Monographs Details: Elsota virgata (Sw.) Kuntze
Authority: Britton, Nathaniel L. Flora Borinqueña.
Family:Polygalaceae
Description:Species Description - Frequent in thickets at lower and middle elevations in Porto Rico, growing also on Vieques Island, the range of this slender, vine-like, arching shrub with long branches, is westward, through Santo Domingo and Haiti to western Cuba. It is very attractive when in bloom, by numerous slender clusters of pink, or purple flowers, followed by interesting, large, winged fruits. Only one species of the genus grows Porto Rico. Jaboncillo is another Spanish name. Elsota (the name unexplained) is a genus of 12 species, or more, natives of tropical America, established by the French botanist Adanson, in 1763. They are woody vines, shrubs, or trees, with alternate, untoothed, short-stalked leaves, and flowers in terminal and axillary clusters. There are 5 sepals, the 3 outer ones green, the 2 inner (wings) petal-like. There are 3 petals, the lower one (keel) convex, with a fimbriate crest, the 2 others attached to the base of the stamen-tube; there are 8 stamens, their filaments united into a split sheath; the ovary is 1-celled, the style curved, the stigmas 2. The fruit is a large-winged, 1-seeded samara. Elsota virgata (slender-stemmed) may attain a length of about 7 meters. The twigs are smooth, or minutely hairy. The oval, few-veined, scattered leaves are from 7 to 20 millimeters long, sparingly short-hairy, rounded, or notched, their stalks only about 1 milli-meter long, or shorter. The showy, often numerous flowers are borne in long, loose clusters, on slender stalks from 4 to 8 millimeters long; the nearly orbicular, pink or purple wing-sepals are 8 or 9 millimeters broad; the petals are yellow, the keel about 8 millimeters long. The samaras are 5 or 4 centimeters long. The fruit-body netted-veined, the oblong-obovate wing about 1 centimeter wide near the middle.

Discussion:Bejuco de sopla Slender Elsota Milk-wort Family Securidaca virgata Swartz, Prodromus Descriptionum Vegetabilium 104.1788. Elsota virgata Kuntze, Revisio Genera Plantarum 46. 1891.
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