Monographs Details: Anneslia haematostoma (Bertero & Spreng.) Britton
Authority: Britton, Nathaniel L. Flora Borinqueña.
Description:Species Description - Conspicuous when in bloom, by its bright red stamens, this shrub is very rare in Porto Rico; we know only one locality where a colony grows, in a thicket on a limestone hill near Guayanilla; the climate here is very dry, the recorded average annual rainfall at Guayanilla does not exceed about 50 centimeters; farther search in this dry, southwestern district may reveal other places where it may be seen. Its further distribution is in St. Thomas, Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, Santo Domingo and on some of the Bahama Islands.
Anneslia is a generic name published by the English botanist Salisbury in 1807, and has priority of 33 years over Calliandra of Bentham, published in 1840. It commemorates George Annesley, another English botanist, and a traveller, who lived from 1760 to 1844, and includes over 150 species of shrubs and trees, natives of tropical and subtropical regions, nearly all of them tropical American. In addition to the one here illustrated, another, with white stamens (Anneslia portoricensis) is frequent in Porto Rico. They have compound, 2-pinnate leaves, and the small flowers form globose heads, which are stalked in the leaf-axils, or borne in clusters at the ends of branches. The small calyx is 5-toothed, or 5-lobed; the small corolla is also 5-lobed; the many stamens are long, partly united by their filaments into a tube, the anthers very small; the ovary contains several or many ovules and the style is very slender. The pod is narrow and flat, usually narrowed below the middle, and splits characteristically from the apex into 2, stiff, recurved valves, exposing the flattened seeds.
Anneslia haematostoma (blood-mouth, referring to the red stamens) is a shrub about 3 meters high, or lower; it belongs to a group of West Indian species of the genus which have small, paired prickles at the bases of the leaves (spinescent stipules). The short-stalked leaves are only 3 centimeters long, or less, with 2 primary divisions (pinnae), each bearing from 3 to 9 pairs of leaflets from 3 to 7 millimeters long, which are oblong, or broadest above the middle, blunt, or minutely tipped and strongly few-nerved. The flower-heads are usually clustered toward the ends of branches, borne on usually hairy, short stalks; the calyx is striate and about 2 millimeters long, the silky-hairy corolla from 5 to 7 millimeters long, the bright red stamens from 1 to 2 centimeters long. The pod is hairy, from 5 to 8 centimeters long, 6 to 8 millimeters wide, its valves with thickened, raised margins.
Acacia haematostoma Bertero; De Candolle, Mémoires sur la Famille des Légumineuses 448, plate 68, 1825.
Calliandra haematostoma Bentham, in Hooker's Journal of Botany 3: 103. 1844.
Anneslia haematostoma Britton, Memoirs of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden 1: 50. 1919.