Erythroxylum (Erythroxylum sechellarum)

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Erythroxylum sechellarum in flower
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Erythroxylum fact file

Erythroxylum description

KingdomPlantae
PhylumTracheophyta
ClassMagnoliopsida
OrderLinales
FamilyErythroxylaceae
GenusErythroxylum (1)

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.
Size
Height: up to 8 m (2)
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Erythroxylum biology

Infusions of the leaves of this plant are used medicinally to reduce fevers (2).

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Erythroxylum range

Endemic to the Seychelles, where it occurs on the granitic islands of Mahé, Silhouette, Praslin, La Digue, Curieuse and Felicité (3).

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Erythroxylum habitat

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).

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Erythroxylum status

Erythroxylum sechellarum is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Least Concern

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Erythroxylum threats

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).

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Erythroxylum conservation

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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Find out more

For further information on the biodiversity of the Seychelles and its conservation see:

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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

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Glossary

Endemic
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (January, 2012)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. Wise, R. (1998) A Fragile Eden. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.
  3. Robertson, S.A. (1989) Flowering Plants of Seychelles. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
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Image credit

Erythroxylum sechellarum in flower  
Erythroxylum sechellarum in flower

© Dr. Justin Gerlach

Dr. Justin Gerlach
Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles
Seychelles
gerlachs@btinternet.com
http://islandbiodiversity.com

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