Erythroxylum sechellarum, which belongs to the same family of plants as the cocaine-producing Erythroxylum coca, may be considered a shrub or a small tree, depending on where it is growing (2). This plant has glossy, leathery leaves measuring up to 12 centimetres long (3), and grey-brown fissured bark (2). The small, white flowers, just five millimetres across, grow from the point where the leaves meet the stem. The fruits of Erythroxylum sechellarum are shiny red, oblong in shape, and contain a single seed (3).
- Also known as
- Bois de ronde, café marron petite feuille.
- Height: up to 8 m (2)
Infusions of the leaves of this plant are used medicinally to reduce fevers (2).
Endemic to the Seychelles, where it occurs on the granitic islands of Mahé, Silhouette, Praslin, La Digue, Curieuse and Felicité (3).
Erythroxylum sechellarum is found growing from sea level to high altitudes. It occurs in both exposed areas, where is grows as a shrub, and in shaded forests, where it develops into a tree (2).
Erythroxylum sechellarum is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).
Erythroxylum sechellarum is not currently considered at risk of extinction as it has a healthy population which is widespread over several inner Seychelles islands. Fire, infrastructure development and invasive species may pose future threats to this species, but its population is currently believed to be stable (1).
Erythroxylum sechellarumis found in many protected areas throughout its range, including Morne Seychellois and Praslin National Parks, St. Anne and Curieuse Marine National Parks, and the Aride Strict Nature Reserve (1). There are currently no other specific conservation measures known to be in place for this species.
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For further information on the biodiversity of the Seychelles and its conservation see:
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- A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
IUCN Red List (January, 2012)
Wise, R. (1998) A Fragile Eden. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.
Robertson, S.A. (1989) Flowering Plants of Seychelles. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.