(Southern Florida, Bahamas, and other West Indian islands,
except Trinidad and Tobago)

by William R. Anderson and Christiane Anderson

Key to specimens bearing flowers [fruits]
1. Petals pink and/or white, white except 1 petal mostly yellow, pink turning reddish in age, lilac, or lilac fading to white.
2. Style 1; petals strongly reflexed in anthesis so as to hide sepals, abaxially densely sericeous, long-fimbriate on the margin; 1 stamen much longer than the other 9; exotic from Asia escaped from cultivation in Florida.
3. Stipules borne on inner face of base of petiole, partially to completely connate in our species; shrubs or trees.
4. Leaves bearing glands on petiole or abaxial surface of lamina near base, and sometimes on adaxial surface near apex; some bracteoles often terminating in a large gland; styles of uniform thickness or widened at apex, the stigmas truncate or peltate; native in Cuba, probably introduced in the Lesser Antilles.
Byrsonima - sample taxa - photos: B. lucida - drawings: B. trinitensis, B. lucida
Spachea - sample taxon - S. elegans: drawing
3. Stipules borne on stem between petioles or on edges of petiole near base, or absent; shrubs, trees, or vines.
5. Shrubs or trees; flowers borne in unbranched axillary umbels or corymbs or short, condensed pseudoracemes; fruit fleshy, mostly indehiscent but in M. verruculosa the red pyrenes separating at maturity.
Malpighia - sample taxa - photos: M. coccigera, M. emarginata, M. fucata,
M. glabra, M. urens
- drawings: M. glabra, M. martinicensis
6. Flowers borne in umbels of 4; Cuba.
7. Petals usually described as lilac (or blue or purple), sometimes as pink, rarely as white; petioles eglandular or biglandular near apex, the glands usually not prominent; stipules if present borne on stem between petioles, distinct or connate in interpetiolar pairs.
Heteropterys purpurea: photos, drawing
Mascagnia - sample taxon - M. lucida: photos, drawing
1. Petals yellow or yellow with a red central blotch, or yellow turning red or orange, or yellow and red.
8. Petals abaxially densely sericeous or appressed-tomentose.
9. Calyx glands sessile or absent; Lesser Antilles.
Carolus sinemariensis: photo, drawing
8. Petals abaxially glabrous or at most sparsely sericeous on midrib.
10. Styles slender and subulate, tapering to minute stigmas; subshrubs, shrubs or trees.
11. Leaves usually bearing small marginal glands near base of lamina; pedicels raised on well-developed peduncles; exotic, widely cultivated as an ornamental shrub but apparently not becoming naturalized.
Byrsonima - sample taxa - photos: B. crassifolia,
B. pinetorum, B. spicata, B. verbascifolia
- drawing: B. crassifolia
Galphimia gracilis: photos, drawing
10. Styles slender to stout, of uniform thickness or widened at apex, the stigmas large; shrubs, trees, or vines.
12. Styles 3, distinct; apex of styles with stigmas internal and dorsally rounded, truncate, acute, or extended into a hook or foliole-bearing appendage; carpels 3, developing into a schizocarp dividing into dry samaras; mostly vines, some shrubby.
13. Lamina abaxially densely and persistently metallic-sericeous.
14. Pedicels pedunculate; stipules absent or minute triangular structures borne on stem at base of petiole; Puerto Rico.
Heteropterys wydleriana
13. Lamina abaxially glabrous or variously hairy, not densely sericeous.
15. Sepals appressed in anthesis.
Heteropterys - sample taxon - H. laurifolia: photo, drawing
16. Posterior petal usually different from lateral petals but not so dramatically different as in previous choice; both bracteoles eglandular.
Adelphia hiraea: photos, drawing
17. Flowers borne in umbels of (3) 4.
18. Styles with a prominent dorsal extension at apex, the extension hooklike or bearing lateral folioles; stipules distinct, persistent or deciduous.
Tetrapterys - sample taxa - drawings: T. buxifolia, T. inaequalis
back to top
back to top
back to top
2. Styles 2 or 3; petals spreading to reflexed but not hiding sepals, abaxially glabrous or sparsely sericeous on abaxial midrib, entire, erose, or dentate on the margin; stamens without 1 much longer than all the others; native species.
Hiptage benghalensis: photos, drawing
5. Vines; flowers borne in umbels of 4 or congested to elongated pseudoracemes, often branched or terminating leafy stems or both; fruits dry, breaking apart into samaras at maturity.
6. Flowers borne in congested to elongated pseudoracemes of 5 or more flowers.
Banisteriopsis pauciflora: drawing
7. Petals pink; petioles often bearing 2 prominent glands near middle; stipules if present borne on outer edges of base of petiole.
9. Calyx glands peltate, raised on stout stalks that elongate to 1–2 mm during anthesis; Cuba.
Henleophytum echinatum: photos, drawing
11. Leaves eglandular; pedicels sessile or subsessile; native species.
12. Styles 2 or 3, distinct or partly to completely connate; apex of styles with stigmas terminal and without any sort of dorsal extension; carpels 2 or 3, developing into an indehiscent fleshy fruit; shrubs or trees.
Bunchosia - sample taxa - photos: B. glandulifera, B. nitida, B. polystachia - drawings: B. polystachia, B. swartziana
14. Pedicels sessile; stipules elongated, subulate, borne on petiole between middle and apex; Lesser Antilles.
15. Sepals revolute in anthesis.
16. Posterior petal red and deeply fimbriate, very different from lateral petals, which are yellow and erose; 1 bracteole of each pair bearing 1 large abaxial gland; Jamaica.
18. Styles truncate at apex, without any sort of dorsal extension; stipules connate in interpetiolar pairs, the resulting triangular structure persistent or deciduous.
17. Flowers borne in umbels or ± congested pseudoracemes of (5–) 8–20 or more.
Stigmaphyllon - sample taxa - photos: S. bannisterioides, S. ciliatum, S. convolvulifolium, S. emarginatum, S. puberum, S. sagraeanum -drawings: S. adenodon, S. bannisterioides, S. emarginatum,
S. floribundum, S. puberum
Stigmaphyllon - sample taxa - photos: S. bannisterioides, S. ciliatum -
drawing: S. bannisterioides
4. Leaves and bracteoles completely eglandular; styles slender and subulate, tapering to minute stigmas.
Hiraea - sample taxa - photos: H. grandifolia -drawings: H. faginea, H. grandifolia
back to top