Flowers and fruits February to August.

COMMENTS: Wood used in making baskets; formerly used locally for weaving fish
pots. Nesting habitat for doves.










































CACTUS FAMILY
Dildo cactus


CACTACEAE
Cephalocereus royenii


HABITAT: Dry areas.


HABIT:



LEAVES:


Erect, spiny, tree-like cactus, generally less than 6 m (20') tall,
typically branching near base.

Branches grow upward, stout, gray-green to bluish, having 7-11
ridges, each ridge with clusters of spines to 6 cm (2.4") long,
woolly at base.


FLOWERS: Nocturnal, solitary on ridges near branch ends, funnel-shaped,
fleshy, about 5 cm (2") long.


FRUITS:



SEASON:


COMMENTS:


A smooth greenish or reddish berry, with edible red pulp; seeds
many, small, black.

Fruits and flowers irregularly throughout year.

Plant tissue stores water. Seeds and fruit eaten by Zenaida Doves
and Pearly-eyed Thrashers. Bananaquits nest among the protective
spines.












































CUSTARD-APPLE FAMILY ANNONACEAE
Soursop Annona muricata

HABITAT: Cultivated for fruit, sometimes wild in woods, pastures, along
roads.

HABIT: Small evergreen tree to 6 m (20') tall. Branches slightly upturned.
Bark gray, smooth.

LEAVES: Shiny, darker green above, slightly thickened, simple alternate,
oval or oblong and widest beyond middle, curved up on both sides of
mid-rib.

FLOWER: Yellow, 3-sided, outer 3 petals thickened, about 4.5 cm (1.8") long
and wide, borne singly.

FRUIT: Dark green, oval to heart-shaped, with curved fleshy spines. White-
pulpy inside, sourish, edible; size to 20 cm (8") long, 10 cm (4")
wide. Contains many black seeds about 15 mm (.6") long.

SEASON: Flowers spring to summer, fruits in fall.

COMMENTS: Fruit eaten by thrashers. Eaten by bats (Artibeus), deer, rats and
mongoose.












































CAPER FAMILY

Limber caper


CAPPARACEAE
(CAPPARIDACEAE)
Capparis flexuosa


HABITAT: In thickets or woods, usually near coast. More common in drier
areas.


Evergreen tree or shrub to 8 m (26') tall. Vine-like with slender
flexible branches.

Dull dark green above, slightly leathery, alternate in one plane,
mostly oblong, to 10 cm (4") long.


FLOWERS: White, showy, fragrant, in clusters at branch ends, open late
afternoon, fall apart next morning. Stamens numerous, thread-like,
about 3 times as long as petals.


Pod knobby, cylindric, with green to brownish stripe on each side,
to 25 cm (10") long. Scarlet pulp inside. Seeds white.

Used for nesting by Brown Pelicans and bananaquits. Hummingbirds and
bananaquits eat flowers. Bats (Artibeus, Brachyphylla) feed on the
nectar. Leaves often eaten by caterpillars of white pierid
butterfly.


HABIT:



LEAVES:


FRUIT:



COMMENTS:













































CAPER FAMILY

Sticky cleome


CAPPARACEAE
(CAPPARIDACEAE)
Cleome viscosa*


HABITAT: Disturbed ground and gravely waste places.


HABIT:




LEAVES:


Annual bushy herb approximately 30-120 cm (12"-47") high. All
vegetative parts and young fruit are aromatic and are capable of
secreting a sticky substance.

Leaflets are oval to elliptical, usually pointed at both ends, 8 cm
(3") long and 3 cm (1") broad.


FLOWERS: Solitary in the axils of leaf-like bracts. Petals are yellow with
reddish-purple spot at base.


FRUITS:

SEASON:


COMMENTS:


Seeds are dark reddish-brown with grooves or stripes.

Bears flowers and fruits all year.


Zenaida and Common ground Dove feed on the abundant small seeds. The
plant is strongly aromatic. Burros will also consume the entire
plant.
















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LEGUME FAMILY
Cassia Subfamily
Tamarind


FABACEAE (LEGUMINOSAE)
Caesalpinioideae
Tamarindus indica


HABITAT: Drier areas, fence lines, around homes.


HABIT:



LEAVES:


Evergreen tree to 12 m (40') tall, usually with many branches, dense
crown. Stout, thick rough bark.

Compound, alternate, 5-12 cm (2-5") long.


FLOWERS: Showy, 2.5 cm (1") across, 4 pale yellow sepals, 3 main yellow
petals tinged with red.


FRUIT:



SEASON:


COMMENTS:


Brown pod to 10 cm (4"long) to 2.5 cm (1") wide. Seeds shiny brown,
16 mm (.6") long, astringent but in fibrous pulp.

Spring to fall, fruits winter to spring.

Seeds and fruit eaten by the feral burro. Nesting and roosting for
Scaly-naped Pigeons, Zenaida doves, Smooth-billed Anis, Grey
Kingbirds, Black-whiskered Vireos, Antillean- crested Hummingbirds,
bananaquits, Bats (Artibeus sp.) and some herons. Rats nest, eat and
use for cover.









































LEGUME FAMILY
Mimosa Subfamily
Casha


FABACEAE (LEGUMINOSAE)
Mimosoideae
Acacia spp.


HABITAT: Drier areas, coastal thickets or hillsides.


Deciduous shrub or small tree, often with multiple trunks. Broad
flat crown, typically 4 m (13') tall. Paired spines often prominent
at leaf base.

Compound (bi-pinnate), alternate, crowded at leaf-base. Leaflets
simple, smooth edged, small and oblong to elliptic, on 2-40 paired
side-stems.


FLOWERS: Numerous small narrow yellow flowers, in clusters 8-16 mm (.3-.6")
in diameter.


Pod; size, shape, length depend on species.

Flowers intermittently. Fruits persist throughout year.

Used for nesting by Common Ground Doves, Gray Kingbirds, Yellow
Warblers, Bananaquits, Anis, Antillean Crested Hummingbirds and
Mockingbirds. Deer, Iguanas eat leaves pods.


HABIT:




LEAVES:


FRUIT:

SEASON:


COMMENTS:












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LEGUME FAMILY
Mimosa Subfamily


FABACEAE (LEGUMINOSAE)
Mimosoideae


Thibet


Albizia lebbeck


HABITAT: Drier areas; roadsides, pastures, hillsides.
HABIT: Deciduous tree 6-12 m (20-40') tall, spreading crown, thin foliage.
Bark gray, smoothish.


LEAVES:


Compound (bi-pinnate) alternate 15-40 cm (6-16") long. Each leaf has
2-4 pairs of side-stems each side stem having 4-9 pairs of almost
stemless dull green leaflets.


FLOWERS: Many fragrant clusters whitish-green, on separate side stems.


FRUIT:

SEASON:


COMMENTS:


Parchment-like pods 10-20 cm (4-8") long.

Flowers April-September, with pods all year.


Nesting by kestrel, thrasher, Zenaida Doves. Roosting tree for
doves, Scaly-naped Pigeons, kingbirds. Little Blue Herons forage for
lizards from this tree. Kestrels catch Anolis here. Deer eat
young green pods. Rats use leaves to make nest.



























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LEGUME FAMILY
Mimosa Subfamily

Tantan, wild tamarind


FABACEAE (LEGUMINOSAE)
Mimosoideae

Leucaena leucocephala


HABITAT: Roadsides, pastures, coastal thickets.


HABIT:



LEAVES:


Evergreen shrub to small tree to 5-8 m (16-33') tall. Bark is gray
or brownish gray; smooth with many dots (lenticels).

Compound leaves 10-20 cm (4-8"), alternate, with 3-10 pairs of
stemless gray-green narrow leaflets 8-16 mm (.3-.6").


FLOWERS: White, in clusters.


FRUIT:




SEASON:


COMMENTS:


Dark brown pods, 10-15 cm (4-6") long, 16-20mm (.6-.8") wide,
flattened, split open at maturity. Seeds shiny, brown, oblong,
pointed, to 8 mm (.3").

Flowers and fruits all year.

Poisonous to horses, pigs, and rabbits, causes hair loss. Deer,
cattle, goats and sheep unaffected. Doves eat the seeds;parakeets
feed on the immature green pods; rats strip bark; bananaquits nest
in tantan.














































LEGUME FAMILY
Mimosa Subfamily

Saman, rain tree


FABACEAE (LEGUMINOSAE)
Mimosoideae


Samanea saman


HABITAT: Ornamental and shade tree.


Evergreen tree 15-20
Bark gray, rough.


m (50-66') tall, large, broad arched crown.


LEAVES: Compound leaves 25-40 cm (10-16") long, alternate. Each leaf has 2-6
pairs of side-stems, each having 6-16 pairs of stemless. Pairs fold
together at night. Main-stem and side-stems have swollen bases with
gland.

FLOWERS: Greenish-pink, in loose clusters, 6 cm (2.4") wide by 4 cm (1.6")
high, on 5-12 cm (2.5-4")stem.

FRUIT: Pod, brownish-black, slightly flattened, edges raised, 10-20 cm (4-
8") long. Pulp sweetish. Seeds oblong, reddish-brown, 8 mm (.3")
long.

SEASON: Flowers spring to fall, fruits fall to winter.


COMMENTS:


Nesting and roosting by Zenaida Doves and thrashers. Bananaquits
forage in bark crannies. Livestock, deer eat pods.


HABIT:












































LEGUME FAMILY
Pea Subfamily


FABACEAE (LEGUMINOSAE)
Papilionoideae

Erythrina variegata


Coral tree


HABITAT: Living fence and as an ornamental.


HABIT:


LEAVES:


Deciduous tree to 10 m (33') tall. Bark greenish gray, with slight
fissures, streaks, and small scattered spines.

Alternate compound, on long slender stems, to 25 cm (10"). Each leaf
composed of 3 thin triangular leaflets.


FLOWERS: Scarlet horizontal showy clusters 15-20 cm (6-8") long. Five
irregular petals, to 5 cm (2") long. Flowers open in turn.


FRUIT:




SEASON:


COMMENTS:


Pods dark brown, stout, to 25 cm (10")long, narrowed between seeds.
Seeds kidney-shaped, brownish-purple, to 18mm (.46" long),
poisonous.

Blooms January to March, as leaves fall.

Hummingbirds and bananaquits feed heavily at these flowers. Flowers
attract insects, insectivorous Gray Kingbirds. Roosting for
Zenaida Doves.












































LEGUME FAMILY FABACEAE (LEGUMINOSAEj
Pea Subfamily Papilionoideae

Quick stick Gliricidia sepium*

HABITAT: Mostly planted in fences or as a fast growing shade plant.

HABIT: Tree up to 6 m (20'); stipules minute.

LEAVES: Leaflets are oval to elliptical, 3-6 cm (1.2"-2.4") long, 1-4 cm
(.4"-1.6") broad.

FLOWERS: Borne in showy clusters that are pink lavender with a splash of
yellow white; 2 cm (.8") long, keel (bottom petals) is pink at tip,
calyx is cup-like, red-brown.

FRUITS: Seed pod is dark brown, about 10-12 cm (4"-4.8"). When split open,
releases 3-8 black glossy seeds.

SEASON: Flowers from January to April. Fruits from January to May.

COMMENTS: Antillean-crested Hummingbirds, Green-throated Parakeets and
bananaquits have been observed feeding on the flowers. Leaves are
used for medicinal purposes.














































COCA FAMILY
Brisselet


ERYTHROXYLACEAE
Erythroxylum rotundifolium


HABITAT: Coastal thickets.


HABIT:



LEAVES:


Deciduous shrub, or tree to 7 m (23') tall. Bark gray to light
brown; smooth, becoming finely fissured. Twigs much-branched.

Dull, thin, simple, alternate and crowded. Oval or rounded, usually
small, but up to 3 cm (1.2") long. Tips rounded or slightly notched.


FLOWERS: Five white petals, on short stems in clusters of 1-4 at base of leaf
stems. Each flower about 5 mm (.2") across.


FRUIT:

SEASON:


COMMENTS:


Red, fleshy, elliptic, about 6 m (.24") long, becoming brown.

Flowers in early spring and summer, fruits late spring into late
summer.

A nesting tree for Brown Pelicans on Dutchcap Cay. The fruit is an
important pigeon and dove food. The fragrant flowers attract bees.











































BURSERA FAMILY
Gumbo limbo, Turpentine tree


BURSERACEAE
Bursera simaruba


HABITAT: Drier woodlands, thickets, and coastal areas; roadsides.

HABIT: Tree less than 15 m (50') tall, leafless in dry season. Bark smooth,
reddish-brown, shiny, peeling in thin layers, exposing greenish
underbark; sap has turpentine odor.

LEAVES: Compound (odd-pinnate); short, slender. 3-7 leaflets, oval, pointed,
firm, 3-8 cm (1.2-3") long, darker green above; edges smooth.

FLOWERS: Small, yellowish-green, inconspicuous, clusters at branch ends.
Moneocious flowers.

FRUIT: A 3-sided nutlet, reddish-brown, up to 13 mm (.5") long, splitting
into 3 parts; seed white.

SEASON: Flowers and fruits mostly in spring


COMMENTS:


Living fenceposts and ornamental. Sap, leaves locally used for
medicinal purposes. Pearly-eyed Thrashers, Brown-throated
Parakeets eat fruit.











































MAHOGANY FAMILY
West Indian mahogany


MELIACEAE
Swietenia mahagoni*


HABITAT: Occasional in pastures and along roadsides, rarely found in natural
woodland.

HABIT: Deciduous tree up to 20 m (65') high, usually 5 m (16') wide. The
bark is greyish or brown flaking.

LEAVES: Leaves are up to 30 cm (11") long leaflets oval to lanceolate. Base
is asymmetrical.

FLOWERS: Fragrant, white 5-petaled, in long stalked clusters.


FRUITS:


SEASON:

COMMENTS:


Brownish gray, 6 to 12 cm (2"-4") long, wood erect splitting from
the base and opening like an umbrella.

Flowers from May to July, bears fruit from November to January.

Cattle Egrets, Green Heron, Yellow-Crowned Night Heron, Smooth-
billed Ani, Zenaida Dove, Scaly-naped Pigeon, Red-tailed Hawk,
Antillean-crested Hummingbird, Green-throated Carib, and Grey
Kingbird use this tree for nesting and roosting.










































SPURGE FAMILY EUPHORBIACEAE
Maran Croton rigidus

HABITAT: Widespread, usually in drier areas: pastures, cultivated fields,
roadsides, disturbed ground.

HABIT: Erect fragrant evergreen shrub to 3m (10') tall. Densely covered
with star-shaped hairs. Bark light gray.

LEAVES: Dark green to yellowish above, simple, alternate mostly long-oval
2.5-5cm (1-2")long. Tips gradually tapered, sometimes blunt. Edges
smooth. Lower surface more densely hairy and grayer than upper.

FLOWERS: Greenish, in 2.5-5 cm (1-2") erect clusters; male flowers above,
female flowers below. Flower almost stalkless, about 3mm (.1")
long.

FRUIT: Rounded capsules slightly 3-lobed, brown, densely hairy, 4-5 mm
(about .2") long. Three seeds.

SEASON: Flowers and fruits almost all year.

COMMENT: Plant is toxic to livestock; seeds are important food for ground-
feeding doves.











































SPURGE FAMILY
Manchineel


EUPHORBIACEAE
Hippomane mancinella


HABITAT: Coastal, occasionally farther inland.

HABIT: Evergreen tree usually less than 12 m (40') tall.

LEAVES: Aternate, simple, elliptic, short-pointed, slightly leathery,
yellow-green, shiny above with yellowish mid-vein, dull below,
blades 4-10 cm (1.5-4"); edges slightly toothed; leaf-stems green,
4-5 cm (1.5-2") long.

FLOWERS: Greenish, stemless, inconspicuous, borne on spikes 5-10 cm (2-4")
long at branch end.

FRUIT: Yellow-green, toxic apple-like fruit.

SEASONS: Flowers spring to summer; fruits reportedly maturing about a year
later, perhaps throughout year.


COMMENTS:


Avoid sap or leaves or rain drippings. These cause extreme eye
irritation and severe toxic skin reactions. Eating the fruits,
causes serious illness, can be fatal. Pearly-eyed
Thrashers and deer have been observed consuming the fruit.













































CASHEW FAMILY
Mango


ANACARDIACEAE
Mangifera indica*


HABITAT: Grown in orchards and naturalized.


HABIT:



LEAVES:


Tree 5-15 m (16'-64'), heavy-branched, stout trunk, broad top. Sap
clear and resinous.

Leaves evergreen, alternate but mainly in rosettes at the tips of
the twigs; pointed at both ends, 10-15 cm (4"-6") long, wine-red or
yellow-pink when young.


FLOWERS: 6 mm {.1") wide, pink or yellowish, 5-petaled upward-pointing
pyramidal, red stalked, branched panicles.


FRUITS:




SEASON:


COMMENTS:


Aromatic, oval/kidney shaped, yellow when ripe, smooth/thin skin;
yellow/orange, juicy, fragrant flesh; large flat, kidney shaped/
elliptic seed, hairy, ridged, starchy kernel.

Flowers December/March; fruits Feb./August.

Scaly-naped Pigeon, Green-throated Carib hummingbird, Zenaida Doves
nest in crown. Brown-throated Parakeets, Green-throated Caribs,
bananaquits, bats (Brachyphylla, Artibeus), deer, mongooses, burros
eat fruit.













































SOAPBERRY FAMILY
Genip


SAPINDACEAE
Melicoccus bijugatus*


HABITAT: Common on roadsides, in secondary woodlands.


HABIT:



LEAVES:


Deciduous tree 6-18 m (19'-59') high, thick trunk, bark is elephant
grey and smooth.

Alternate, compound, leaflets elliptical to oval, asymmetrical at
base, 5-14 cm (2"-5.5") long, up to 6 cm (2.3") broad, the midrib
often conspicuously winged. FLOWERS: Fragrant, greenish white, 4-5
petaled, numerous in branched terminal clusters. Male and female
usually on separate trees.


FRUITS: Round, green; leathery, brittle skin. Grows in clusters. Flesh
sweet/sour, pinkish to salmon, with large white seed.


SEASON:


COMMENTS:


Flowers in April to June. Bears fruit from May to December.

The Little Blue Heron and Zenaida Dove use for roosting and nesting.
Brown-throated Parakeets, Zenaida Doves, fruit bats(Artibeus), roof
rats and deer eat fruits.












































MALLOW FAMILY
Hibiscus


MALVACEAE
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis*


HABITAT: Ornamental, as hedge or singly.


HABIT:


LEAVES:


Evergreen shrub to 3 m (10') tall; may grow taller. Bark gray,
smooth, but often discolored and knobby.

Shiny dark green above, simple alternate, broadly oval. Leaf blades
up to 12 cm (5")long stems up to 5 cm (2") long. Edges coarsely
toothed, tips long-pointed.


FLOWERS: Red solitary, showy. Each flower has 5-pointed and bell-shaped light
green calyx up to 2 cm (.B") long. Usually 5 petals soft, rounded
and often wavy-toothed. Hybrids may differ in color and have
additional petals.


FRUIT:

SEASON:


COMMENTS:


Hibiscus do not commonly produce seed.

Flowers all year.


Grown from cuttings or grafted. Hummingbirds, bananaquits feed on
the nectar. Deer eat the leaves and bark. Iguanas and Red-footed
Tortoise eat leaves and flowers.













































MALLOW FAMILY
Otaheita


MALVACEAE
Thespesia populnea*


HABITAT: Sandy or gravelly shores and at mangrove margins.


HABIT:

LEAVES:


Shrub or tree 1-20 m (3.2'-66') long.

Ovate, 5-22 cm (2"-8.7") long, 3-16 cm (1"-6") broad, smooth glossy,
somewhat leathery.


FLOWERS: Bell-shaped, solitary, axillary, showy, 5-15 mm (.2"-.6") with a
long cupular calyx, 5-toothed. Petals are yellow 9-14mm (.35"-.55")
becoming purplish with red spot at base.


FRUIT:




SEASON:


COMMENTS:


Fleshy, oval, green when young turning blackish, dry and leathery, 3
to 4.5 cm (8.9"-1.8") wide, 1.5 to 2 cm (.6"-.8") high. Seeds are
triangular somewhat velvety.

Flowers April to June, fruits May to January.

The Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Zenaida Dove and kingfisher have all
been found roosting. Bananaquits and cave bats (Brachyphylla) feed
on the flowers.












































BOMBAX FAMILY
Kapok, silk-cotton


BOMBACACEAE
Ceiba pentandra


HABITAT: Woods, hillsides, sometimes near coasts.


HABIT:



LEAVES:


Large tree to 25 m (80'). Trunk with large narrow buttresses at
base. Bark gray, smooth with cone-shaped spines.

Compound, 5-8 short-stemmed lance-shaped to narrowly elliptic 8-20
cm (3-8") leaflets on leaf-stem to 20 cm (8") long. Edges smooth.


FLOWERS: Whitish to pink, 4 cm (1.5") long and wide, in clusters near twig
ends.


FRUIT:




SEASON:


COMMENTS:


Pear-shaped capsule to 20 cm (8") long, splitting open to release
many black seeds, each imbedded in fluffy mass of woolly hair
(kapok) dispersed by wind.

Flowers winter to early spring, not every year; fruits mature in
about 2 months.

Mature trees are frequently hollow, providing nest sites for bats
and birds. Herons and pigeons (Columba) nest in the tree.












































PAPAYA FAMILY CARICACEAE
Papaya Carica papaya*

HABITAT: Cultivated/naturalized on disturbed sites.

HABIT: Rapid growing, short-lived evergreen shrub or tree palm-like up to
6m (20'), trunk less than 20 cm (8") diameter. Bark is greenish
or grayish brown to light grey, broad horizontal leaf scars.

LEAVES: Deeply 7-lobed, stem long and thick.

FLOWERS: Fragrant, 5 petaled, pale yellow. Male in clusters at stalk tips,
usually on separate plants. Female flowers solitary or 2-3
together in the leaf axils.

FRUITS: Borne directly on the main stem below leaves, melon-like, pear-
shaped/oblong. Skin is thin and smooth. Turns from deep green to
yellow or orange. Hollow with many small black seeds of peppery
flavor.

SEASON: Flowers and bears fruit sporadically.

COMMENTS: The Pearly-eyed Thrasher, fruit bat (Artibeus) and roof rats eat
fruit. The Green-throated Carib feeds on the flowers.












































GOURD FAMILY
Maiden apple


CUCURBITACEAE
Momordica charantia


HABITAT: Common on fences, beaches and shrubs in disturbed areas.

HABIT: Annual herbaceous vine with very slender wiry green stem. Uses
tendrils to climb.

LEAVES: Pinnate, 3-8 cm (1.2"-3.15") wide almost circular, divided into 5-7
irregular toothed lobes, thin soft hairy on veins beneath.

FLOWERS: 5 petaled, 1-3 cm (.4"-1.2") wide, light yellow on thread-like
stalks, which are 5-15 cm (1.2"-6") long in male flowers and 2-4 cm
(.8"-1.6") long in female.

FRUITS: Bitter, elliptic, pointed at both ends, 8-15 cm. Ribbed and bears
thick blunt spine-like protrusions. Fleshy, orange when ripe.
Curls back showing the glistening bright red sticky arils enclosing
the brown seeds.

SEASON: Flowers and bears fruit all year.


COMMENTS:


The Zenaida Dove, Pearly-eyed Thrasher and Bridled Quail Dove feed
on the seeds and fruit.













































MANGROVE FAMILY
Red mangrove


RHIZOPHORACEAE
Rhizophora mangle


HABITAT: Usually on protected muddy shoreline.


HABIT:


LEAVES:


Evergreen tree or shrub usually less than 8 m (26') tall, supported
by "prop roots" from trunk. Forms dense thickets.


Shiny, leathery, simple, opposite, elliptic, 5
darker green above; tips blunt; edges smooth.


10 cm (2-4") long,


FLOWERS: Yellowish, about 2 cm (.8") across, with 4 narrow spreading sepals,
2-4 in clusters.

FRUIT: Dark, egg-shaped, about 3 cm (1.2") long. Sprouts on tree, forming
a long narrow pointed brown-tipped green fruit.

SEASON: Flowers and fruits all year.


COMMENTS:


Offshore colonies called "manglars". Used as nesting and roosting
sites by mostly locally breeding herons, egrets, White-crowned
Pigeons and other birds. Mangrove "swamps" are spawning and nursery
areas for lobsters, crabs, and many species of fish. Perhaps V.I.'s
most important wildlife plant.





































COMBRETUM FAMILY COMBRETACEAE
Gre -gre Bucida buceras

HABITAT: Evergreen except in dry areas, 10-20 m (33-65') tall, with multiple
trunks. Crown broad; branches widespreading, nearly horizontal. Bark
brown to gray, grooved, becoming scaly.

LEAVES: Clustered at twig ends, alternate, simple, elliptic to oval, 2.5-8
cm (1-3") long; edges smooth; leaf-stems reddish, 1-2 cm (.4-.8")
long.

FLOWERS: Greenish or yellowish, small, stemless, clustered at ends of narrow
spikes 2.5-10 cm (1-4") long.

FRUIT: Vase-shaped, brownish, finely hairy fruit 6-7 mm (.25") long, 1
seed; fruits develop into a thin tumor-like ball to 7 cm (2.8")
long.

SEASONS: Flowers and fruits irregularly.

COMMENTS: Hard, durable, termite-resistant, wood suitable for construction,
fenceposts. White crowned and Scaly-naped Pigeons, bananaquit and
Kingbirds nest in this tree.













































COMBRETUM FAMILY


Buttonwood


Conocarpus erectus


HABITAT: Usually landward of other mangroves; sandy or rocky coastal shores.

HABIT: Evergreen shrub or tree seldom over 6 m (20') tall, but to 20 m
(65'). Trunk branched close to ground; twigs yellow-green, winged.
Bark brown to gray, becoming grooved and ridged.

LEAVES: Alternate, simple, lanceolate to elliptic, pointed at both ends,
leathery, yellow-green, 3'-8 cm (1.2-3") long; edges smooth; leaf-
stems short, winged, 2 salt glands near leaf-base.

FLOWERS: Greenish, tiny, clustered in stalked balls less than 6 mm (.25")
across.

FRUIT: Rounded, knobby, purplish-brown, to about 12 mm (.5") in diameter,
composed of clustered individual 2-winged fruits, each with 1 flat
seed.

SEASON: Flowers and fruits all year.


COMMENTS:


Bark leaves contain tannin. Brown-throated Parakeets eat the young
fruit.


COMBRETACEAE













































COMBRETUM FAMILY COMBRETACEAE

White mangrove Laguncularia racemosa

HABITAT: Near silty shorelines, farther inland than black mangrove (Avicennia
germinans).

HABIT: Evergreen tree or shrub seldom over 12 m (40') tall. Bark gray-
brown.

LEAVES: Leathery, simple, opposite, elliptic, 2.5-10 cm (1-4") long, dull
yellow-green; leaf stem stout, reddish, 2 salt glands near leaf-
blade. Individual flowers stemless, loosely clustered in spikes 2.5-
10 cm (1-4") long, at ends and sides of branches.

FLOWERS: Greenish-white, bell-shaped, about .5 cm (.2") long; 5 petals, very
small.

FRUIT: Flattened, ridged, velvety, fleshy, 1.5-2 cm (.6 .8~) long,
grayish-green when young, reddish-brown when mature, broadest near
tip which has persistent calyx-lobes attached. 1 seed, large.

SEASON: Flowers and fruits nearly all year.

COMMENTS: A honey plant. Bark contains tannin. Deer eat the fruit.











































COMBRETUM FAMILY

Indian almond


COMBRETACEAE


Terminalia catappa*


HABITAT: Planted/naturalized near the sea, wet areas.


HABIT:



LEAVES:


Tree 5-16 m (16'-52') low, whorled, widely spreading branches, trunk
to 1.5 m (5') wide.

Deciduous, turning yellow or red before falling in midwinter,
alternate, clustered at twig tips, oval, short-stemmed, rounded at
apex, 4-36 cm (1.5"-14") long and 6 to 24 cm(2 1/3"-9.5") wide;
smooth above, brownish and hairy underneath.


FLOWERS: Small, white, crowded on slender axillary spikes, 6 to 25 cm
(2 1/3"-9 3/4") long, male flowers found near end.


FRUIT:




SEASON:


COMMENTS:


Elliptic turning green to yellow with red blush. Skin is thin and
rosy layer of subacid juicy flesh surrounds a stone within
which is a spindle shaped seed.

Flowers and bears fruit sporadically.

Bats (Artibeus, Brachyphylla), deer eat fruit; Antillean-crested
Hummingbird, Zenaida Dove nest in tree.














9


MYRTLE FAMILY

Guava

HABITAT:

HABIT:



LEAVES:



FLOWERS:



FRUITS:




SEASON:

COMMENTS:


Y


MYRTACEAE

Psidium guajava*


Pastures, thickets, sometimes cultivated.

Shrub or small tree to 7 m (22'). Outer bark is smooth, thin, red-
brown, which flakes exposing inner greenish or yellow inner bark.

Evergreen, opposite, short-stemmed elliptic 5-15 cm (2"- 6") 3-6 cm
(1"-2 1/4") wide, rounded or blunt pointed apex, narrowed base.

Axillary, single or 2 together, rarely 3, white prominent tuft of up
to 275 stamens, 3-3.5 cm (1"-1.2") wide.

Oval or pear-shaped, 7.5 cm (3") long yellow-skinned, sweet yellow,
pinkish to rose flesh; outer layer granular, firm, center juicy,
with soft pulp and many small kidney-shaped yellowish seeds.

Flowers from March to June or sporadically at all seasons.

Pearly-eyed Thrashers, mongooses, fruit bats and deer feed on the
fruit.










































BORAGE FAMILY


BORAGINACEAE

Cordia alba


White manjack, glueberry


HABITAT: Roadsides, fence lines, thickets, sometimes in open pastures.

HABIT: Deciduous shrub, commonly with many trunks, to 8 m (26') tall.
Branches long, vine-like. Bark light gray, grooved, with narrow
ridges.

LEAVES: Dull, slightly thickened, rough above; simple, alternate, broadly
elliptic, blades 5-13 cm (2-5") long; stems hairy, to 2.5 cm (1")
long. Edges coarsely and unevenly toothed.

FLOWERS: Whitish, almost stemless, broadly funnel- shaped, 5-parted, about 15
mm (.6") tips blunt; edges smooth, slightly rolled under; in wide
clusters at branch ends.

FRUIT: Ellipitic, whitish, fleshy 1-1.5 cm (3/8-5/8") long; one seed.

SEASON: Flowers and fruits throughout the year.


COMMENTS:


Fruit is an important food for local pigeons. Also eaten by
thrashers, bananaquits, deer and bats (Artibeus and Brachyphylla).












































BORAGE FAMILY

Pigeon berry


BORAGINACEAE


Bourreria succulenta


HABITAT: Widely distributed in open areas.


Small evergreen 3.6 m 7.6 m (12'
branches. Bark is smooth gray.


25')with spreading or drooping


Alternate elliptic 3.8 cm 12.7 cm (1.5"-5") long and 2.5 cm-7.6 cm
(1" 3") wide, rounded or bluntly pointed at apex, green above and
paler below. Alternate on leaf stems .65 cm 1.9 cm (1/4" 3/4")
long.


FLOWERS: Many fragrant tubular white flowers 1.3 cm (1/2") across many
branched flat top erect flower cluster. Light green bell-shaped
tubular calyx has 5 unequal pointed lobes. Petals form a tube more
than .6 cm (1/4").


Fleshy, orange-red rounded fruit, 1.3 cm(1/2") in diameter; 4 brown,
ridged nutlets.


SEASONS: Flowers and bears fruit almost all year.


Wood is used for fuel. Reportedly a good honey plant. Doves
(Zenaida), pigeons (Columba) and many other birds eat the fruit.


HABIT:


LEAVES:


FRUITS:


COMMENTS:











































VERVAIN FAMILY VERBENACEAE

Fiddlewood Citharexylum fruticosum

HABITAT: Thickets, woods, pastures, fence lines, ornamental.

HABIT: Shrub, or more commonly a slender tree to 12 m (40') tall. Bark
rough, light brown or gray, shredding into long thin strips.

LEAVES: Opposite, simple, usually elliptic, pointed at both ends, sometimes
notched at tip, somewhat leathery, shiny yellowish-green to about 15
cm (6") long; edges smooth, sometimes toothed on young shoots; leaf
stems to 2.5 cm (1") long, reddish, color often extending into
midrib of blade.

FLOWERS: About 1 cm (.4") long, white, 5-lobed, fragrant, in loose narrow
hanging clusters to 30 cm (12").

FRUIT: Roundish, reddish to black, shiny, fleshy, about 1 cm (.4") across;
contains 2 nutlets, each 2-seeded.

SEASONS: Flowers and fruits throughout the year.

COMMENTS: Fruit edible. Leaves, fruit eaten by burros.












































VERVAIN FAMILY
Sage


VERBENACEAE
Lantana spp.


HABITAT: Roadsides, pastures, disturbed ground, thickets.


HABIT:

LEAVES:


Branched, erect shrub, 1.5 cm (5') tall, stems 4-sided, prickly.

Opposite, simple, oval, pointed tip pointed, thin; dull dark green,
rough-hairy above; paler, softer-hairy to almost hairless below; to
15 cm (16") long; edges smoothed.


FLOWERS: Yellow or orange turning red, with 4-5 small lobes at end of thin
tube about 1 cm (.4") 1 long; flat-topped clusters, long stemmed, at
leaf-base.


FRUIT:



SEASON:


COMMENTS:


Fleshy, roundish, about 5 mm (.2") across, green turning black when
mature, densely clustered; 2 seeds.

Flowers and fruits all year.

Identification of many varieties is difficult. The fruit/plant
parts are poisonous, can kill a child. Contact with leaves causes
rash, and itching. Songbirds eat fruit.


- I




































BLACK MANGROVE FAMILY


Black mangrove


Avicennia germinans


HABITAT: Protected silty shore, generally behind red mangrove fringe. May be
in pure stands, in very salty locations.


Evergreen tree or shrub to about 12 m (40') tall. Vertical pencil-
like projections (pneumatophores) near base. Outer bark dark; inner
bark yellow to bright orange.

Leathery, simple, opposite, elliptic to lanceolate, 4-10 cm (1.5-4")
long, above.


FLOWERS: Clustered on erect stalks less than 4cm (1.5") long. The center is
white, with 4 rounded lobes, about 1 cm (.4") across.


Elliptic, flattened, pointed, finely hairy, yellow-green capsule,
2.5-3 cm (1-1.2") long. 1 seed, often sprouting on tree, causing
capsule to open into 2 parts.

Flowers and fruits nearly all year.

Important honey plant. Sprouted seeds poisonous raw, edible if
cooked. Burros eat the leaves and fruit.


HABIT:



LEAVES:


FRUIT:



SEASON:


COMMENTS:


OG


AVICENNIACEAE















it


P..j

K'.



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BIGNONIA FAMILY BIGNONIACEAE

African tulip tree Spathodea companulata*

HABITAT: Commonly planted and cultivated growing in the coastal and limestone
areas.

HABIT: Deciduous tree up to 16 m (52'), grey bark.

LEAVES: Each pair unequal, or one not developing, 4-8 pairs of leaflets
which have an odd terminal leaflet ovate to elliptical 4-14 cm
(1.6"-5.5") long.

FLOWERS: 5 petals, ribbed, scarlet center (corolla), yellow at base.

FRUITS: Seeds are laterally winged, flat (locally called "helicopters").

SEASON: Flowers and fruits most of the year.

COMMENTS: A variety of bird species are attracted after rain since the flowers
trap water, included are: Zenaida Dove, Grey King-bird, Pearly-eyed
Thrasher, hummingbirds and bananaquits. The thrasher and bananaquit
also feed on the flowers.















































BIGNONIA FAMILY BIGNONIACEAE

White cedar Tabebuia heterophylla

HABITAT: Widespread: woods, pastures, roadsides.

HABIT: Erect shrub or tree to 20 m (65') tall, commonly shorter.

LEAVES: Opposite, compound up to 5 leaflets, oval or elliptic, somewhat
leathery, 5-15 cm (2-6"), unequal leaflets. Green shiny above, paler
below. Leaflet-stems to 2.5 cm (1") long, leaf-stems longer.

FLOWERS: White to purplish, trumpet-shaped, single or clustered, near or at
branch ends, to 7.5 cm (3") in diameter; 5 broad wavy-edged petal-
lobes; stems to 2.5 cm (1") long.

FRUITS: Brown pod, 8-20 cm (3-8"), splitting on 2 sides; seeds many, light
brown, thin, winged.

SEASON: Flowers in spring, sometimes in fall, some flowers other seasons.
Fruits all year.

COMMENTS: Adaptable to any soil with moisture. Wood considered valuable for
construction and furniture. Leaves used medicinally. Bananaquits
nest in this tree.









































BIGNONIA FAMILY
Ginger thomas, yellow cedar


BIGNONIACEAE
Tecoma stans


HABITAT: Hillsides, thickets; sometimes ornamental.


HABIT:



LEAVES:


Fast-growing evergreen shrub or tree to 8 m (25') tall. Multiple
trunks common. Bark light gray, rough, much-grooved.

Opposite, compound (odd-pinnate). Leaflets 5-13, lanceolate to
elliptic, long-pointed, thin, green, 4-10 cm (1.5-4") long; edges
sawed-toothed.


FLOWERS: Yellow, clustered at branch ends, each trumpet-shaped, to 5 cm (2")
long, with 5 spreading petal-lobes.


FRUIT:



SEASON:


COMMENTS:


A thin brown pod 10-20 cm (4-8") long, splitting on 2 sides; seeds
many, light brown, thin, winged.

Flowers and fruits throughout year.

Official flower of U.S. Virgin Islands; especially abundant on St.
Croix. Hummingbirds and bananaquits feed on the nectar. Doves eat
the seeds. Anis use the trees for nesting.











INDEX


NAME PAGE
African tulip tree 55
Aloe 9
Bower Buttonwood 46 19
Brisselet 32
Casha 26
Cedar
White 56
Yellow 57
Chinchiree bush 17
Coconut 10
Coral tree 30
Dildo cactus 21
Fiddlewood 52
Genip 38
Ginger thomas 57
Glueberry 50
Grass
Bermuda 13
Goosefoot 14
Guinea 16
Mexican Blue 12
Wire 15
Gre-gre 45
Guava 49
Gumbo limbo 33
Hibiscus 39
Hoop-vine 20
Indian almond 48
Kapok(silk-cotton) 41
Limber caper 23
Mahogany, West Indian 34
Maiden apple 43
Manchineel 36
Mango 37
Mangrove
Black 54
Red 44
White 47
Manjack, white 50
Maran 35
Mistletoe 17
Otaheita 40
Palm, royal 11
Papaya 42
Pigeon-berry 51
Pinguin 8
Quick stick 31
Rain tree 29
Sage 53













INDEX


NAME PAGE
Saman 29
Sea grape 18
Soursop 22
Sticky cleome 24
Tamarind 25
Tantan 28
Thibet (woman's tongue) 27
Turpentine 33
Wild tamarind 28




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