Monographs Details: Jacquinia aculeata (L.) Mez
Authority: Ståhl, Bertil. 2010. Theophrastaceae. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 105: 1-160. (Published by NYBG Press)
Synonyms:Medeola aculeata L., Jacquinia ruscifolia Spreng., Jacquinia linearis Jacq., Jacquinia eggersii Urb., Jacquinia eggersii var. intermedia Urb., Jacquinia verticillaris Urb., Jacquinia polyphlebia Urb. & Ekman
Description:Species Description - Shrub to 2.5 m tall; branches distinctly thickened at nodes; young shoots and branchlets light brown to brown, densely lepidote, trichome with very short stalks of usually 1 cell and few- to many-celled, flattened or subconical heads. Leaves distinctly pseudo-verticillate, straight or sometimes somewhat recurved, light green when dried; blade lanceolate or narrowly lanceolate, rarely elliptic or narrowly elliptic, 1.5-4 (-6) x 0.3-1.3(-2) cm, coriaceous and usually very tough, seemingly glabrous, base attenuate, apex acute with a rigid spine 1-2 mm long, sides plane or rarely slightly recurved from midvein, margins thickened, sometimes slightly revolute; midvein prominent beneath, level with surface or slightly prominent above, lateral veins inconspicuous, invisible in small leaves; lower surface coarsely striate or almost smooth, upper surface very finely striate or sometimes smooth; extra-xylary sclerenchyma abundant, abaxially arranged in distinct bundles 10-30(-50) cells thick, adaxially as a continuous or subcontinuous layer 3-5 cells thick, abaxial bundles separated from epidermis by l-3 mesophyllous cells, adaxial layer adjacent to a 1- or partly 2-layered hypoderm; crystals usually abundant throughout blade, sometimes lacking in epidermis and hypoderm; petiole 0.5-1(-2) mm long, glabrous. Racemes solitary with 1-4(-7) flowers; rachis very short to 2.5 mm long, 0.1-0.2 mm thick, glabrous; bracts 0.5 mm long, inserted at nodes or fused to lower half of pedicels for 2-3 mm; pedicels 7-18 mm long, thin and slender. Calyx lobes very broadly ovate, 1.2-2 x 1.5-2 mm, margins appressed to fruit, ciliate. Corolla pale or greenish yellow, urceolate; tube 3-4.5 mm long, exceeding calyx by 1-3 mm; lobes oblong, 2-2.5 x l.8-2.2 mm; staminodes broadly ovate, 1-1.2 x 1.2-1.5 mm, rounded to subretuse at apex. Filaments 1-1.2(-2) mm long, glandular-punctate; anthers 1.8-2.2 mm long. Pistil 2.5-3.5 mm long; ovules 40-80 in 3-5 rows. Fruits red or reddish orange, more or less nitid, sub-globose, 5-11 mm diam., pericarp 0.2-0.3(-0.4) mm thick, surface smooth. Seeds 1-3(-6), subglobose or somewhat flattened and orbicular, 4-5 mm diam.

Distribution and Ecology - Throughout Cuba and Hispaniola (Fig. 55) in thorn scrub, coastal thickets, and dry deciduous forests from near sea level to 2000 m. Flowering and fruiting throughout most of year, but two peaks of flowering, Jan-Feb and Aug-Sep, in both localities.

Discussion:Jacquinia aculeata is characterized by its distinctly pseudoverticillate, lanceolate leaves; lepidote young shoots; short, few-flowered racemes; and long, slender pedicels. Leaf size and leaf width are quite variable, especially in material from Hispaniola. Jacquinia linearis and J. eggersii were distinguished on the basis of deviating leaf width and number of flowers per inflorescence. However, these characters break down when numerous collections are examined.

Populations from Hispaniola and Cuba show only minor differences. In Hispaniola, very narrow-leaved plants appear to be more common, and the average number of developed flowers per inflorescence is larger. In addition, fruits with one or two seeds prevail in plants from Hispaniola, whereas fruits in plants from Cuba often contain more than two seeds.

Jacquinia aculeata was first described and illustrated by Dillenius (1732). However, his account provides no information on floral features, which partly explains why Linnaeus (1753) referred the species to Medeola. It seems likely that the protologue of Medeola aculeata was based entirely on information given in Dillenius (1732).
Distribution:María Trinidad Sánchez Dominican Republic South America| Camagüey Cuba South America| Cienfuegos Cuba South America| Granma Cuba South America| Guantánamo Cuba South America| Holguín Cuba South America| Isla de la Juventud Cuba South America| La Habana Cuba South America| Matanzas Cuba South America| Piñar del Río Cuba South America| Santiago de Cuba Cuba South America| Villa Clara Cuba South America| Artibonite Haiti South America| Barahona Dominican Republic South America| Espaillat Dominican Republic South America| Pedernales Dominican Republic South America| Peravia Dominican Republic South America| Puerto Plata Dominican Republic South America| San Juan Dominican Republic South America| Samaná Dominican Republic South America| Santiago Dominican Republic South America| Ouest Haiti South America| Nord-Ouest Haiti South America| Sud-Est Haiti South America|

Common Names:Espuela de caballero, espuela del rey